It’s a weird time right now in terms of screenwriting projects.
Various projects in various stages and as a producer also none of them feel finished, indeed some are just getting started. I’m covering a lot of different projects under the LOVECRAFT title because that’s the next piece of screenwriting that the world will (hopefully) experience. ‘Wilderness’ is still going, currently out for sale with people interested. It’s my hope that it will be available in the world in the near future so the people who keep asking where they can see it have coordinates to navigate towards.
In the meantime though the short film I wrote, and co-produced with Kingsley Marshall, Backwoods, that was directed by Ryan Mackfall, is heading to festivals. It’s out for consideration and we hope to be able to announce a premiere soon. Those who have seen it have appreciated it, and we are hopeful it can have a good run particularly at genre festivals.
It’s in that weird phase where I don’t really know what I think about it, creatively. I’m really proud of it and I think Ryan did a great job but I’m still too close to it and need audiences to watch it and hopefully connect with it and in turn take it away from my immediate view so I can see and make sense of it more clearly.
I know we did the best we could though, and I know I enjoyed the chance to translate a great writer’s words into screenplay form. So thank you Ryan, and thank you H.P.
Not long after making it I read the great Mark Fisher on H.P. Lovecraft and it felt like how he describes Lovecraft is what we were aiming for:
‘The Thing overwhelms, it cannot be contained, but it fascinates’ (P17.)
‘Lovecraft’s stories are obsessively fixated on the question of the outside: an outside that breaks through in encounters with anomalous entities from the deep past, in altered states of consciousness, in bizarre twists in the structure of time. The encounter with the outside often ends in breakdown and psychosis. Lovecraft’s stories frequently involve a catastrophic integration of the outside into an interior that is retrospectively revealed to be a delusive envelope, a sham’ (P16.)
Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie. 2016. Repeater Books. London. The Out of Place and the Out of Time: Lovecraft and the Weird.
It feels like how Ryan innately sees and understands Lovecraft, so if nothing else I feel like that’s something. It’s just a shame Mark is no longer with us. I think he would have dug it.
Here’s the trailer -
A short film I wrote called Tyrants (formerly Barbed Wire Heron) was revisited and it looks like it might get made in winter 2019/20, so that’s exciting. With that in mind I shared the script with a couple of trusted minds and the feedback was great, so I feel emboldened by that and am excited to be on set again.
Left to Ruin
We applied to the Uncertain Kingdom fund to make a short film on the theme of ‘Britain in 2019’. Out of nowhere an idea that had been bubbling for a while coalesced into a bid and over Christmas I drafted the script. It’s a 15minute film fund so the script is close to that. We didn’t get shortlisted but my Luton Brexit Feminist Road Movie is now written and you never know, may see the light of day at some point. I like the script and the story and Justin had a really interesting way of shooting it that would great to do.
As mentioned, ‘Wilderness’ trucks on but I feel the pull of the new. One of the conversations around the sale of ‘Wilderness’ was the dreaded but exciting “what else are you working on?”. I realised I wasn’t working on anything feature wise, not really, so I have been kicked into gear. One of the two I’d like to have underarm for the next time that question is asked is in pretty good shape. The other needs a lot of work, but recently I’ve felt like it’s starting to become more solid and some of the problems with it have started to be solved. I hope to write about it soon, but it’s too early, even for me and I am a notorious early announcer.