Wednesday, 12 August 2015


So, it's been a while...
I'm not going to pretend that this post isn't incredibly difficult to write. I'm not the kind of person who likes a burst of frenetic activity followed by radio silence - but essentially, I'm coming to realise, that's the kind of person I am.
To catch up; in February of this year we shot The Hiker. It was a 2 day shoot and I think I managed 6 hours sleep in 48. It was the most incredible couple of days; with 9 people on set, including the 2 cast members; the environment was intense and rapid and I came out of it literally bloodied and bruised but completely exhilarated. It wasn't of course perfect - shooting in the winter with a phenomenally ambitious shooting script - we ran out of light ∴ time - and because of that, the story I wrote wasn't the story we filmed but I have a feeling it won't be the last time that happens. As an actress, I also learnt first-hand what it was like to be a 'warm prop' (even as I was turning blue with cold lying on the forest floor during set up). It was however very, very funny working with my super talented best friend. I can't wait to do it all again next month.
In March I submitted my second MA assignment. A research paper on narrative structure in low budget, limited protagonist storytelling. I examined Breaking Upwards, Tiny Furniture and Your Sister's Sister. I ended up writing 10,258 words on the subject; tweeted about it - and Lynn Shelton favorited my tweet. I then died and went to mumblecore heaven.
In April; we entered the Sci-Fi 48 Hour Film Competition. Our title was Slap Down; our line of dialogue 'Some people worship it like a god, but there's no accounting for taste' and the prop was a survey. I think Vertti and I can both agree it's not the best of the shorts we've made (in fact it's awful) but we've definitely learnt a lot from the process so that in itself is important. Amazingly there are even some scenes in it that I genuinely like and can now be used in the show-reel we have planned; so I feel there is something to be gained from every opportunity I take in trying to be creative.

At the end of April, Nat and I dusted off our heels, threw on our glad-rags and attended the Raindance Independent Filmmaker's Ball at Café de Paris. It was an interesting experience, not least because every single person man who introduced themselves to us asked if we were actresses. Despite it being 2015, apparently as I have a vagina that's all I must be good because as people men were genuinely surprised when I told them I'd co-set up my own micro-budget film company; and wrote and produced films as well as acted in them. This isn't a paragraph about sexism, or rather it's not intentionally a paragraph about sexism, it's just what happened.
In May I completed a 20 page outline for my feature film. It was an enormous achievement as I started writing it about 9 months prior and had never completed the re-writes to a point where I actually had a finished story. In some ways I'm not massively proud of this (as I can't believe it took so long to actually write the outline) but in other ways I've probably never been prouder of myself as I finally committed to something for long enough to actually complete it. I also worked on my title and logline and put myself out there by inviting people to participate in a short survey about the aforementioned subject matter. Over 90 people were kind enough to take time out of their lives to complete it and I am forever grateful - even if my ego still stings when I reminisce over the extrodinarily blunt criticism I opened myself up to receive. The power of anonymity on the internet is a beautiful thing. I then submitted my 1st reflective report (of 4) towards my MA. At 54 pages, it came in at a beefy 17,916 words - but I was rewarded with my 3rd distinction of the degree, which I celebrated by drinking brown bottled beers in a Brooklyn beer garden sat behind the beautiful Bjork (try saying that in quick succession).
And then June and July happened and they were relatively low key - with the exception of my beloved cat George dying and my heart breaking. Nat and I spent a mental day dubbing The Hiker (so much harder than I thought it would be), and Vertti and I signed off on the final edit - hooray. I also spent a large portion of time writing a backstory for my feature in an attempt to know my characters better. What it lacks in psychology, apparently it makes up for in literary style. I now have a set of 50 character development questions to work through for 4 characters in the next week and a half, so I better get cracking this weekend.
This month (August) however has been pretty productive thus far. After 8 months of sporadic brainstorming I've finally written the outline for the prequel to my feature (nicely pretentiously titled Him. Me. Us.); and Vertti, Nat and I feel good about taking it forward. I actually feel really excited about making this film - it's my first attempt at mumblecore and being such an enormous fan of the genre, I just hope I can do it justice. I've already re-written it 3 times and we have our first read-through scheduled for tonight. Today was also spent buying a fake pregnancy belly, contacting the amazing Ella Masters to see if she'd like to design our film poster - and learning about film permits and public liability insurance. I can't deny the latter's a rather dry subject, but with every new thing I learn I feel a little more confident about turning my ideas into reality.
So there we have it. A 6 month round-up of everything that's been going on wrapped up relatively neatly into 8 paragraphs, 9 if you count the opening gambit (which you probably wouldn't). I can't promise the next activity on this blog won't be the equivalent of a cheap cattle-prod horror film (quiet-quiet-bang), but I promise I will try.

Ps. The final thing I have to report is I watched the best film of the summer last week - Patrick Brice's Creep. Thanks sista-Crista for the heads-up.

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