It was actually about noon the following day before I finished the script. We had the production meeting on Friday, to which everyone turned up (woohoo!) and seemed very enthusiastic. Mark Evans, our military consultant, said to me afterwards that he was amazed by it all – the way I was asking people completely ridiculous things – like does anyone know someone with a helicopter so we can do some aerial shots? or does anyone have a car we can crash? – and people were saying yes, and coming up with all these great options. I’ve learnt now to be open about this stuff. When I first started crewing for The Beacon, I was reluctant to send people the script because I thought they’d just laugh at its ambitiousness and think I was some nutter who didn’t know what he was doing. Can I just say to anyone out there to wants to make a feature film, but is worried that it’s too difficult, just go out there and do it. Once the ball gets rolling, it’s all surprisingly easy. Of course things do go wrong. The actor playing Conrad, for example, dropped out of the project without even telling me, leading to a panicked calling round of everyone vaguely suitable I knew, before hitting on Josh Green (already on board for a smaller role). My first paid directing job was on a two-day shoot for a community video about skateboarders. In those two days, everything that could go wrong did. Everything from bad weather, through location eviction to cast injuries. (None of it my fault, you understand. Neil wonders why none of his cast turns up for The Beacon the shoot….) I’ve done shoots that have gone like clockwork. Most importantly, I’ve done shoots where loads of things have gone wrong, but we’ve still got it all done and blown people away with the end result. (Okay, so that was entirely due to the talented helming of one Mr. Rick Goldsmith.) Anyway, it’s T minus one week, and I’m feeling pretty good. I know that there are a million things that can go wrong. It’s not going to be easy. It’s a big cast and crew, tricky locations to get to, probably boiling weather, and loads of gear to carry. But it’ll be fun. So I’m looking forward to it, as I sit here at my Apple Mac, newly relocated to The Kitchen’s ancestral seat in Malvern Link. I’m also looking forward to going up the Prince of Wales tonight, and that’s a mere four hours away! Hurrah!