Since the announcement in May this year of the project I have devised and am overseeing from this month through to summer 2016 it has been a fascinating and stressful time. Discussions between myself as project coordinator and scriptwriter and Justin Doherty who is the filmmaker in residence for this pilot project have ranged from the excited to the worried to the confused to the excited again, thankfully.
Having not made a film together in a few years and embarking on our first feature within a specific context with financial and logistical challenges, limitations and opportunities, our process has been to come to grips with the best way of proceeding and coming up with a project that would excite us and also fit the criteria for the pilot.
We have a number of films we'd love to make that have been and are in various stages of development. However, all of them are logistically beyond us at this moment. We've spent the summer looking for a story, for a project, that excites us.
We think we are there now. Some frank conversations on the phone last week cleared the air and focused the mind and today we met in person and talked through an idea that has been brewing and how we could make it our own. On paper it fits the bill for a project like this. Minimal cast and locations and scope for a lot of experimentation and interesting approaches to writing and developing. We can attach a number of personal creative ambitions to a familiar and stable skeleton of an idea. It's a flexible starting point but one that has a strong core. The core is important because the difficulties that will arise will need to be offset by a confidence in a strong core in terms of story and potential project completion. We think we have that now.
Over the past week or so I've become much more excited about this idea by drilling down into what I want to achieve creatively from this project. I've called on my emotional reaction to seeing Cassavetes's Opening Night in the cinema recently, an experience that hasn't left me and fused it with some thoughts that emerged from revisiting Godard's Vivre Sa Vie last week.
I am aware this seems vague. The story is based on an existing property at this stage, loosely, that we are in the process of discussing the rights to. We are aiming to announce the project in detail in early October, following some more thoughtful work on developing the nucleus of it. But for now, it felt like the right time to write an update because the tide has turned and there is a strong light shining on the project. We have some collaborators in mind, we have our ideas of how we will create something that works within the demands of the project but that also fulfils us creatively.
As Joey 'The Lips' Fagan says in The Commitments:
"It's not much, but it's a start. And I believe in starts".