"Film making is a miracle of collaboration."
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!
"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. My 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!