Last night I met up with some film makers from Bath who had responded to my shout outs for crew and collaboration on Shooting People and Talent Circle. Five showed up and we were a really mixed bag of ages and experience and had a brilliant evening. Everyone is really keen to be involved so I’m finally going ahead. Yay! They are mainly all free all the time too which is just perfect and one of them is another woman and she is going to be my right hand man and has just come off making her own first short film so has lots of advice and handy hints.
I contacted them all using my writing name MJ Hermanny and without exception, they all thought I was a man, even after I emailed them the little detail that I would be wearing a checked trilby with a huge feather stuck in it – they just thought I would be a flamboyant man! Hilarious. I wonder how many would have turned up if they thought I’d been female. The shock on a couple of the older, more experienced film maker’s faces amused me greatly. They all stayed though.
I plan to shoot a found footage short which is currently in an anonymous competition so I can’t name it yet but it should be ‘easy’ to film and I wrote it specifically to be something that could be made with a very small cast and crew.
Today I will meet with a member of staff to sort out all the insurance and risk assessment issues with using non-students – thankfully, the fact that I’m also a member of staff means that there isn’t too much red tape to deal with. I can’t wait to set up the auditions.
This week I’ve managed to write 30 pages of my new feature script, 2 x 2 page short scripts around the theme of love for the London Screenwriter’s Festival competition. A 7 page short for Script Fest competition, I’m in the middle of a 15 minute play for a competition in response to a book called The Jilted Generation which I happened to have read and I must get my paid 10 page script first draft out by Sunday. And my essay – I have to write 3000 words on the marketing strategy I will employ for my final script and the essay must contain interviews from industry professionals and their advice. So, today I plan to email several writers, a script editor, a producer and a sales agent. I also need to find a manager to get in touch with – if anyone knows of one please give me shout!
I’ve seen tonnes of films recently but just can’t seem to find the time to review them. The two that I can’t recommend highly enough are Dead Man’s Shoes by Shane Meadows – I kept putting this off and putting it off, thinking it would be really violent and it has violence in it but it is unbelievably moving. It’s a great moral tale and the performances, especially Toby Kebbell (Rocknrolla) in his first film role, are just fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed This Is England some time ago too when I didn’t think I would.
The other knock-out film which I just can not get out of my head and which had scenes in it that I found very difficult to watch is Tyrannosaur by Paddy Considine (star of Dead Man’s Shoes). It moved me more than any film has ever moved me and I felt emotions that were uncomfortable and shed tears for characters who had done reprehensible things. Unbelievably excellent script and extraordinary performances from Peter Mullan and Olivia Coleman.
Mirrormask – all images of this film look amazing but on screen they just look low budget.
I also watched a very strange film written by Neil Gaiman called MirrorMask. It’s kind of experimental I guess, a fantasy film on a low British budget with the Jim Henson Company involved. Very odd. I don’t think I liked it very much.
I’ve also just read a fantastic book called Phallic Panic: Film, Horror and the Primal Uncanny by Barbara Creed- all about psychology and film monsters. I’m on the lookout now for the companion piece called Monstrous Feminine. Horror in film still fascinates me even though it rarely scares me and it is still the most popular genre.
Right, I must go and do filmy stuff – I’m hoping that now that I’ve got far too much to do I’ll actually get loads more done as I’ll have to focus more – instead of wondering how I’ll work on one thing all day, I’ll be charging around like a cocaine chicken getting ten things done at once. We shall see.