"Film making is a miracle of collaboration."

James McAvoy

OK... Now this is a very weird feeling...

Here I am, on the verge of stepping back onto a film set and I am feeling... Calm. Now for those unfortunate few that have been on one of my short film sets (and that is such a small percentage of the populous, let me tell you!), this will be a revelation. Usually I am still buzzing away at something - be it the script, the call sheets, the risk assessments, something. And yet as I take my first steps back into film making, there is an unusual sense of serenity. Why? What makes this so different?

The answer is simple - the team.

This evening, we had our pre-production meeting - the evening before start of shooting. For me, it was a chance to meet some of the key members of the crew - especially the guys I will be working the closest with. So Chris the DoP, Kris the Sound Recordist and Tom the 1st AD are on board. And I hope they know what they are in for!

What really came across from the meeting is that we are all on the same page! My God, this is a first! It has been a long time since this has happened. I am so used to having to argue on the little points that don't really matter, that when agreement is reached so easily I almost did a double take. Not only that, but I believe that I can fully delegate responsibility to these guys with 100% confidence. Again, having had to do each and every aspect of the shoot on my Todd has resulted in my lowering of expectations. After this evening, I am confidently raising them. One thing is certain - this is not the film crew I am used to... And I like this!

I have never believed in the auteur theory. No one person can be seen as the author of the film. Yes, some have larger responsibilities on the shoot than others, but there is no doubt that everyone's contribution is important to the film's success. Of course, a whole new level of chaos has the potential to rear its head when we get to filming - but for now, I am feeling very confident that we have a great team working on this lovely little film.

Wish us luck - Day One of Production begins in the morning!

What a response to news about our short film project! We cannot begin to express how grateful we all are for the support and words of encouragement we have received via our Facebook page. The project is gathering steam and we will be shooting in less than 2 weeks from now. Thank you all so much for your help this far... And I hope you don't mind if I ask for a little bit more too!

Thanks to our producer Lisa, we now have a Kickstarter page, which can be found by clicking on this link. All we are asking is for a small donation for the cast and crew - all of whom are working free of charge - so that we can keep everyone watered and fed when on location. We do also have a scene that requires a certain level of stunt work (don't get too excited, it isn't Die Hard or anything!), so anything that can be offered will be extremely well received! There is a lot of fine packages to obtain, so please do take a look and see if you can spare a bob or two!

Once again, you guys are fantastic - thanks again for all your help and support!

Since the wonderful select few that read my blogs (I must thank you from the bottom of my heart!) know from my last post that I have been blessed with a fantastic opportunity to jump straight back into the director's seat with a lovely little comedy called The Busker. Over the past year, I have been posting my humble critiques of movies that have been playing in the local flicks - promising that I will be making the leap into production myself.

Well we are now just under 2 weeks till photography on The Busker and to say that I am nervous is less an understatement and more of a given! But any nerves that I have allowed to creep into my psyche are easily outweighed by my enthusiasm for the film - so much so that when my producer Lisa asked for help with some preliminary artwork I raced to the computer, dusted off my Shop of Photos and came up with this within the space of an hour:-

The teaser poster... Simple but effective (I hope!).
In all actuality, I offered up 3 different styles of poster and Lisa picked this one (it was my last attempt too, so practice does make perfect!). Hopefully this little teaser poster offers just a tiny hint of the film itself (guitar = music, tagline = romantic mishap - you get it, right?). I just wanted to share this with you guys and offer it up for criticism!

Also for those of you that are signed up to a certain Book of Faces, here is The Busker page on that website too - please feel free to like and share with all your friends!

"When you're feeling sad & blue... You know Love's made a fool of you!"
Earth Angel (Tim Swallow) - Ready Teddy
For those observant amongst you (few!), it might have been noticed that the last post in my Film Maker's Diary was nearly 4 months ago, when I had attended British Indie film guru Chris Jones' 2 day masterclass. And I freely admit that, despite coming fresh out of that weekend feeling the call to arms, I have not been too speedy in making any headway into my cinematic journey. Now while I am not one to make excuses (I can hear my wife sniggering in the background as I read this aloud!), there has been a series of events that have blocked my path to some degree. A move from the Capital, the subsequent loss of my job (thanks to the company falling into long-gestating insolvency) and the constricting red tape in order to obtain the money owed to me, from both my employers and HM Government. Now that I am tackling a new vocational path (no more working for the Man!), the dream of making that all-important cinematic masterpiece seemed to be put on hold.
PictureMy recruitment film!
So when I opened my Book of Faces to post my daily movie news and funny video clip distractions, I did not expect a message from one of my friends from my Higher Education days to let me take that first step towards big screen glory! Of all things, it was my final film for my degree, from way back in the Good Old Days (2001) that was playing in my friend Hayley's mind when one of her closest friends told her about a short film that she was producing. Was it co-incidence, or was it fate? Honestly I believe it is the former, but I'll happily take the latter! Either way, an offer to meet her in Cardiff and discuss the possibility of directing this project was on the cards and I didn't hesitate to take it. By the end of that week, I was heading down the M5 towards Cardiff on a baking Friday morning to see what would come of this exciting opportunity. Nearly 6 hours later, I had somehow managed to convince producer Lisa that I would be the right guy to sit in the Director's chair - despite a re-screening of my student film that could have put her off completely!

A week later Lisa had sent me the latest version of the script and it is a bit of a corker - a musical comedy following the romantic endeavors of a down-at-heel Busker in Cardiff. With my student film/recruitment piece following similar themes, it is understandable why Hayley would think of me as a potential director. A further meeting with the writer/star and my assistant (Can you believe it? I get an assistant on set!) last Friday went swimmingly, with plenty of positives discussed on how to tighten up the writing and help find a flow to the script. With the writer Idge carefully scrutinizing each suggestion, the resulting nods and smiles suggest that we are on the same page (excuse the pun).And with just over 2 weeks to go until the film goes before the camera, I am quietly confident that there is a little gem of a short film in this project. And with any luck, this will prove to be the first of many projects to come!

Stay tuned for all the updates as I write them - this one is gonna be fun!