I'm working on a new script. It doesn't have a title yet. It's shooting in 7 weeks and has to be finished in about 9 weeks. It's probably the fastest turn around on a film I've ever done! As mentioned in the last update this is the short film project with the Ablevision Ireland Group. A fantastic group of people who share a passion for just Doing Things! Their a fearless bunch of people, who are open, friendly, interested and inspired.
Building a story for this one has been interesting, and a completely new way of writing for me. For the last two sessions I've mainly been sitting in and listening. I've talked a little, suggested a little, but mainly just listened very closely and picked up on the reoccurring themes within the discussions.
Week one Audrey, the group leader, went round the circle and asked basic questions like; 'What are likes?' 'What are your dislikes?' 'What are you pet hates?' - mine was Queue jumpers! - that kind of thing. The main one was 'What are your hopes?' What came out of that was largely a desire for Independence. These guys really want to be independent, to have their own place, freedom and responsibility. As someone said, "We're capable people."
We also asked about what kind of theme people would like to explore, what might make a good film, one of the group, Stephen, suggested Homelessness. So we talked about that for a while. Audrey asked the group why some people might become homeless. We touched on drug use, alcoholism, money problems. But we want to narrow it down and try to find a positive message, and something we could explore that was relevant to the group and their own situation and experience.
Then Ariana said 'Just to be difficult', that a person might leave home to be difficult, because they didn't want to do what their parents, or carers, told them. Someone else talked about leaving because someone was being too strict, or over protective. And there it was... From everything we talked about over the two sessions, and some key suggestions, a story appeared.
It's a story about a young couple who love each other but can't be together because one isn't being properly cared for and hates his home life and the other has an overprotective parent who wont let them be together. They just want to be together and find independence. So the run away.
None of this was my idea. Audrey guided the discussion. This themes appeared and I my job was to react to what everyone was saying, find the story within it all and then put some structure to it. And now to write the script of course, which I'm working on at the moment.
I need to have the script finished for next week. Then we start auditioning everyone for the parts. Then we have to find locations, of which there are several. All heading for an end of March shoot so I can get it edited in the first week of April, in lieu of the arrival of my second child in the second week in April and the deadline for the festival we're enter at the end of April.
I'm enjoying it, and going into a new film is always exciting and interesting, and of course - challenging! This one just has some new challenges for me. It certainly has me on my toes. I'm sure we'll be able to pull it off in time. It's a tall order. But there seems to be a good team there. Onward!