Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Always Be Submitting

I just got back from the Post Office after sending off my application for this round of Cinema Extreme – it’s a project called ‘Damaged’ (I know, sounds a bit like a bad Jeremy Irons film), “a blend of ghost story and emotional drama” kind of influenced by “Don’t Look Now”. I’d said to myself after previous experiences that I wouldn’t apply again, but then I started thinking that at least this time I’d have something new to show them and a couple of other things on my CV. Also, despite having a raft of other projects ‘in development’ there’s no guarantee any of them will happen, so I need to keep submitting (Always Be Submitting – the motto of the non established film maker –insert BDSM joke here …)

This will be something like the sixth project I’ve got that is either in the process of being developed or being submitted. Hopefully, after a certain point they’ll all reach some kind of critical mass and someone will explode a cluster bomb of money at me, although considering that most of them are specifically designed for low-budget schemes, probably more like a small balloon of endlessly deferred payments. Honestly, I feel like I’ve developed more work this year than in ages, but the same time I’m more skint than I’ve been in a long while. I don’t know how the fuck other people manage – do a lot of people have trust funds or are they independently wealthy? Do they have rich and supportive partners and families, because I can’t see how I can spend the time working as a filmmaker, and make money, at least not at the moment. Especially exasperating is the idea that as the filmmaker you should be expected to work the most and be paid the least – your wage is often counted as ‘unofficial contingency’. I don’t know how it’s supposed to work…

I’m probably just whining because my head’s a bit crazy the moment. I found out I’ve been put through into the final round of the Microwave scheme that is being run by Film London. It’s an ultra-low-budget (a one hundred thousand pounds ceiling) feature film scheme which I submitted a project for in June – in a bit of a rush because I only found out about it four weeks earlier. I put together a 15-page outline (plus treatment, directors notes etc.) for a horror called “Mum and Dad”. The other day I had a meeting with Film London, who told me that in order to go through to the next stage I would really need to have a full-length script. The next stage is a weeklong development school held in London in about five weeks time. Which gives me about five weeks (minus a week because I’m on holiday) to try and write the full script. I went to Em-media today to try and see whether they could fund the writing of the script, but ended up leaving even more confused. It would be better if I applied as acompany, rather than as an individual, so I would need to get a producer from the region, only that producer would then have to step aside so that I could get a producer from London, to actually produce the film. Part of me just feels like getting my head down and getting on with it, but another part of me (probably the financially responsible one) feels like I should at least try and get some money for the work I’m doing.

Maybe this is just the famine before the feast - I put the work in now and reap the benefits in the future. Either that, or I’ll be stacking shelves in Lidl by Christmas

No comments: