Friday, June 05, 2009

Reflective Shadows

Hello my little pack of voyeurs

The week has been full of real ups and downs - you know the kind of thing? I usually earmark it as post-shoot crash week: it's when I [try to] relax a bit, ease off fifth gear and then suddenly feel a general fight of optimism vs despondency about the future.

I have been holed up in an edit suite for the majority of the week and although we're making headway with the edits of "Hostile" and "Runner", I am an impatient kinda girl and want it all done and finished yesterday. Still, never mind, we're getting there - although the 2 minute 20 second limit and PG/U certification for Virgin Media Shorts has thrown quite a few issues for me to battle with - especially with regard to "Hostile". But one thing is for sure: there really is so much beautiful footage for both films, I will definitely be completing two edits for each.

Then I sit there, staring at the edit screen wondering if these are the films I set out to make? Yes, they are totally - and that's good - but will they appeal to anyone? I have no idea. It's a weird place to be, but I am not making films for any reason except to stretch myself, download some artistic visions to make room for fresh ones, ease my insatiable creative hunger and also, because a few years back, I committed to a 180 degree career change to behind the camera. 

Having spent 17 years in front of the camera (yes, I was a mere child...), I also spent my 'fallow periods' working in costume design, art depts, indie production, BBC production contracts, PA-ing to various Producers and assisting various Directors, Exec Assistant in PR, Marketing and HR - as well as the obligatory waitressing and bar work. None of this I regret, as it has given me an in-depth background knowledge of "business", what everyone is 'doing' and more importantly, what they should be doing in any given situation: it also means I do not suffer fools gladly. But does all that make me a good filmmaker? Again, no idea, and that's the honest truth. So far, the noises about the rough edits have been positive but that's no guarantee of anything; on the other hand, if I am just trying to satisfy my artistic integrity, then why am I bothered about success? Well, actually I'm not, but like most people, I have bills and a boring mundanity to upkeep, and would like to up the income levels from what I love doing the most: and that, my learned colleagues, is telling stories - in a literary and visual sense.

So, here I am, a shiny new and updated CV in hand and my eye on the market. I don't have a gob-droppingly amazing showreel or a long list of credits to my name as a writer, director and/or producer, but I do have a small neat package plus vision, drive, commitment and - hopefully - ability. Over the last month or so, my quest has taken me to Spain and back where I have had meetings about a fairly long term contract that may or may not materialize, and on the slightly less hot but just as sunny (kind of) and far more local side, I am looking forward to meetings regarding the development of one of my feature pitches and a drama-documentary for TV. As usual, lots of ifs and buts, however, opportunities all the same.

Hand on heart, I can say I have had the best time so far this year and one way or another, it has already proven to be a real turning point for me. Juggling this, plus my [nearly] two year old boy has been a tough test, but I've come out the other side unscathed. The boy also seems pretty grounded I am glad to say, although he keeps looking for "Hostile" & "Runner" Production Designer, Jess Alexander, under the spare bed, which is a little bit of a worry as I don't recall her hiding there in particular. I'm sure it's all down to the sharing of "In The Night Garden" stickers over the breakfast table.

I really look forward to unearthing the secrets currently clutched closely to the breast of the next six months of 2009.

Ever onwards.

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