Finished shooting Joshua Glenn’s short film “Some Riot” two weeks ago now and the first cut of this is down. It needs some work – some pick-ups and refinement but it’s coming along nicely. We’re hoping to have it finished by the end of September but in the meantime have a look at the promo poster I’ve just done for the film. Joshua is rather please with it, as am I.
It’s just a case of thinking about a strategy for festivals once the film is completed. Which leads me to…
A Sense of Disappointment
Really disappointed that Georgia’s Angel was turned down for both Encounters at Bristol and Raindance this last week; and Land of Dreams was similarly turned down for Encounters.
In fact, a little bit annoyed to be quite honest.
But reflecting on this I came to the conclusion that, really, despite all of the planning for both films, what was never taken into consideration was a promotional plan. It has just been the case that I’ve submitted the films to whichever festivals popped up in the sidebar on WithOutABox. And here is the lesson, one I often repeat at the start of the film-making cycle and one I have now officially been burned by at the end.
Then PLAN A BIT MORE.
Then PLAN A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN THAT.
I have failed to make sure these films were targeted at the right places. Take Georgia’s Angel, for example. Our test audience feedback from the UK was largely successful. However, the Canadian audience were a bit more challenging, in large part because of the nature of the film and – believe it or not – the accents of the cast.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Of course, this is not something I should’ve ignored. The film appeals more to a local (i.e. UK) audience an maybe it should’ve been submitted to small festivals there first to build up a head of steam.
But what is the problem with Land of Dreams? Feedback has been universally positive for that. I think the issue here has been the lack of planning and preparation. The WOAB profile is not particularly detailed and there is nothing in the way of a plan of direction for the film at festivals.
So… that’s this week job then!
“Drought burns basins to dust,
Light rain is a dew of mockery.
Receive without complaint,
Work with fate.”
This verse is from a much favoured book I have called 365 Tao, written by Deng Ming-Dao. I’m not in any way a pure Taoist, but there is an obvious link between Zen Buddhism and the Taoist ideals that come from much further East, and so I’ve been much interested in this philosophy for years now.
Marching ever onwards with the Black Parade of depression I’ve found myself focussing quite intensely on my own beliefs within Buddhism, and my own practice. Meditating on a daily/morning basis allows me to reduce all my thoughts and thinking to a simple practice, be it counting the breath, be it focussing on one particular thing. Of course, there has been a lot to think about in the past few months. Dragging myself out of the black pit that was January and February and finding the energy and determination to start Continue reading
Chatting with my collaborator and producer Rob Yeomans a few weeks ago and we were discussing possible ideas and stories to work on next. We started chatting around an idea that I came up with in a talk to students at Wickersley School and Sports College last year. I was talking about pitching and presenting to funders and needed a model of how to pitch an idea to an audience, how to develop a basic idea for a film or story and then distill that down into a sentence or log-line, then take that and open it up again and develop the detail. This is something I’ve done countless times, with The Secret, Georgia’s Angel and more recently with Strawberry Spring(more on this later this week).
The basic idea was a tale of revenge, wrought by a bullied pupil and his alter ego on those who have tormented him. The revenge grows in extremity until the bullied pupil realises he must overcome his alter ego in order to keep his sanity and the love and trust of the one person who believes in him.
It’s a kind of Faustian tale – the bully makes a pact with the Devil to save his own soul but comes to regret it later. The conflict is whether he can overcome his inner demon and save himself without the Devil’s help; and even if he does will it have been too late?
Rob and I viewed this as a feature length film, made largely as a collaboration, probably crowd-funded and made very quickly, probably over this summer. I’ve been working on a basic treatment and I’m hoping we can secure the services of a quality and experienced screen-writer to bring the characters and events to life. I might even have a teaser poster sometime soon. Hope so.
P.S: We bounced around different titles for the film sat in the sunshine on my back garden too – Taste was one option but that sounded too much like an uber-chic cookery book to me; Tongue was another but both of us agreed that had certain pornographic connotations that we didn’t want to see in the title.
We settle on Bite, and a tag-line of “Who do you want to eat today?”. Watch this space.
Be for the glory, not the degradation
We can work for the glory of humankind or we can try to bring it crashing down into degradation.
Shakespeare is for the glory, a crack house is for the degradation.
A village fete on a warm summer’s afternoon is for the glory, stealing someone’s purse for the change is for the degradation.
And it doesn’t have to be tame; a parachute jump for charity is for the glory, pornography is for the degradation – but an erotic movie can be for the glory. Get the idea?
Anything that makes us more than we are, makes us strive for perfections, improves us, challenges us, excites us in a good way, makes us rise above our base nature and brings us out into the sunshine is for the glory.
So what shall it be? The glory or the degradation? Well for the glory of course. The fear is that people think this is all about being good and that in itself has a bad press. All our lives we have been told that being good is a bad thing, somehow dull, for the meek and namby-pamby, the sandal wearers, the holier-than-thou brigade. Being good hasn’t got a lot going for it.
Well, being good, being for the glory can be a private thing. Not a soul has to know. Keep it quiet and you can just get on being good. Brag about it and you might be seen as a goody-goody. Interfere with others and try to make them good, you’ll a do-gooder.
Just make a decision – be for the glory. Say nothing.
With thanks to the works of Richard Templar, from whom this is adapted.