I am standing beside a parking meter on Camden Road, on a sweltering summer afternoon. Across the street is the Centro Forum, a non-descript office building housed in the shell of an old brick warehouse. There's not much to see from outside, and nothing of interest left inside. In the mid-1980s, this building was home to the Disney animation studio that drew, painted and photographed the twenty-four images a second needed to create Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
But nobody is here any more. All that's left is stories, old photographs, home movies uploaded to YouTube. So why stand across the street?
Views of the Forum during production of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Later, I take a walk along Devonshire Hill towards Hampstead Heath, up the long slope that brings me to a foggy view of central London. I'm joining Jim Henson and his Creature Workshop artists on their usual lunch picnic.
I feel strange making these pigrimages to empty places, empty of meaning for pretty much anybody. But there's something very real about seeing Jim Henson's house, Richard Williams' studio on Soho Square, that takes those tall tales of my creative heroes and roots them in earthy, knowable reality.