Sunday, 13 November 2011

(Not) Surviving The Toilet Circuit

Well, I guess it was just too big a project. A 45 minute short film with over a dozen locations and 8 main cast members, filmed without any experience.

Unfortunately, the short film project - Surviving The Toilet Circuit - a film about a SE London band not quite climbing the ladder to musical success has stalled and is no longer being pursued.

The biggest problem? It was simply too unwieldy, and finding the time when we're all busy people with jobs and bands and families. It took so long that situations changed and the obstacles began to become too big to climb. It is with a strange mixture of genuine regret and naked relief that we closed the project that had become bigger than I could keep track of.

Mark and Frazer are keeping their script though, and hoping to pass it on to some professionals who can do it justice, maybe even a stage performance. I really liked it, and it really resonated with me. I look forward to seeing what happens with the story in the future.

I learned a metric ton of stuff on our filming and rehearsing for this project, and we're all still great friends, stronger than before. But the lesson is learned. If I'm going to do anything as big as that, I need to do it with far simpler logistics. Fewer cast, fewer locations. These are the limitations I need to work in when this is all being done in people's spare time.

Any cast members reading this, thank you so much for giving up so much of your free time for rehearsals, for filming, for logistics, for everything. You were all so generous, I really can't thank you enough.

Well, I'm meeting with Mark and Frazer tomorrow to use this momentum and education we've had, we're going to decide on a short film to shoot. Something simple, no more than 3 locations, no more than 3 cast members, filmable in two weekends or so. Looking forward to it! The sheer mass of the previous project became a suffocating spectre during my low periods, although this is probably largely because I didn't really know how it was going to work out. Learning on the job is the best way to do it, and I've loved it, but there's always the frightening notion that it could all go wrong, and people would be looking to me to fix it, and I wouldn't be able to. Pretending to lead a project while feeling like a fraud is a bad place to be, which is why I try to be as honest and open as possible with anyone I'm working with. I feel like I've learned so much, but I still feel that this is barely the surface.

Sound is still a big obstacle to climb. I should find some people who know all about that stuff and see what I can learn.

In other news, my rent has gone up by £100 a month (negotiated down from £150) and I am so goddamned broke. Missed an opportunity to film Houdini, one of my new favourite bands (check them out here) because of lack of cash, distance (they are based in Medway, not that far away to be honest) and commitments. I would still dearly love to do a video with them though, we've been talking about it for a long time. I'm happy to have full-time work in a financial climate such as this, but it's leaving me so little freedom to work on what I want to do. I'm really glad to be meeting Mark and Frazer tomorrow, get that spark started again, get myself pulled out of the comfortable mire that I sank into once work on Surviving The Toilet Circuit ceased, and since I finished the trailer video for Sofia The Show. 

I've also been fleshing out the basics on my own screenplay finally. I've got a basic outline that I'm really pleased with. I'm writing it with one eye firmly fixed on how limited my options are when it comes to locations and casting and what can realistically be done. Who knows if it will evolve into something filmable, but right now I'm excited, and working on it makes me happy!

Lastly, Saints Row: The Third comes out on Friday. The last pre-order I'll be making for a while until my finances improve. I can justify it because a huge open-world game has real value - I can play it for months - and I'm nerdily excited about it. We all need some down time, and gaming is how I relax. It's my one true vice. You know, apart from all the drugs.

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