Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tempting Fate, Making Plans and Losing Control

Three weeks since my last blog post, and what a three weeks it's been! Holy crap!!! Sometimes life just goes into overdrive and it's in those moments you realise you have no real control over anything, you just have to hang on as best you can and hope you don't go spinning off into oblivion and beyond.

I had my trip to the US, which I didn't really talk about. It was a mixed bag. The people were great. Lovely lovely people who I can't speak highly enough of. The weather, job prospects and animals, less so! I got stranded on day one, ignored by the film festival I've screened 4 times, won an award and met my wife at on day two, stood up for a planned meeting, having taken a bus out of town, on day three, oh, and bitten by a dog over breakfast that same day! So the week kind of went that way.

Over all, I don't know, I haven't really been able to process the week given then ensuing weeks, which I will talk about next. Let's just say I didn't run home saying, "We have to move to Indiana tomorrow!!!" No offense Indiana! There are some truly lovely people there. But Indianapolis, I don't know that I could do it for long. It's got a nice, if not somewhat quite, downtown, nice cultural centres, great museums. But I guess I just didn't vibe with the place. But we'll see. I admit I went during an ice storm in february! Might have been a completely different story if I'd gone mid-July!

So I get home and everyone's sick. My wife and daughter both have colds, high temperatures, aches and pains and just feeling rotten. This lasts for a full week. I get it for three days but it passes quickly. Meantime my daughter has to take an antibiotic, the first of her young life. My wife develops a respiratory infection and everyone just seems to be getting sicker and sicker.

Thankfully my daughter gets better, but my wife doesn't. She gets very sick. And two Wednesday's ago we end up in hospital. After a day of agony the doctors finally diagnose her with acute pancreatitis, a condition so rare in pregnant women that no one in the hospital has experience with it. After a great deal of consultation from various departments it's decided that the best course of action in the induce labour and deliver our baby early, 5 weeks early. We are completely unprepared for this. In fact, two night before my wife was worried that she would be sick for her labour and that the house wouldn't be ready, I laughingly said "Of course we will! It's five weeks away, you'll be better next week and we'll have loads of time..." we were in the hospital the next day. What is it they say about tempting fate!? Holy shit lads!

This happened on Wednesday, we get the decision on Thursday at 9 am, at 11am I have to be in the local Arts Centre to audition actors for the film I'm making with Ablevision TOMORROW. I've already blown a day off from sickness, so I feel like I can't blow this off. Auditioning actors and films are the furthest things from my mind at this moment. But I go down. See the actors. Make a decision and I'm back in the hospital in an hour and half.

My wife is induced on Friday morning. It goes off without a hitch. Best case scenario in a dreaded situation and our son is born on Friday afternoon. It's a happy occasion, the happiest, in the midst of a truly nightmarish week where everything we hoped would not happen, sickness in labour, induce labour, premature birth, happened, we're are overjoyed. But he's quickly taken off to special care, where he spends the next 9 days and meantime my wife is still recovering from the pancreatitis, as well as the birth now... oh and the respiratory infection which is still hanging around.

And again, I still have to think about the Ablevision first rehearsal on Thursday, while worrying for the entire week about getting my little man home. We get told on Wednesday night that we can take him home on the Thursday! Of course! Talk about timing. I go to the rehearsal. Goes well. I get out of there and on the steps of the building I get a call to say that actually he's not coming home today!

So we're back out in the unknown, and the shoot starts on Monday, tomorrow! And of course, par for the course, he arrives home today! Which is absolutely wonderful! I couldn't be happier! But I do kind of wish I didn't have to leave my wife alone with our 3 year-old and a new born the day after he arrives home from the hospital! I had planned to have the film shot and edited with 2 weeks to spare before he arrived! But you know what they say about making plans!

I'm not worried about the shoot at all. I think we're well prepared, we've spend a good while on the story and I have it visualised in my head. The schedule gives us plenty of time, so I'm looking forward to it. But the timing is just ridiculous! I'm looking forward to getting to the other side of it. I'm going to take a week off, relax, look after my family and then get down to editing. Phones off. Sign on the door reading: F&$@ OFF!!!

Meantime I'm looking into other projects. I Am Ireland is still a goer. Obviously I haven't had any time to push it. But I will. I'm thinking I might set up a booth locally so people can drop in off the street for a chat. I'm also looking at a couple of exciting projects for the summer, if I can find the time. There a short I'd like to do, a fan film I'd love to do and a feature that keeps popping into my head and nudging me in that direction! Like an old friend calling for a pint. It's tempting, but I know how the night's going to end! Plastered drunk and throwing up in a back alley on the way home! We'll see. I'll get this week over with a see how I feel. What's realistic!

I'm also looking at putting together an initiative to help local filmmakers. A community based filmmaker mentorship programme. Something to give young filmmakers in the town a bit of direction, advice and inspiration. So I've been talking to the local Arts Officer about that and there seems to be some interest. So I'll be working on that too over the next couple of weeks, putting it down on paper and then pushing it out. It's the kind of thing that could be rolled out anywhere.

So it's all go go go. Well, the ideas are! Life is getting in the way of the action part! But I'm sure it'll settle down... actually, I take that back, after the last four weeks I'm not sure of anything anymore! I'm hopeful, let's say!!!

I need to get back on Derelict too. I fear it's been set adrift and it feels somewhat dead in the water, I'm sorry to say. There just hasn't been any interest. Not from festival or distribution companies. Which is very disappointing and disheartening. I still think it's good and deserves the interest. But I just don't have the finances to push it! I'll have to find another way to get it out there. Otherwise it's just a waste of 3 years, €10,000 and the work of 20 good and talented people! Not to mention a crying bloody shame!!! If only there was some kind of national body set up to support filmmakers and help them get their films finished, marketed and seen... Oh well.

Alright. Better go check on my Son - My Son.

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