Happy New Year!
I thought I’d start this year by recapping last year. Why do I think last year was so good when I had a family bereavement in January & I was assaulted by 2 'youths' in August? I think, at least for the past year, I've been feeling pretty well, and simply didn't want to let things get in the way of what I was doing - possibly because I had such a terrible 2010. The other reasons are work & funding.
I've done more this year than I ever have, starting with The Freewheelers Theatre Company, who I've been working with since 2007. One of the things I've enjoyed with them this year is that my writing / story telling skills have been used with the Uscreen project. Working with ten students we came up with a zombie story that was fun to plan and make, with some of the Freewheelers being mentors.
Perhaps the best validation of my work came from being selected for Upstream, which was held as part of the Brighton Festival. This was an amazing experience and I met a couple of people who I would love to collaborate with in the future.
I was also involved in Driving Inspiration, a huge project which saw me teaching in schools across the south east.
I met lots of inspiring people and taught 42 young people about filmmaking, making 12 films along the way.
Sync South East came to an end with the Pitch! event. I got to show rushes of my new film The Dog & The Palace, and made some good contacts.
In August I visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This was my 1st time at the Fringe & I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was also great to see the shows, both stand up & theatre.
I was selected for The New Voices Programme in August too, which was all about writing, and with that in September I attended Decibel in Manchester for the 1st time.
This was another great experience & along with writing reviews of shows, I suddenly felt as though I'd just discovered a new art form called 'Theatre'.
As I'm no stranger to theatre (honest!) this was a bit of a surprise, but I think the shows I saw were so varied that it was a mini revelation to see what people could achieve through a diverse mix of art and storytelling.
September also had another highlight as I worked with Rachel Gadsden & Deaf Men Dancing for the first time, filming their workshops at Stoke Mandeville hospital.
My 'personal projects' this year also grew in strength. In April I received Arts Council funding to develop my installation ‘The Dog & The Palace’. I've blogged about this throughout the year.
And in November I received more funding from ACE to complete The installation. This will see me filming in somewhere that looks like a royal palace, and working directly with more people in the film industry this month & next.
I also did well in my writing, taking my wedding comedy feature script onto the next draft, which I now want to take to the next level.
I've also done well on two other scripts, an hour long spec TV script written with Mark Lever, and my 2nd feature screenplay.
So this week I need to hit the ground running, working with others & teaching. Oh, and attending the Paralympics closing ceremony. It'll be a fun year.
This post was written on Friday 23 July 2010
Fifth day of shooting Moving In and I am realising why film is not art. I'm also realising that it takes a whole load of people (and we don't have a whole load of people) to make things happen, and I also realise that I'm coping relatively well with the responsibility, as the crew we do have is very good. The actors are good too.
Yesterday was a bit of a f*** up as we'd planned to do a load of scenes in the kitchen with all the actors, and for various reasons some of them couldn't make it. There's so much pre-production that hasn't been done or will be done last minute that it's a bit of a problem, along with people trying to do other things besides making the film.
What I am enjoying though (and what is art) is watching the actors perform, and working with the crew who then come up with ideas for how its shot, and me with my own ideas telling the actors what I want. Again, as in most of my films, this hasn't happened very often, as (most of) the actors we have are good.
Over a week long shoot, by yesterday I felt a hell of a lot more able to tell actors what I wanted, to say 'no' to some of their ideas and to remind them to say things if they do some thing that works well / sounds good. One scene had to be improvised between us as the locations changed last week, but we got it done on the day.
So we have about 20 pages left to do over the next 3 days, and as much as I don't want to tempt fate, we may not even need the last day at all.
Though I expect we will.
NOTE: We did need the last day of filming, though that was only five scenes, including a reshoot of one scene we'd already done.