Last weekend we shot JOB. a short film written by John and directed and co-produced by myself, Alex. The film has been a labour of love and a provocateur of my own personal insanity over the past year-and-a-bit during which I have been attempting to bring it into fruition.
I cannot begin to express then how revitalised I am feeling knowing that we finally got to shoot this story- one close to my heart and to my own experiences of despair and worthlessness amidst the smoggy urban sprawl of Londontown.
Not only that, but the cast and crew - an utterly first class group of individuals with extraordinary skill and tenacity - served to make the shoot itself a life-enriching experience such as I could not have forseen.
We are all positively buzzing with excitement and anticipation to see the finished product which we hope to have ready early in Autumn. Now that the footage has been handed over to our editor (a splendid Frenchman who happens to make a top-notch ratatouille) all we can do is wait with a fevered eagerness to see the rough cut he emerges from the depths of the edit room with.
In the interim I shall be continuing to follow around my film Making Ends Meat, a thinly veiled satire inspired by the horse meat scandal, as it's played out on various enlarged screens about the place. Last Tuesday for example it was screened at The Alibi in Dalston as part of the premiere and wrap party celebration for Dan Hodgson's latest short film. Evidence below.
And I shall be doing similar with my film Midnight on an Island which a week ago was screened at The Book Club in Shoreditch as part of Cannes In A Van's monthly film and music night. More evidence below.
There are other things also but I'm quite simply too hot to talk about them right now. I'm going to go and be horizontal for a while...
Here's the thing; I recently went to a large field where I engaged in numerous activities including the following - I looked death in the face, made the stars soar across my own personal velvet universe, staggered - deranged and weeping after three days without sleep - into a meadow of fellow human beings stripped back to their most basic, primal, childlike instincts, got kissed twice by the only Ed who matters, fell in love with an Australian chipmunk in a very lovely suit, met truly for the first time a friend I mistakenly thought I had 'known' for several years, and returned back to London with utterly no idea as to who the devil I am or how I came to be in this present moment.
Faced then with the task of pulling all the final elements into place for our short film, JOB. (which we are shooting this weekend) I have been rather unsuccessful on the old "putting-words-into-an-actual-order" front.
However, something I did want to say is that one of our films, Midnight On An Island, is being screened TONIGHT at Screen Social in Shoreditch, London. It's the same guys who run Cannes in a Van -- lovely fellows who actually let me take a little snooze to repair my soul in the front seat of said van whilst they screened films out the back of it in Cannes last May. Think I might even be in it in the picture below. Dozing.
Anyway. The night is great so come on down and share a beer with a few of us if you're looking for LIFE and things like that which seem a little paler when not in a valley of greenery and euphoria.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
All That Glitters
Okay. I have just about managed to reassemble some of the sharded, glittering fragments of my little broken brain which, against all odds, I succeeded in returning home with me from the beautiful insanity of Cannes Film Festival.
Some are still missing. I fear I may never find them. Never mind.
Last May John Elliott and I went out to Cannes with our award-winning short film, Looking After Edward, a story about a little girls' attempt to make sense of grief and loss in the wake of her Grandfather's death.
This year, myself and DOP Dan Hodgson (an old friend of mine from our years of working together on a tiny island dairy farm) were out with my most recent project, Making Ends Meat.
The film, which features the voice of Richard Wilson (best known for playing Victor Meldrew in the BBC's One Foot in the Grave series) was made as a response to the 'meat scandal' which has been all over the news of late and was made in the style of a post-WW2 public information film for housewives.
We held a screening out in Cannes. Look -
The room was packed. The crowd went wild. This was a Good Thing. So now for festival submissions...
Anyway, the main reason I was so keen to get myself out to Cannes was to start garnering interest for a feature film project I am working on with Katie Borland, a writer friend of mine with whom I wrote Making Ends Meat.
The film, a sort of hybrid sci-fi, deals with a young girl with autism, a condition which fascinates me increasingly the more I read and watch about it.
Many of my initial ideas for the visual feel of the film have been inspired by Gallivant, an ecclectic, berserk and utterly brilliant piece of work by a gobsmackingly charismatic and eccentric filmmaker called Andrew Kotting. He's the sort of fellow who takes pleasure in jumping in to chilly, wild, salty, waters, zooming about on a motorcycle, and whipping his trousers off with little warning for unsuspecting young filmmakers such as myself.
So yes, as is evident from the above photograph, I met him out at Cannes where he was screening and promoting Swandown, a beautiful new film he has made with writer and psychogeographer Iain Sinclair - another Exceptional Human Being in my books.
Meeting him and seeing Swandown was by far the highlight of this year's festival for me, and it got the cogs in my brain ticking away in a super speedy manner for this film of mine and Katies'. More on this soon...
Other news from Cannes is that I formed a partnership with producer Emma Stickland whom, after seeing Making Ends Meat and reading our script for JOB, has joyfully agreed to come on board as an additional producer for the film which we are now hoping to shoot in July.
Yes. TWO producers! Lucky me.
So the ball's really rolling again and we'll have lots more news on that very soon...
But for now (in the words of another good man) I must effect my egress and leave in my wake some photographic gems shedding some light on what the devil we're been up to of late. Possibly best not to look at this whilst eating breakfast or anything like that.
This is going to be brief because I am drinking beer and feel unusual. But here is a photograph of me taken last weekend having just directed Richard Wilson for MAKING ENDS MEAT, a short film of mine which I'll be taking to Cannes Film Festival in some comically small hour of this Wednesday morning.
He was perfect.
Goodness only knows what makes a man like him kind enough to offer up an hour of his time so early on a Sunday to a scruffily dressed vagrant female purporting to be an 'artist' of some description before he goes off for lunch with Sir Ian McKellen. The world and its' people are a madly wondrous thing sometimes.
And he answered the door in his dressing gown, which made me like him even more.
Anywayanyway, here we are:
I 'm going to retrieve another beer from the refrigerator now.
"I Don't Believe It!"
I shall begin with the good news.
Richard Wilson, master director and star of One Foot In The Grave has confirmed he would "love" to play the part of the ANNOUNCER in our short film Making Ends Meat, which we will be taking to Cannes Film Festival next week. His dry, clipped, British tones were exactly what we were looking for and we could not think of anyone better for the part. We are now just utterly overwhelmed and flattered he has agreed and it will be a privilege to work with him this Sunday to add the final touch to our film. Very, very exciting.
Here's a bit of Richard in action in the role he's known best for.
And now for the rest of the news...
We managed to raise through our fundraising page a whopping £2000 for our short film JOB. Thank you SO much to everyone who has shown their support so far. Unfortunately we still had to postpone the shoot by a few weeks, due to some unforseeable trickyness regarding our locations. On the up-side, this means we have even more time to get the set, props, and other little details looking really perfect. Work is underway to get everything ready for the new dates in early June, so onwards and upwards as I believe is said.
The Little Unsaid