Quest For Fire… I Mean, Film

In the never-ending quest for inspiration I got in touch with some old friends recently. Firstly, though, I called the editor who’s helping with the never-ending saga of Fate & Fortune. No, it’s still not done yet. No, they can’t get into an edit suite. They’re working 16 hour days on a feature and it’s a long round of interminable screenings and minor changes and so on and on (and on). I wait and wait (and wait). Try not to scream.

Andy, the guy who did music for me, came round to pick up his copy of Last Train the other day. He brought round an Indian curry, a quality one, and we sat and chatted. It was good. I’ve said before, when Andy says something I always feel I should listen because he’s so often right, particularly when it’s about film making. This time he said, “When’s the screening? You’ve got to have a screening!” He is right. I’ve been holding out for Whatever Pictures to organise it but the reality is, it’s down to me. Like everything else.

I’ve been watching quite a few other short films lately, as well as entering Last Train in festivals. From what I’ve seen, I can honestly say that what I’m making seems to be a cut above what most of the competition is doing. I don’t want to get big headed and I’m trying hard not to, because I have seen some superb work, especially from Whatever (my coproducers), but on the whole, I think I’m doing pretty well. I guess we’ll see when Last Train actually gets into a few festivals. And when Fate & Fortune is finished.

I spoke to another friend, Ronni, a director/editor who has just finished producing a short film for someone else. In the space of four months her film is finished. Mine has taken more than two years. I shake my fist at the universe. I loaned Ronni a copy of Last Train and she sent me an email saying really nice things about it. I mean really nice. I was blown away. I need to get these things done. I need to move on.

Keep… pushing… boulder… up… hill…

So between them, Andy and Ronni made me feel like, yes, it’s all possible. Drink a can of Dr Pepper and bounce around the room on the caffeine buzz. I call Jill, who helped me start up a cable TV station years ago and who went on to work in motion pictures starting as an assistant to the producer on a little feature called Trainspotting. You may have heard of it.

Having worked on the production side for quite a few years now, Jill’s been directing a couple of shorts of her own. I actually catch her on the phone which is remarkable in itself given the amount of time she’s working or out of the country. It’s easier to get an audience with the Pope. We talk about directing. Her first short is finished, she has an agent and is now directing on a TV series called HollyOaks for UK Channel4. “Hey, that’s fantastic!” I exclaim (because it is). I’m genuinely pleased for her. “How did you get an agent?” I ask (because I want to know). “I invited them to my screening.” Doh.

Doh doh doh.

Yes, Andy was right. He’s always right. I need a screening. I scratch my head and wonder where I’ll find a list of agents. Ping! A light bulb goes on over my head. I joined the Director’s Guild this year. Surely they must have a list of agents? I phone them. Yes, there’s a list in the directory of members, at the back. Thanks. Yes, the information was under my nose all the time. Frantic search ensues for said directory which eventually turns out to be in a box under my bed. Most people would keep porn under the bed. I keep film files. It’s come to this. Sad.

I watch some more short films made by other people and procrastinate some more. I phone the editor to see if by any slim chance Fate & Fortune can be finished. I find other people to blame rather than pushing really really hard for myself. I move in increments and yet, and yet… Jill’s career moves inspire me as does Andy’s passion for film making and other people’s reaction to what I’ve done so far. I work on some treatments for promos and kid’s television in the meantime. It’s getting there.

The quest continues.

November 26th:

I called the editor who’s helping with the never-ending saga of Fate & Fortune

And I called them again today. Got the answerphone, left a message. I also tried my cousin’s husband who’s an engineer at a facilities company where they have all this fantastic edit equipment. It’s a tenuous link but, hey, what’s there to loose? I actually get through to his mobile and catch him at a railway station. He says he’ll ask around and get back to me in a couple of days although he doesn’t actually know any of the editors there.

Meanwhile I send out copies of Last Train to Slamdunk and Los Angeles International Film Festival. Thanks to Markux for giving me the gen about those. I also spend more time procrastinating by deciding to use better quality stills which involves finding the CD rom with the originals on and pulling them up in Photoshop. These are ridiculously big jpegs so that plus surfing and using MS Word is too much for the computer to handle. It generates an out of memory error and keels over a couple of times before I can reduce everything to manageable proportions.

Fun has been booked for later in the week.