It's been a day of catching up through words about what's been rattling around my head the past few months. I'm trying to clear the decks before the new academic year starts and I fill up the space inside I've reclaimed this summer with new projects. The last project to reflect on for now is with the short film project variously known as #project18 and LOVECRAFT.
It's been a whirlwind year. It's still less than a full year since we embarked on it, not even a year since the director and I had a conversation about starting to thinking about working on it together. If you followed the 'Wilderness' shoot you know I like to and believe in writing and shooting fast. We shot it in January and have been working on post-production ever since. It's been a longer process than I'm used to because of the heavier genre aspects in VFX, sound design and there's a brilliant original score. Also, because we are working with a lot of graduates in key roles, which is fantastic and they are all great, but the project is not their day job so there's waiting involved. As a long term indie filmmaker I know this is par for the course and it's all about getting it right.
We are nearly there. The picture above is my co-producer Kingsley and director Ryan, alongside Dave Smithers. Dave is a great sound designer and our colleague at the school of film & television and we used his ears on a fine cut of the sound mix. His input was invaluable, elevating it in some key areas and acknowledging the great work already done by graduate James Chatwin. We are close to sending to festivals and screening it for cast and crew and have some deadlines in October we are aiming for. The grade is being done as we speak and there's a couple of VFX plates to drop in.
In the picture Ryan is passionately holding court on a key element. The last thing I wanted to mention in this missive is Ryan and our collaboration. Despite being prolific creatively for over 2 decades now it's only in the last couple of years that I have really forged new collaborative relationships. Prior to starting The Cinematologists with my friend and colleague Dario I'd worked pretty much exclusively with my 'Wilderness' collaborator Justin. I'd written a script for a brilliant filmmaker friend a few years back but he just went off and made what I think is a doozy of a short out of it and so this year, co-producing with someone new and writing for and producing for someone new was exciting and something I was curious to see if I could do and would enjoy.
Whether I could do it is not for me to say, Kingsley and Ryan will have to tell you if they thought I pulled my weight and did good work, but I have enjoyed the hell out if it. It's been a learning experience of course. Getting to know people's work flows, communication habits and patterns, their emotions and moods. There have been bumpy roads as with any new venture and partnership but it's taught me loads. The crew we've had since day one and the people, like Dave, who have popped their head in and helped this thing along have all been amazing reminders of why I love indiefilmmaking, and why I think you can keep the so called industry models.
What has made it ultimately really easy though is watching Ryan work. He is hungry, he has a vision he believes in and he works his ass off. He is involved in everything. He's up first and finished last and he like everyone is juggling the bill paying with this thing he has created from scratch. His commitment is an inspiration to me and should be to all those who study film under and around me. His work ethic and attention to the process is exemplary. It's been a thrill and a pleasure to watch. Whatever happens with this first outing for us all we have all learned about each other and this particular way of doing things and we will put it to good use in whatever comes next. I feel privileged to have found collaborators who believe in what they do and are committed to getting work into the world and getting better with every try.
Ryan's commitment to being a narrative filmmaker is immense and it's been amazing to watch the first tentative steps towards that goal being taken.