Monday, October 30, 2006

All our money worries are over

Received an email this morning from the wife of former Palestinian president Yasser Arrafat, telling me she needed my help in recovering his money from a swiss bank account. Not only would this be a nice thing to do, she is also prepared to pay me 20% of the amount, somewhere in the region of 5 million USD, for my help. Which is very nice of her. So that's this film and the next four all paid for then. I wonder how she got my email address.

While I ponder this I go to a talk by Christine Vachon, head of most wonderful Killer films. It's a good talk, even if the general atmosphere is a little sycophantic. Buyt copy of her new book. She opens up the first page and, pen in hand, stares up at me. I've no idea what she wants, I've paid for the book, so I just stare back. Finally she says "So who do you want me to make it out to", and I feel like an idiot. Mumble my name, when what I should have asked her to write was "Of course I'll produce your film".

I've made another copy of the script, well just the rehearsal scenes. It's good to read them as a continuous piece without the interruption of flashbacks. I'm just going to work on them like this for a bit so that everything that happens in the rehearsal feels real rather than as a reaction to something else. Glad to hear Christine Vachon say that Boys don't cry went through over twenty drafts. So that gives me nine more goes to get it right, or it's hangman.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

10th time lucky

Got some script notes back from Rob Pursey, and they all make sense. More than that, they point out things that I'd never considered before, such as the fact there are 2 love stories, one between Stevie and Gemma and one between Stevie and the band. This second one is something I've never thought of as a love story, but when he mentions it he's exactly right. This alone shows the benefit of getting someone who knows what he's talking about but doesn't know your script, to have a read.

First casualty of Rob's notes are the two secondary characters, Mikey and Naz. I hoped they would be some thing like the Kersal massive, and although I quite liked them Rob is right when he says that they're just muddying the story. So they're now DEAD.

Next up is some more foreshadowing of the plot and additional character stuff. This is draft 10 and I've just given Stevie an obsession with having a tapeworm. The idea is that this reflects his mental state, something gnawing away at him, but I'm not convinced (and I'm writing it), so we'll have to see.

Why is it that when I go to script-o-rama and read scripts there they all seem fresh and interesting and, above all, logical, but when I read back draft 9 of mine it seems cliched and overly planned. I mean, why is it apart from the fact I'm an idiot and they're all the product of talented and well paid writers, obviously. It's just impossible to divorce my reading of the script with the knowledge of all the previous drafts, so nothing ever seems fresh. Is this normal or is this just a shit script? Sadly, I think the only way to really find out is to raise the budget, make the film, and then see what people think. It sounds extreme and expensive, but it's the best way. Probably.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Screening of Home at Raindance went very well. Think we were the best live action film, but think the prize will go to one of the two animated films as they fit better into the "digital film" category. Richard Jobson is at the screening and says some very nice things about the films.

Get very nice call from very nice woman named Annete at Alcine, the festival at Alcal√° de Henares, just outside Madrid asking to show Home (like I'm going to say no). It's the biggest shorts festival in Spain and this year they're having an international competition for the first time. They saw Home at Bristol and decided they wanted it, which is nice of them, so they can have it. Being terribly right on I intend to get the train to the festival rather than fly, but from the pictures of last years festival it looks great. Am looking forward to eating large amounts of Spanish food.

1-2-3-4 is now on version 8, and that's being read at the moment by Rob Pursey from Touchpaper TV. He used to be a script editor and he plays bass in Tender Trap, so he is officially the most ideal person to read the script. Very much looking forward to hearing what someone who a) very much knows what they're talking about and b) hasn't seen any previous drafts, thinks of it all. Am trying to think of other ideas for when he returns the script with a thick red line across every page.

And as predicted the animated film won the prize at Raindance. Wasn't a surprise as our seats (at the back) kind of gave it away. They tell you it's good just to be nominated, but in truth that's bollocks, because when people know you've been nominated they all ask if you won, and you have to say no. Think I'd rather just show at a festival than be in competition, or be in competition with loads of films. Being with only 4 others gives you the false belief that you may just win. Bastards.

Rough budget for feature currently coming in at the same (I think) as Scenes of a sexual nature (which we saw last night). Think we need to lose also do a budget for £100K so we can apply for Microwave scheme, though after being around film makers at a festival I'm loathe to apply for funding, it appears to be all everyone else is doing. Would much rather get private equity, but know this is going to be tough as I'm not 100% sure how to make people give me money. I'm hoping that a great script, a good looking cast, experienced crew and a half arsed business plan will suffice. We shall see.