Most of what I have written so far here has been about what the past, whether it be photos I have taken or video I have shot or edited for clients. Today I want to write down what I aim to accomplish in the future. Right now I have two personal projects that I want to push forward with. The first is a short film called Chasing Dreams which I hope to shoot in the next couple of months. At this point it will be a low key affair, written specifically to be quickly shot with limited gear and artists.
The second project is a feature film called Stealing Lives, again written to to be shot with limited resources. This being a feature film is a lot more complicated in so many ways. Stealing lives has been gestating for several years but up until now I didn’t feel the end of story felt emotionally right.
So why now, why write this?
Well, ideas and dreams are great by but worthless unless you do something about them. Da Vinci had many great ideas that were independently discovered many years later because he either didn’t do anything about them or kept them secret. It’s taken me a along time to get to this point of realisation, thing’s don’t happen simply because of ideas, thy take work and determination.
So how did I get here?
I went to university to study Contemporary Media Practice, which is exactly what it sounds like, a piecemeal course with no focus or real point. Why did I pick this course? The equipment, they had real film equipment and I wanted to make a film, which is exactly what I did. What I should have done is made more of this opportunity but film cost and even back in the heady days of grants, money was tight especially living away from home in London.
Following university I was luck enough to get a job on a feature film as a Runner/Driver paid the princely sum of one hundred pounds a week. It was a great opportunity to learn how films are made, all the suff were weren’t told at university, such as what everyones job entails university, how to use professional equipment and set etiquette. Being a floor runner once is a must for everyone who what’s to either make films or work anywhere in the industry, unless you have an idea what everyone does, and how films are put together you will struggle to either get on or be useful. I recently worked with a Production Manager on a low budget feature film that didn’t know the difference between a Second camera and a Second Unit, to say this wasn’t helpful is quite an understatement and was indicative of things that followed, carnage. I must have aged a year for every day I worked with her.
Once you have worked as a floor runner you need to choose what’s next, become a technician or being a creative. Money is always a big factor, if you’re a technician chances are you will work for more days than a creative especially paid. I chose or fell into being a runner and then an Assistant Director for over ten years, but quite often having a second job to fill in the down time. The second job filled in the time between industry jobs and allowed me to drift in and out of the industry working as an assistant director. Every job took me further away from what I wanted to do, but at the same time every job taught me more either about making films or about life.
Ten years later and I found myself getting paid redundant from the “second job.” That was about eight months ago. Since then I am back to being forging my way down new avenues, going back to writing, taking photos, making stuff and working with interesting, creative people. The result of which so far include my the two scripts that I am now trying to bring to the screen as well as working on many other projects for some talented people telling interesting stories. After all it is stories that help us define ourselves and the world around us, light our imagination and entertain, whether oral or visual through pictures and moving images. I can’t think of a better pursuit to be involved in.
So unlike Da Vinci I shan’t be hiding my ideas with mirrored handwriting in secret code and instead launching my two ambitious projects into the world to live or die. Whatever happens it’s going to be interesting either way.