Saturday, June 27, 2009

Looking Back to Go Forward

Hello little ones - what's been happening around here, then? I've tried my best to keep peeking in on you all, but it has proven a bit difficult. Anyhow, here I am albeit for a little bit.

I've come over all reflective during the last week (the thought variety, not the mirroring type) whilst trying to tie up loose ends on various things that have been left all untidy in the far corners of Tenacious Towers North Wing. That's where I tend to pop bits and pieces, y'see - the 'to be confirmed / continued / finished / burned / useless exes' - that kind of thing, and every now and again I have to remove the dust sheets, sift through and tidy up. Because I have been fairly busy of late, ["Hark!" I hear you cry. "I had no idea - you should have said..!" ;0P ] I had to sit down and go back to January no less, in order to clear the decks for the next six months. I had so much shredding to do as a result, but it was fun to go through the last half year in draft form. But where, in God's name, has this year gone, I ask you? In a strange way, I don't feel as though I have achieved much at all, but to tell you the truth, I suppose I have now definitely started laying foundations for the way ahead.

The year started on a real high, having had my short, "Perfect", selected for development by Screen East for Digital Shorts. Although we went through the highs and lows together, my Little Miss Perfect insisted on not behaving herself and caused a lot of headaches and heartache, before falling at Becher's Brook and bailing out of the process. Disappointing as it was at the time, it was actually a blessing in disguise, as following fast on the heels of that news was the early development of my 360 degree cross platform programme outline, "Tweet the Dice", and "#twitstunt", the first snippet of filming for the feature documentary side of the same project. Now at a stage where I can start putting the final pieces of the project puzzle together and getting it 'out there', it's been a fascinating research process so far and I'm looking forward to the next step - I am sure we'll chat more about it at another point.

Before I had even finished the final title graphic for "#twitstunt" I had two short films chomping at the bit and went straight into preproduction on "Runner" and "Hostile" with the aim to shoot two shorts in two days. What I essentially wanted to do though, was shoot for four films in two days: a very short cut for Virgin Media Shorts and a looser cut of around five mins for each film. I planned my production days accordingly and we all pushed through the shot lists and schedules like lightning - a totally brilliant couple of days from what had developed into an amazing month in general. With the short versions of both films complete and in competition, and the long assemblies teetering on their edit, I have been enjoying the fun of writing again and two feature treatments have now gone out to find a home this week, one stateside and one closer to home, so I hope something comes of at least one.

On assessing people, places and events over the same period, quite a lot has been and gone too. One best boy buddy upped and left for the heat of Australia, whereas another just upped and left this mortal coil forever, which was really tough. From the sublime to the ridiculous, the untimely departure of my i-Phone made me realise that no-one actually uses their phone for just plain conversation anymore - we all seem to text, IM or email each other - and due to that fact, unless I've been at my 'puter, I have hardly communicated with anyone over the last fortnight. It's very odd. On the up side, I've been on various filmmaking courses and talks to brush up on old skills and learn new ones; attended the excellent "The Story Engine" in Darlington (more on that here); plus I've also gotten to know a ludicrous amount of new folks since January - some of whom have become very special and trustworthy friends already. Then of course, there's The Kid. He turned two a couple of weeks ago and upon being put up to the 'big boys' class at nursery, led a mini revolution up the slide with his girlfriend, causing them to be separated for influencing all the three-year olds to run riot. That's my boy. He also knows which are my films now too - which is very cool. "Hostile" seems to be his favourite at the moment because the bass in the surround mix nearly blows up Tenacious Towers, but I think he actually prefers battering his drum kit along to the music from "Runner". And oh, how I love that...

Even though I promised myself I would, I haven't managed to get to see many shows so far this year, which is really rather rubbish - so that's something I need to start rectifying very soon. However, my summer of music started for real just last night, nose being tickled by Brandon Flowers' feathery jacket in Hyde Park. The Killers really were rather good and the evening was everything I liked an outdoor concert to be.

All this aside, I have to admit, I'm looking forward to a bit of 'me' time in the near future, and so after I complete a little bit of work in Spain very soon, I have decided to give myself a tad of a break in that very place, to refuel before the next wave of production starts in late July, when I will be once again, gearing up to sign cheques and shout 'action'.

So, have I laid my foundations for the right path? No idea, buddy. Only time will tell. I'm just really enjoying the ride.

Catch you soon.