It's been a while
I'm going to post updates here again on the film. There's so much going on that I really want a diary of what happens, and this seems like the best place.
So, things that have happened in the last eight months.
The script, still called 1234, Gemma is now Emily and there's no more flashback scenes. Discovered that the form was dictating the narrative, and to the detriment of both story and characters. As soon as I returned to a linear narrative everything started working properly. The second change was realising that I was writing a standard love story. Stevie has to woo Billy to join his band, but in reality it's like any other love story, he falls for him and the band is the marriage. Then he falls in love with Emily, thus providing conflict and the need to make a choice. Once this was written it all seemed so obvious I couldn't understand how we'd had any other versions. Script has been seen and liked by all, and is now with script editor Ellen Stein, whose comments we will get in mid september.
Crew attached thus far include Mike Eley, who has agreed a fee, and casting director Sue Jones. Both like the script and so are doing us deals on wages which is wonderful because otherwise we couldn't afford either. Cast wise Sue is putting together suggestions, but before she came on board we already had one confirmed, the excellent Lyndsey Marshal as Emily. Lyndesy is an actress I've admired since I saw her in Festival (which would have been a huge hit if they'd put Todd Solondz name on the credits). She can do steely and comedic at the same time and is absolutely perfect for the role. Sue mentioned a couple of other actresses, but I'm going to stick with Lyndsey because I just have that gut feeling that she's exactly right, and every time I've had that feeling in a casting it's been right, so I'm sticking with her whatever anyone else says. The cast have got to be believable, and she fits the bill.
Business plans have been done, two budgets, one low-ish budget to do everything and about 100K less to get to picture lock which is what we're aiming for first. Alan Harris of Atlantic films (name from the past, he produced Laws of Motion) has been helping Simon get his head round how the plan works, and with any luck is going to spare us some time to go through the finished document. In the mean time the script and basic outline of business has been sent out to a few people with more on the list. To start with, ten of them at 10K each please, or 1 at 100K, I don't mind. but need money sooner rather than later as we need to start tying people to contracts, and also get our actors learning their instruments. They'll mime, but they need to look good! And Lyndsey can't stop working so we need to get her to sign something soon (we have a letter of intent from the agent, but in reality it means nothing till a contract is signed).
Music being done by Nick Burton, hopefully as we speak, and sound recording probably going to be Paddy Owen, which is great as I like working with him. Hopefully meeting with locations manager next week. Shhot date is january, though I have a bad feeling it will slip to February, though I've not voiced this with anyone.
And, er, that's it. But at least I have somewhere I can look back on now to see when it happened. This afternoon going to a screeing of Saxon, another low budget feature whose producer has been very helpful. She says come along and see hjow quickly sales agents walk out, so will be quite sobering. Have spoken with Mark at Moviehouse so if he's there will be good to put a name to a face. Am taking extra big stack of business cards.