In which a brief moment of happiness on the receipt of some good news is immediately swamped by needless pessimism
Yup, after what feels like months of hanging about (because it HAS been months of hanging about) we've finally * got picture lock on 'Mum & Dad', which means we can move on to the sound mix, dub, conform and grade. Because in my head the film is cut, I keep forgetting that I have to go on and do a load more work on it, but at least it feels like we're in the final run-in and a lot of the variables and possibilities have now been reduced. The finished film still feels quite far away, but it is actually in sight now.
We've also heard that we've got the development money for 'Empire of Flesh' (my next horror feature script) confirmed, so I'm going to start work on that as soon as possible. At the moment I'm hoping (like an uncommonly optimistic idiot) that we'll be able to shoot it next year, but knowing how development works in this country - and how many first time feature-makers struggle to get their next film made - I maybe shouldn't set my heart on that. The good thing about having had such a speedy turnaround on the development. writing and production of 'M+D' makes me feel that I can work quickly when I need to, but I know that as the budgets get higher (not that much higher, mind - I think at the moment we're still looking at around a £750,000 budget, which is ultra-low, rather than micro-budget) the possibilities for full creative freedom get smaller.
The thing is, what I've always wanted is to be able to make a career out of this. I have no problem with working at the lower end of the budget scale (obviously I couldn't afford to make another £100,000 film again, unless I win the lottery or sell a lung or something), and I've got ideas for at least another 3 or 4 features - one set in America, a kind of cross between 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane' and 'Suspiria', and another one which is tentatively called 'Lifestyles of the Great Dictators' - and my real fear is just to get stuck in development (like the ongoing saga with 'World of Pain'. Don't even ask) for years. I guess the thing to do is just to keep moving on - it's just that because of the nature of the industry, unless you're entirely self-financed, you're always going to be waiting on someone else's say-so.
Christ, I've not even finished one film and I'm already moaning about getting funding for the third or fourth - filmmakers really are a whiny bunch. Or, more likely it's just me.
*'finally' in this respect does not actually mean that anything has strictly been finalised, because we still have to make one or two small adjustments, but we don't have to produce screeners for anyone again, so once we've made those changes we're set.