Filmmaker In Residence Project: Autumn Update

There are moments in every creative process where something breaks through, a negative or troubling resistance weakens, and things move forward with real purpose. 

This was one of those weeks. Positivity has been growing regarding the story and script and our passion for it as filmmakers to the ultimate point of ambition that the 'project' and the creative content were working simpatico. We are closer now.

This week Justin was down and we met with the new director of the School of Film & Television who was as positive towards the project as the interim director who helped encourage the project forward was. 

Also, creatively we got to grips with it in ways that seemed familiar to us and the way we work and talk about things. It felt like old times. I bathed in the waves of that nostalgia, something last felt in earnest just over four years ago, whilst we worked up rules for the creation of this thing and talked about films whose emotions and moments we felt were feeding into the process. 

Despite my angst at answering the pervasive question of 'how's the writing going?' it is going. I have set myself some creative handcuffs and some targets that have helped inspire my focus and made me think critically about this thing I am writing and how I can write something as emotionally raw as a Cassavetes movie (one of my personal aims for the project) given the structural restrictions I've set myself in order to drive me towards completion of a first draft.

I've set myself a target of 66 pages. From here we will work with the actors to create something traditionally feature-length. The film will have no more than 10 scenes. I have a rough page guide for each scene (hence the 66 pages).

We are considering shooting the film in sequence. Set over a weekend and following a devastating emotional trajectory, (we hope), this will enable the actors to engage with their roles in a specific way that may result in a rawer experience. It will also be an interesting challenge for the student crew to create a schedule that ensures this can happen. 

Things like this can sometimes feel like distractions from just sitting down and getting it done. This time though they feel resonant. The project has many restrictions in terms of budget, shoot time, traditional crew dynamics and positions so why not apply restrictions to the script and the delivery of the script? 

If we are truly looking at developing a new model of micro-budget filmmaking why stop at the logistics of production?