This production diary will consist (hopefully) of my sporadic progress and development through multiple productions, including; short films, web series, feature films, as well as any other project I am currently working on. I intend to offer a useful insight into my work flow, one post at a time.
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Tuesday 9th March 2021
It's been a busy month since I last posted. I'm finally settled into my new house, which is always a time I'm glad to see the back of. And work has fully kicked off. As well as showreels now booked until June, I was offered the chance to edit a local feature film, titled High Water. I've made good progress so far, finding time in-between showreel shoots, to produce the first quarter of the film ready for the director's feedback and approval before it goes on to the composer. Editing a feature, at home, is probably my ideal job - but these opportunities don't come along too often, so I'm making sure I enjoy it.
Perhaps the biggest news I have to share is that The Watchful Eye is now fully released and available online! It feels like such an age since I started this project, and admittedly there were times I thought it would never get finished. I wrote the scripts at the end of 2019 thinking it would be a relatively small project to keep me busy over the winter months. A year and a half later, and it's finally here! I am super proud of it, and it's by far the largest project I've taken on thus far. I also think it's turned out really well, and it has taught me a lot about structuring a larger narrative - ideal learning for future projects. If you've listened to it, be sure to let me know what you think - I'd love to hear from you!
As things currently stand, the aim is to produce four short films this year, and possible a web-series (if I can afford to), before eventually making a feature (or features) in 2022 after I come back from America. The feature will likely be one of the trilogy I am currently writing, or Blah Blah Blah (which still remains a favourite of mine). The second in the trilogy is half written, but I am likely to start over as I feel it's lost momentum (I stopped because of the move) and have since had a few more ideas which will improve the script.
Otherwise, not much else to report - I am working hard on improving my skills as a filmmaker, and I'm seeing good results. I can't wait to take that next step up and start producing features regularly.
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Monday 8th February 2021
Here we go again. Another genuine attempt at keeping a production diary throughout an entire production, from start to finish. If you've been following my writings over the past few years you will know that I've tried several times to produce my first feature film. There was Brick Wall, The Cult of Nigel, The Burglars, and more recently, Blah Blah Blah. Each project had both it's good and bad points. But they were mostly bad. Not bad, as in, bad-bad, but bad as in, there's-absolutely-no-way-I-am-ever-going-to-be-able-to-produce-this-script sort of way. I am very much an independent filmmaker. To date, no one has ever paid me to produce one of my own films - although my day job now consists of me producing footage for other people, but not necessarily for myself.
I always knew it was going to be difficult to produce a feature film. I was 25 when I started this production diary for The Cult of Nigel. I am now 32. And I am still feature-film-less. In many ways I am glad I never ploughed ahead with those handful of projects, as the likely outcome would have been me working for years with little, if any, return. That's still a stark probability at my age, and with my next attempt, but at least now I feel I am a much (much!) better filmmaker. I have produced around about eighteen short films, and worked on three (soon to be four) feature films. My experience is better, which will hopefully result in a better film. I've also got a keen eye for following other local feature-film projects and learning from both their successes and failures. I could definitely write a book on What Not To Do! But here we are again. A bag of ideas and no obvious way of making them.
Blah Blah Blah seemed like the most likely option. A structurally interesting idea of having one short story following into the next, eventually creating a whole narrative, seemed doable - although I'd have to produce twelve short films, which is still a tall order. I managed to film two of the stories before the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to that. In hindsight, this was fortunate for me because I didn't particularly like how the first two stories turned out - so I scrapped them. I then set about re-writing Blah Blah Blah from scratch, which I started a couple of months ago. The script has only received a once over, and I intend to do at least one more pass before deciding on whether this is my first feature - notably the story ends in a place I wasn't expecting, so I want to go back and thread that idea throughout the stories. The next idea I had was to produce a trilogy of feature films (ambitious, much?) which only involves two characters in each. I've written the first one, which is currently titled Hostage (this will likely change), and currently half way through the second, which is called Breakdown (this name may not change). Once I've finished the trilogy of feature scripts (the next is titled Jump), I will decide which to make first, if any.
There are positives and negatives about the current lockdown situation we find ourselves - the positives are that we have time on our side. Time we otherwise wouldn't have had. And let's not talk about the negatives.
Until next time!