In response to the previous post about making a film in a day for no money, it is possible, and I've done it a lot. I'm doing it again soon, in fact, I have three of these films lined up - one in February, March and April.
I've also been thinking in terms of the Pandemic! In an effort to keep people safe, but I'm also looking at it as a creative challenge. It helps that this kind of filmmaking is designed to be shot in one day, on one location with just two actors, so I'm limiting risk there, but I'm going a little further too.
The first of these films is called "The Valley", starring Greame Coughlan and Oisin De Lange, and is effectively two separate monologues. I should mention this film has received funding from the Arts Fund with the Louth County Council, known as Create Louth. I'll talk more about that at the end. It could be done for nothing, but this way I can pick up some equipment and pay the actors, which is always nice.
More about the film. So, it's about a 34 year-old man reading a letter from his father, who committed suicide 23 years before, when he was 34. We travel through time to see it from both points of view, the Son reading the letter, the Father writing the letter. But they meet in the middle. As the letter is being read.
So they are completely separate, except for this part, which I decided to shoot outside, on a beach. At first we think the Son is just out for a walk, but it is revealed that this is where the Father took his own life, and reappears to read the letter to his son.
All I need for this is the set up previously pictured, and two actors. Nothing more. Now I know I could do this on a RED or an ARRI, light it, get a sound recordist, spend a week on it and make it look like something from the BBC or something. But that's unrealistic for most of us, and we have to stop thinking that way (for now) because right now we just want to get stuff made, get stuff out there, tell the stories inside us. This is the way to do that. See two posts previous, "Dream Big... or small". We do what we can with what we have. Maybe that's not much right now, but just because your poor doesn't mean you can't be honest.
Next will be "Life Had Other Plans", starring Andrea Coyne and Darren Behan, and tells the story of two strangers who strike up a conversation in a cafe, about life, approaching middle-age and forgotten dreams. Difference is, they do it back to back, they never look at each other. It's almost as if they're a voice in each other's head, or an angel on each other's shoulder. It's an intimate piece, and creates an intimate environment for the characters, because they never leave their own space. And an intimate environment for the actors so they're not spitting covid all over each other... you know what actors are like.
Again, iPhone, two actors, one location, one day. I wrote the script in an afternoon, it's about 7 pages long. It's a very simple idea. A sketch. I'm not out to set the world on fire, just tell an honest story that might connect with some people. Then it's on to the next one. Speaking of which...
That's called "Sacred Heart", starring Andrea Coyne and Bill Murphy, and tells the story of two divorcees who meet on a taxi ride and strike up a conversation about kids, partners, loneliness. This one isn't mine, Andrea Coyne wrote it and sent it to me. I loved it and saw it, it fell right in line with what i'm trying to do with these short films. Two actors, one location, one day. We shoot in April, to try and catch the cherry blossoms.
I have three more of these scripts, Shadow, Oak and Smile. I wrote those two years ago, but didn't quite have my head on straight. But hopefully, if these three work out, we can find a rhythm and just keep going with them. For me it's about telling simple, honest stories, but it's also about making films that are stress free. When I'm stressed I don't want to make films, and when it starts to creep in, my energy and enthusiasm leaves me and I don't want to do it anymore.
Now I know films are stressful things to do, but I don't care about that, these are my films and I'm going to do them my way, you wanna come at me with rules and stress, you can keep going pal! Do your thing, I'll do mine. There really is no need to over complicate these stories.
So yeah, keep is simple. Script. Phone. Mic. Two Actors. One Location. One Day. Done.
I mentioned funding. If you do need a little bit of funding, to pay for equipment or pay actors for the day, there are ways: 1. Crowdfunding. 2. Personal Loan. 3. Your Local Council.
Look around locally for funding opportunities, does your local council have an arts fund? Are there competitions? What about banks? They like to get involved at a community level. What about local businesses or business people, do they support the arts? Write up a proposal for you film. Top sheet has the synopsis, your plan for it. Then the script itself. Bios and Headshots of your actors, your CV, a budget breakdown (This doesn't have to be detailed, you're not looking for thousands, €150 a day for each actor, €300 for gear €200 for festival fees) Outline your plan for the film after it's made, hit filmfreeway.com and find the festival you want to enter, maybe all the Irish festival around the world, there are a lot and they're always on the look out for new Irish shorts. You can try to sell it to RTE through Short Screen, or ask Network Ireland Television to consider it, they are a sales agent for shorts and can get more sales and get you into more festivals.
BUT DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU!!! MAKE YOUR FILM!!!
Enjoy the process, have fun, because if you're not having fun, what's the point?! We're making movies for crying out loud, not going down a mine!!!