I advertised for a writer on Shooting People. The responses are still coming in.
Last night I went to a place just down the road from the now legendary Tea Building for the launch of Make Your Mark In Film, a campaign to get young people into filmmaking. Several months ago I was asked by the producer, Louis Savvy – also the man behind the Sci-Fi London film festival – to be an ambassador for the campaign. So far this has involved me doing pretty much nothing, but they have promised to involve me more from now on. During the mingling I randomly met the drummer from Tears for Fears and a guy who produces Blake’s Seven audio plays.
Today I met with Nina, a producer I had spoken to at one of the Raindance classes. We talked about stop motion, set construction and shooting in Spain.
We’ve chosen Anthony Sibley to build the Swordsman. This decision could have been based entirely on the fact that he has a diecast Back to the Future DeLorean on his sideboard. I couldn’t possibly comment.
But seriously, the evidence of his talent was all around, from the full-size Dalek in his porch to the extremely impressive Davros model in his display cabinet. (He was a bit embarrassed that he had made so much Doctor Who stuff recently, but apparently there’s a big market for it amongst convention-going Whovers.)
The next step is to finalise the designs.
Remember the meeting I had in November with the guy from Screen West Midlands? He still hasn’t read the script. Nothing ever changes.
I went to a New Producers’ Alliance lecture in the hope of doing some networking. It was in the Tea Building in Shoreditch – presumably so named because they used to make a certain caffeinated beverage there. It still has a factory feel to it, and the NPA were in the process of moving offices, which meant the place was a mess and smelt strongly of paint.
The lecture was supposed to be on how a script changes when it goes into production, but in fact it was just the two speakers – the director of Scenes of a Sexual Nature and one of the exec producers from Robin Hood – talking about their experiences of writing stuff and getting it made. It was quite interesting, but given the nature of the building, the lack of a tea break was particularly inexcusable and unfortunately meant there wasn’t really any chance to network.
I came home and called star of stage and screen AJ Nicol, best known to you lot (I hope) as Dante from Soul Searcher and – for those of you with particularly long memories – as the terrorist Ford from The Beacon. AJ has kindly agreed to choreograph the fighting for the Wooden Swordsman promo/pilot. We talked about Highlander and Pirates of the Caribbean. Obviously.
On Thursday Ian and I meet some of the potential Swordsman builders.
And as a coda to my recent entry about Lee & Herring’s This Morning With Richard Not Judy, I saw Stewart Lee whilst I was filming for the Theatre Channel at the press night for The Little Shop of Horrors last week. I reminded him who I was and he replied in that slightly sarcastic way of his, “Well I’m glad to see it’s propelled you into filming things in a professional capacity.” And then I got off the bus – ah! (Or something that actually makes sense.)
At Christmas Ian and I talked about shooting a scene from the film as a promo piece. It would have to be done properly, shot on celluloid and with high enough production values (not to mention the correct continuity) to one day be cut into the full film. To be affordable, it would need to be in a single small set with few characters, but at the same time it needed to show that I could pull off the kind of complex production design/FX feats that characterise the screenplay, so it couldn’t be a simple dialogue scene.
The Wooden Swordsman scenes were the only ones that fit the bill. Deciding that the Swordsman would be too expensive to make, I shelved the promo idea. But we’re almost a quarter of the way through this year now and it’s shaping up to be as unsuccessful as 2006 was in terms of getting DSOTE off the ground. So figuring I had nothing to lose, I advertised for someone to build the Swordsman on a tiny budget, expecting to get a couple of emails from people telling me I was crazy and it should be done as CGI, and nothing else.
Well, that was only a few days ago and I’ve already had half a dozen enthusiastic responses. As I know all too well from Soul Searcher, having things made by people who aren’t being paid can be – erm, how to put this – an interesting experience. Let us not forget David Dukes with his dog toy grenades and Alan Titchmarsh scythe.
Stay tuned; anything could happen.
I just found out that You Tube has a clip from when my friend Matt (of Dark Side ’96 fame) and I were Kings of the Show on Lee and Herring’s This Morning With Richard Not Judy, back in 1999. Fortunately it does not include our actual appearance – I had a very bad beard at the time – but you can see the ad we made to win the compo. I shot and edited it and, yes, that’s my voice narrating too. Here it is.
I went to another Raindance class last night – this one on creating a business plan. It wasn’t as good as last week’s.
I jealously noted, as I have oft noticed afore (aye!), that all the other directors had partnered up with producers, except for one. I feel like Ralph from The Simpsons.
Today I had a little chat with a friendly casting director. I was considering laying some of my own cash on the line (here we go again) to hire a professional of this ilk, theorizing that they would be more successful at attaching talent than I have been over the last two years. The chat was required because I’ve never worked with a casting director before and I needed to ask some stupid questions. As I had feared, the question “Is the present lack of a producer or production company likely to be a stumbling block for a casting director’s efforts to attach talent?” was answered in the affirmative. [We are in a car. We are in a car… Sorry. K9 moment.]
So I did not hire the casting director, but he did mention an up-and-coming actor that I might consider, and whom I actually have a faint chance of getting the script to since I know someone who’s worked with him. However, most likely it will prove a dead end, like everything else. You know what? This really, really sucks. Do not try it at home.