Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 - A Productive and Fruitful Year

Much of the New Year’s plan for 2019 was outlined in my earlier post ‘Dumped is Dumped and a New Slate’ in October, which really was a springboard into a new raft of projects. Since then, work has been continuous and Return from the Moon, a 'hangover' from years ago, has now been finished and a great deal of pre-production work has occurred on The Cold Caller. This will be my first film of 2019, however, I’m hoping for several more.

Return from the Moon is an experimental animation and, typically, it allows for a more surreal expression to take place, rather than the linear narratives of my live-action efforts. Evidently a lot of people will hate it. I’m not entirely in love with it myself, but it did give me a chance to develop new techniques and understand different processes. In some way, it was a necessity to get it finished; an itch which needed to be scratched, using lots of old 'jumbled' material I'd created over the years.   
It is often a dilemma for me to consider whether such movies should be launched onto the festival circuit for public consumption, or simply confined to a draw, under the bed and padlocked, like a guilty secret. I have always said I’m not a purist when it comes to animation. I simply use it as a medium to tell stories which are more oneiric in nature and when a cast and crew simply aren’t available. However, in 2019, I aim to develop my animation skills and become more ‘traditionally’ accomplished. Filmmaking objective number 1.

2018 has been a year of learning; some of it good, some of it bad. There’s plenty to keep me inspired, however, there’s an awful amount which can really drag me down. It really is my intention to attend more festivals in 2019 and to discuss my movies with like-minded filmmakers and network. I see some fantastic short films and some great filmmakers. What is especially pleasing is that there is a wealth of super-talented filmmakers right on my doorstep, here in the Midlands, UK. But, with that said, the affecting negativity which can sometimes pervade on the independent filmmaking circuit is so stultifying, that I’m never far away from just simply saying ‘sod this’.  This is one of the annual feelings I must overcome (again!) to simply keep going! Filmmaking objective number 2. Essentially, I think it’s entirely important to say nice things about films you like and help other people if and when they’re struggling. It seems far easier for people to bitch and moan - always, or get ultra-competitive and petty. To me, that’s just plain daft… I believe that admiration and inspiration is the key to improvement. 

And so, 2019 begins and I have a full-slate of movies already up for consideration (as outlined previously) and the possibility of another crowdfunding campaign for Happenstance; a tidy little live-action comedy, which could also be made in the second part of the year. So far, early script reads have been more than promising!

MIKE and FREYA are both single, unlucky in love and drifting towards their 30s. Seeking counsel, they slowly unravel as their innermost fears, thoughts and desires are explored and recounted to a bewildered COUNSELLOR. Seeing beyond their blinkered future view, the counsellor offers more than they could have anticipated.

I aim to make 2019 a productive year.

So, Happy New Year to you. Let’s hope it’s a good one for us all. Keep filmmaking, keep creating and be kind!

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