Friday, March 23, 2007

In the Meantime...

Well it's been a busy week, non-stop in fact. Tuesday (After the bank holiday) began with news that we were in two new festivals, Danville International Children's Festival and we were invited to Lola Kenya Screen Film Festival in Africa. Later on we were invited to another festival, Giffoni in Italy, so that was nice and we got accepted into the 53rd Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany, which is one of the longest running and most important and respected festivals in Europe, so that was even nicerer!!!

As I mentioned before we had an interview with the filmboard, that was yesterday and it went very well. We met with Andrew Meehan there and he was very nice and very reseptive of both us and our script idea. We talk for about 45minutes and we came away feeling like we had made an impression and shown him that we are indeed serious, we do know our stuff and we really rellly want to make this film.

So he was happy to let us move forward, the next step is to officially apply for development funding. Now of course, he could read the script, decide it's terrible and never call us again, but I don't think that's going to happen. But we'll see what happens, more later!

In the meantime we have to get our budget together for development, as in, what we're going to spend all this money on! It's something we need to be clear about and we need to go in there and be as knowledgable about our figures as we are about our script. Which is going to be hard work, Thomas and I are terrible at figures! Even worse at money! (perhaps I shouldn't admit that!) Well, we're just going to have to learn. But we know what we need the money for, it's just a question of getting quotes for all that and making sure we're clear and precise.

Meantime we're also applying for money to have Emily's Song transfered from tape to 35mm. Having been accepted into Oberhausen we can finally do that through the filmboard. So I'm getting quotation for that at the moment. It's probably going to cost uppers to €10,000! Yikes! But it'll be worth it. It will open up alot more festivals to us, alot more screening possibilities and just give us a great version of our film, how it should look.

So we've alot on and alot to get organised, but it's all good, it's all new, it's all learning and it's moving toward making our first feature film, which is a dream come true... at least it will be when we get it made! Until then I would count my cans of film until they're processed.

But it's all good. That lul I was suffering from is well and truely over and I'm busy again, so I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into another film and it looks like I just might have the chance to do that again at last.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Reality! Who needs it?!

It felt like a slow week this week, but I suppose I got a fair bit done. On tuesday I met with Damien Donelly, a producer friend of mine, who produced a film called Winters End last year. I was looking for advice on how to begin the process of getting this feature script of ours into production. He gave me a lot of useful tips. Including suggesting I go to Cannes this year to meet with producers and see if I can drum up some interest that way.
Seems like a viable option, if not a daunting one! But it's something worth looking in to. I know you can pay for a producer's pass, it's 300euros, which allows you access to these areas that are set up specifically for meetings, but you have to be an acredited affiliated producer! Which of course I'm not! But I'll look into it, there's bound to be a way to blag it!

I got back onto the filmboard too. After they rejected my proposal for first draft funding for Nevermore I got a bit peeved and sent them an email telling them as much... as diplematicly as possible of course! But it didn't lead anywhere. So this time I was much more proactive and constructive at ask them for a meeting to discuss The Race, to my suprise Andrew Meehan, executive incharge of development funding mailed me back within the hour and we're meeting him next thursday. So that that one did work.
It's a day trip to Galway, 4 hours there, 4 hours back! So here's hoping something comes of it. But at least it will be an introduction, we'll all finally be able to put faces to names and emails and rejection letters!

I also appproached a couple of production companies about the possibility of producing this script with them, Working Title Films, Focus Films and CrossDay Productions.

Working Title is probably britans largest and most successful indepensent production company, having produced everything from Four Weddings and a Funeral to Elizibeth and Bridet Jones's Diary to the upcoming Attonment. They have a diverse range and a wide slate, not to mention a seven year distribution deal with Universal in America... so they would be ideal for us.

Focus is much smaller, their most successful film would probably have been The 51st State (Formula 51) with Samuel L Jackson. But they have financing availble to produce films for budget of between £5million and £25million, which would suit The Race and a smaller end produciton company called Chilla Production, for films with a budget of £5mil and under, which would suit Nevermore... so they would suit too.

I chose CrossDay because they are new and only have one film behind them, Shooting Dogs, so I thought new young fresh talent/new young Independent production company... might be a good match.

Anyway, we'll see what happens, hopefully we'll here back soon from them soon... offering us a huge million pound movie deal!!! We can but dream!

In other news... I've started storyboarding Nevermore, bought a new Moleskine notebook, so gonna get stuck into those. I haven't done the rewrites yet, but I'm going to do the two together so I can just get in there and begin to explore it visually as I reshape it. I find when storyboarding it changes anyway, it did with Emily's Song and it certainly did when we were doing The Anatomist all those years ago.
I think it's that it's a visual language and a different level of communication. What works on the page in prose may not translate visually. I find that action scenes are usualy the most effected. For me when drawing my mind goes to a different place as I use a different part of my brain and visual things change from what they were when I was writing them and using that part of the brain.

So keep an eye out for storyboards, I will be posting them here.

I'm also hoping to have the new Pale Stone website up and running in a few weeks and I'll certainly have storyboards up there. Meantime check out our myspace page for info on Emily's Song, you can also see the trailer for it there... as well as the video I did for Boss Volenti. It's not great to be honest, but it's a bit more exciting then the one they finally used I think. What an ordeal that experience was! But at least I learn a valuable lesson... never work with rock bands!

I guess I felt like it was a slow week because I was actually supposed to be in LA this week. I was invited to the LA premiere of Shooting Dogs and I was hoping to meet up with Maryann and all the friends I made at Heartland last year. I was also hoping to get a meeting or two in with some agents and producers. But alas it wasn't to be, the gas, electricity, rent and reality bills all came in at once and by pure coincidence all added up to exactly what a trip to Los Angeles would have cost!

Reality! Who needs it?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Buy this book.

I came across it today. I have bought the Writers/Artists yearboook for the last few years, it's a great book, very informative, full of great advice and addresses to every agent and publisher for any kind of writer and illustrator.
Although it does give advice and addresses for screenwriting it is definately only for writers. But the Filmmakers Yearbook gives addresses for production companies, agents, techicians, financial bakers and much much more.
It is probably one of the most useful and practical film books I have ever come across.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Secrets, Lies and Cycle Racing

Thomas and I have finished the revised Second Draft of "The Race." This will be the draft we start production on. So from monday on it gets sent out, to agents, producers and financiers. We're really happy with it at the moment. It's taken four months to get it from the first draft to this stage. THe first draft was blasted out in a month at 250 pages. That version contained ever idea, ever thought, included all the bad ones. So it was a question of trying to sculpt something from this shapeless pile of clay!
So we've gotten this draft down to a tidy 111 pages, which has nice symmetry for me. Seeing as my family home address is 111 and my birthday is the 11th of this month. It also makes it a good size for a feature.
So perhaps I should tell what it's about then...

It tells the story of Mike McGregor, a forty-three year-old forgotten Australian cycling champion, who, twenty years ago was almost killed after a horrific crash that ended his career.
Now he lives in Ireland with his wife and two teenage sons. He works on a building site and goes fishing every weekend with his brother-in-law. At least, that's what he tells his wife. Really, he takes his two sons racing.
This is a film about one man and the lies he has told to his wife, his family and himself for nearly twenty years. It is about what happens when the truth finally comes out and he decides to make a comeback and ride The Rás, an eight day race around Ireland.

It's a film about famliy, about lies and secrets and about racing.