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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rear View.

Overall 2012 was a good year. Sure, it had it's disappointments, a lot of projects fell through, there were a lot of rejections and failures. But then, many other projects came to fruition and succeeded. Derelict was finally completed and premiered. Raise My Hands had a great festival run, appearing at many prestigious film festivals. I wrote my first novel. I got my green card and went to Boston for the first time. And my wife is expecting our second child. Not bad.

I learned a lot. I've always known it was important to persevere, but never more so in the hard times, when everything seems to be falling down around you. Trick is, keep a calm head. Step away for a while. Regroup. Come back fighting.

I'm reminded of a scene from The Hustler, excellent 1961 Robert Rossen movie starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. It's an all night game, Newman, as the arrogant Eddie Felson, is winning. Gleason, as the champ Minnesota Fats, is taking a pounding. The game is coming to an end. If Felson know swhat was good for him he'd quit while he was ahead, but he doesn't. So it's time to teach him a lesson. Fats leaves the room for a moment. He throws water on his face. Gathers himself. Buttons up his shirt. Straightens his tie. Puts on his jacket. Returns to the game like it's a new day, and wipes the floor with the snot nosed kid.

Some times, you have to take a time out, refocus, dust off and get straightened out. I think writing the novel was that for me. Doing that taught me a couple of things. One, I don't need to be struggling to make films all the time. Two, I really love writing just to write. Though I always knew the second one, it was nice to have a reminder of how much I enjoy writing, and that those days in between projects don't have to be fruitless. I've got plenty of ideas waiting, and plenty of half written novels I could be finishing. Now that I've proved I can finish one I have no excuse.

I do want to make another film. I announced here earlier this year that The Wolf of Nevermore would be my next film. I've already started doing a little bit of research into the area where I'm moving, in terms of locations, to see if it would work. I think it might. But I have a lot of writing to do to get that script to where I want it to be. And then I will have to go down that dreaded crocked road to raise money to make it happen. But I want to get over there first. And I have a lot of work to do and money to save before that happens. So for the next six months I'm just thinking about getting there.

Whatever happens 2013 is certain to be a year of change. Hopefully by the end of it I'll be living in the states with my wife, daughter, and the newest member of our family. I would like to have a new film in some stage of production. Hopefully Derelict will be out in the world, stopping off at some festivals before finding a sweet distribution deal (one can dream!). But I'll be writing, where ever I find myself, I know that much. Maybe something will come of that. Who knows! A book on the shelves, wooden or digital, I don't mind! Wouldn't that be nice?!

Well, here's to all the good 2012 brought and to better things in 2013. I hope 2012 was good to you and 2013 is better. Very best. Stay safe.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Seed & Spark

140 is back. We had a short voyage back in 2010 when the film came out. But the wind died quickly and we were set adrift for long time. Occasionally calling into some far away harbour for a screening. But wonderful news, our days of drifting are over, we have found a port to call our own (don't know why the sailing metaphors?!)... our new home is Seed&Spark!

Seed&Spark is the brainchild of 140 filmmaker Emily Best. Emily had a very unique idea to house everything about independent filmmaking under one roof. Whereas most crowd-funding platforms solely concentrate on the fundraising side of the project, Seed&Spark looks at the entire life of the project, all the way to the end. It is also a distribution platform, streaming films to the audience you build when fundraising. I've written here before about the difficult and often overlooked side of indie filmmaking, getting your film into the world when all the money has run out. This answers that.

They have a cool idea behind the fundraising too, you put up a wish list, kind of like a wedding registry list, off all the things you need to make the film, and then people can select the items and pay for them, or if they own them, loan them to you for the duration of the production. I like that idea. It also lets people know exactly what they're paying for. It also touches on the Community aspect of Indie filmmaking, something I talked about last month.

I'm excited about this website. I hope it does really well for the guys because I think it could be something really positive, the next step in indie filmmaking. I'm proud to be one of the founding filmmakers and I'm looking forward to exploring the site and seeing how it grows over the next year.

In other news...

Derelict has had it's first review, over at CineIreland.

Some cool news for Derelict coming in the new year. Will have to wait until January to tell you. Meantime, the next screening is also in January, 12th, 8pm, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda. Please come.

I forgot to tell you that Emily's Song was broadcast on Channel 4 again, third time, that was a couple of months ago now. But great to know 6 years on that little film is still out there.

Raise My Hands is still touring film festivals. Next up is the prestigious Bahamas International Film Festival, this month. Wish I could go!

That's all for now. So head on over to Seed&Spark, have a mooch, and sure why not watch 140 while you're over there?! I might actually make some money for once... stranger things have happened at sea!