Monday, March 28, 2011


My work space today:
  • Fundraiser poster.
  • Moleskin Journal
  • Eternal Hard-drives x2
  • Mac
  • Coffee Mug
  • iPod
  • Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer
  • Tin Whistle
  • Moleskin Storyboard pad
  • Film Ireland
  • Variety
  • Batteries
  • Derelict script
  • Book about Rembrandt
  • Notepad
  • Sony HDR FX7
  • More Notebooks
Just so you know!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

You're In or You're Out.



Always nice to get to that point of a script. Of course it's usually just the beginning. It's somewhere in the middle for me. This the third draft. I'll do a reading soon with the actors and see how it reads, there will be changes, no doubt. I already feel like it needs a lot less dialogue, there's a lot in there that can be said without being said. I also want to explore certain relationships a bit further and a couple of the character get left out in the cold a bit in this draft, so I want to pull them back in.

The tone of this one has changed slightly. The moral compass is slightly more eschew... if there at all! It's longer and has my interplay between the characters and some of the relationships have changed. There's added conflict and drama. I've basically up the stakes for everyone. I think that's the key for making it work. Is pushing it as far as it will go.

It's been a difficult project so far, no doubt about that. It's really pushing and pulling at me. I'm running hot and cold on this one, which is a first I think. There's a lot of doubt, which probably comes from a lack of confidence in myself, my ability as a writer and director, my vision. I know it's there, but it's hard to see the wood from the trees sometimes.

At the moment I feel a little flabby, both on the belly and the brain! In need of collaboration, inspiration, the back and forth that comes with creative partnership. I've been missing it for a long time. It's been two years since my last narrative film shoot and about a year and half since 140 (though that was quite a solitary project too). So maybe that's where my self doubt and doubt about this film comes from - I'm out of practice!

What always bring me back around though is the idea of working with the actors on this. Getting to play! Everyone piling into a rehearsal space for a couple of weeks to find the rhythm of the piece and then piling into the location to shoot the thing. Organised chaos! And once again creating something. The doubts are the demons that try to pull you down. The light at the end of the tunnel is the vision, the spark that started it all in the first place. The challenge is to fight the demons to reach the light.

I'm sure I'll get there. And hopefully there wont be anymore delays. They have largely come due to people schedules, again my own doubts and of course money. But maybe I don't need that much money. Hopefully I'll raise a good bit on the 14th and maybe I can make whatever that amount is work. Maybe I should just set the date, book the venue and let people know, see if anyone shows up and then make it up on the day with whatever and whoever arrives. You're in or you're out, this is it or it's nothing at all (there are a couple of other personal factors that make that last statement more than me just blowing hard! This is the last chance.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Productive Day

As it happened last Monday in Dublin was postponed to Friday, which in turn happened to be a very busy and productive day. A meeting at the Irish Film Board to really just put Derelict on their radar, let them know it's being made so if there's room for future collaboration they will have watched it's progress.

That was followed by a meeting with Derry O'Brien at Network Ireland Television. Derry is the sales agent for Emily's Song and Bill, For Short. I was there to talk about 140 and while I didn't sign any contracts he's going to put the feelers out and see if he can generate some interest with festivals and buyers, see if there's a market there somewhere. So that good, nice to have someone else on side.

I've decided to delay Derelict again, until September. Which will hopefully give the time we need to pull things together. Starting with money! First fundraiser is April 14th in the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda, a night of Fine Wine, Gourmet Food, Short Films, an Auction and a Raffle. Hopefully we can raise a few quid toward the budget. It should also give us more time for readings and rehearsal.

I'm still working away on the new draft of the script, when I can get to it... should really be working on it now instead of blogging! But I have an excuse, I've been sick all weekend, some bug that wasn't very pleasant, my head still isn't fully clear! So don't want to commit anything sub par to the page... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

That's all for now. Hopefully more news to report soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On The Ropes.

I feel like a boxer climbing the ropes for the third time in the ninth round wondering if I should just lie down. I think Monday will help me answer that question.

I set the dates for shooting for May 14 - 19 and we booked a location in Slane, just outside of Drogheda, a great location! Perfect. Just what I was hoping for and access all areas, which is even better. Now it seems those dates wont work for some people involved. So it's a case of delaying or recasting. Neither of which I want to do.

There are pros and cons to delaying. Pros: more time to find money, more time on the script, more time to rehearse. Cons: I might lose other people, DOP included, I might lose certain big favours and I might even lose the chance to shoot it here entirely!

Every time I think I'm there, something happens to knock me back down. I do believe the film will come together and we will shoot... but when keeps getting called into question, and indeed - where?

A friend and colleague recently suggested shooting in the states. It's a possibility I suppose, a last resort if everything here falls through. I have as many, if not more, friends and film contacts there as I do here. It's an option. One I may end up exploring if this keeps getting delayed.

On Monday I will know more, I have several meetings all day that may determine my final decision. They will involve funding possibilities and availability of all involved. So we may still be shooting in May, we may push it to September, we may say bye bye Ireland, hello LA.

What's so hard is that this is a no-budget film, so everyone is generously working for free. But that also means anything that pays takes precedence. It was stated at the start, by everyone involved, so it's not unexpected... just, annoying! I wish I could make it a paying gig, pay everyone there rate and just get on with it, shoot it and get it out there. Maybe until I do make it a paying gig it will remain a dangling carrot, I don't know.

I hope someday to get out of the indies. Just because I'd like the get paid! And I'd like to pay people. It's not that I don't think people are worth it, of course I do! It's one part of it I hate the most, but I also believe the work should be allowed exist. I believe scripts call out to be made. They arrive, as a twinkle in their father's eye and we must then carry them to birth and do the best job we can as parents. And sometimes parents aren't rich. Sometimes they're on the dole and just doing the best they can!

It's trying at the best of times. There is a lot of time spent wondering if any of this is truly worth it. I guess I think it is, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it, or maybe I'm doing because I don't know what else to do?! I don't know anymore. I just keeping moving forward, head down, one foot in front of the other in the hope that one day I'll look up and realise I've arrived. Until that day I have to keep begging and hoping and sucking it up.

So Monday! I will know more then. I will have answers and a direction of one sort or another.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Creative Side.

Things are going well on Derelict, coming together at last. Richard Quinn has joined the production as Producer and he's pulled a lot of things together very quickly for us. He's good at what I'm crap at, phoning people and asking for things! I don't know why I'm bad at that, I get nervous and self-conscious and worry about asking for favours and things for free, so I don't call or put it off until it's too late. I'm not much of a producer. I don't know how I've made 4 films to date! But it's great he's on board, it allows my to concentrate more on my side of things, the creative side.

We have a few details to confirm on some exciting things and then I can talk about them. We're close to getting the Location... at least I hope we are! I'll wait until we do to say where and what it is, but if we secure it, it will be very cool!

New draft of the script is now, at last, going well. It's been so hard to get to it lately. Being a stay-at-home dad with a one year-old makes writing near impossible. I find the best time is between 11pm and 3am... but I'm usually falling over by 11pm and ready for bed! If I can break through that barrier I'm usually OK. Managed to do it last night and got a good bit done. Will try again tonight. Tomorrow the little one if off with her grandmother for the day, so it's a writing day for me. Hope to put a big dent in the next draft.

My old/new friend Mark Kearns (former owner of Boyne Books) has stepped in to help with some fundraising and has organised a Wine/Food/Film night in association with Andersons cafe in the Highlanes Gallery and The Wine Buff, on the 31st of March (tbc). There be... well, wine food and films! My short films intersperse between wine tasting, food consumption and an auction! Of some yet to be confirmed items, most likely various vouchers for one thing or another, but certain some of my photography. Fittingly enough pieces from my 'Old Shoes and Broken Walls' collection (images of Derelict buildings) and a portfolio or two of unframed images. Hopefully we'll pull a good crowd in. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm going to be having the second reading with the cast soon. I'll be filming that and hopefully doing some scenes. Will be nice to get stuck in. But I'll also be cutting a promo from the footage and including a pitch from myself which will go up on the relaunched kickstarter fund and be used on the wine night and hopefully to entice further contribution and sponsorship from local people and businesses. That'll be coming at the end of March too.

That's all for now. Next post should have some cool news.