Feast and famine in world of movies – or on freezing train

The life of a film journalist is one of feast or famine.

Some weeks there is precious little on the radar. No big films, no interviews, nothing even half-decent to sink one's teeth into.

Then, like the number nine double-decker of legend, along come a plethora of offers, invitations and opportunities that present myriad clashes for the diary of any self-respecting scribbler.

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Back in June I was at the Edinburgh International Film Festival when I was shanghaied to give an interview to BBC Radio 4, which was preparing a programme about the evergreen appeal of Billy Liar.

Doing the chat meant I missed what was arguably the best film of the festival: Duncan Jones's Moon, starring Sam Rockwell. Of course Moon was playing again the very next day but that was no good to me given that I was heading off on my jollies with the kids.

Then, lo and behold, I got a call from Warner Bros to visit the set of the remake of Clash of the Titans the following week.

With as much charm as I could muster I turned down this offer in the painful knowledge that only a handful of reporters in the world had been invited.

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This week Warners called again, asking if I'd like to interview the cast of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as key scenes are filmed at Leavesden Studios near London this weekend.

I looked out of the window to the eight inches of show that prevented me getting to work and said I'd think about it.

Surely, you ask, it's a no-brainer? Well, yes, I suppose so.

But exactly five years ago I was freezing to death in Berlin as the temperatures nudged minus seven. On that occasion I was one of a handful of hacks invited to attend an international press conference with Tom Cruise for The Last Samurai.

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The junket passed rapidly. Cruise was (at that time) his trademark controlled self. After the press conference (which seemed to be populated with a high proportion of Greeks and Netherlanders; us four Brits were outnumbered) I ventured out of the warm Hotel Adlon to snap some pictures of the Brandenburg Gate before heading back to the airport.

All I remember of that event was Cruise's height (or lack of it; I met him very briefly and he was smaller than a hobbit) and the sheer brutality of the cold. Maybe I'm getting old but Berlin in January was nasty.

What am I leading up to? Simply this: I can't possibly face the desperate prospect of being marooned in London in the snow. Or being stuck on a train that has broken down between stations wondering whether to eat the person next to me.But it's a decent offer that won't arise again. Deathly Hallows is the last of the Harry Potter series. It's a tiny slice of modern movie history. And Daniel Radcliffe is rather taller than Tom Cruise...