Thursday, November 03, 2011

To the Gathered Crowd in the Dark

Heading back to the mad house this weekend. Back for two days to pick up a few scenes we dropped during the shoot. Seems like so long ago now. It's been a busy time since then. A couple of projects have popped up and distracted me from editing Derelict. Iscariot being one, and a potential project that may or may not yield anything, but one worth pursuing to the end nonetheless. So the edit has been on the long finger. Probably a good thing to have a break. And with these shots over the weekend I'll have 95% of the film to cut.

We will have to go back to the mill, but only for an afternoon and just one scene. And there a scene to be shot in the front of a van, which can be done anywhere anytime. But hopefully soon. Not before Christmas though. These days cost a lot, a lot more than I have. Another grand to do this weekend. Another personal loan I did not want to have to get right before Christmas. But I felt it had to be done. I didn't want to leave these important scenes too long. I had hoped to get everything we needed this weekend, another day will still cost be €400, but wasn't to be. Hence after Christmas. Lessons learned on this one.

It's still an ultra-low budget film, I think at the end of it the budget will be €6500. But it's a lot when you're unemployed, have a young family, and you're paying for half of all that yourself! Sorry wife! I hope one day you'll learn to forgive... hopefully before you divorce me! That's something else that's important at this level of filmmaking - a supportive wife! But even the most supportive can have their patience tested.

I have to admit, the last month has been difficult, perhaps the most difficult and challenging of my career so far. Not finishing Derelict was a pain, and it's costing me more than I had hoped. I was exhausted coming off of it and got into a bit of a slump. Writing on Iscariot helped, and this new project too. They reignited my fire for film. Then I bolloxed it all up by making a faux pa, mentioning someone in an email I shouldn't have and perhaps jepordising a chance to do something fantastic. I'm not sure how it will pan out, but I fear the damage that was done may be irreversible. Thus ruining the best chance at jump starting the career I've been trying to build for 15 years.

It made me want to throw in the towel there and then. And I almost did. But it was my wife, the one who keeps having her patience tested by being married to a stubborn Independent filmmaker, who said - "Give up because you've lost your passion. Give up because you don't care anymore. But don't give up because it's hard." Can't really argue with that.

We make mistakes in life. Nothing we can do about other people. We just have to work around it. And if a chance is lost because of it, then we have to rise above and move on. I've been keeping my head down and moving forward for as long as I can remember. All I've ever wanted to do is make movies. I love them. I can't deny that. They're in my blood. Woven in the fabric of who I am. So I get over-zealous. I put my foot in it sometimes. I want to kick myself as much as the people I annoy do! And I feel like there are as many people trying to stop me as there are people who want to help me. But it's the nature of the game, the nature of the world.

I just have to keep reminding myself of why I love film, why I wanted to make them. It's because I love stories, I love to be taken on an adventure, I love to be thrilled, moved, engaged, surprised. And I love being able to give that to other people. Nothing in this world delights me more then seeing a great film (OK, maybe my daughter - but I'm talking in the context of film... you know what I mean!) I watched 13 Assassins a couple of weeks ago, I absolutely loved it LOVED it! And it came at the right time. It was a reminder. Great films always are.

That's the reason. To do something good. Regardless of the crap that you have to go through. The assholes you encounter. The drudgery, hardship and humiliation you are forced to endure daily. It's about the film. It's about what goes up on the screen and what you give to an audience. That's all it was ever about. That's the beacon of light in the dark, and it comes from a projector, shining out onto to 50 foot screen to a gathered crowd in the dark full of anticipation and excitement. It's for them. No one else. Not the idiot trying to stop you, standing in your way, saying NO NO NO. It's for that 9 year-old kid, seeing Back to the Future for the first time and suddenly realising that's why he was born. To do that.

So I'm going to finish my film. I'm going to keep trying to make more films. I'm not going to let anyone stand in my way... especially me.

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