I want something badly. Very very badly.
I want to be able to make my films.
I should disclose that I’ve been fortunate enough to have made five short films, most of which received at least some attention at festivals and screenings, but I have yet to make my first feature. It’s written though. And while it’s had the same title for the past ten years, the drafts it’s gone through… oh my! Tens upon tens. But now, it’s finally where I want it to be, or very close HAH, as my writing partner and I fine tune the last act.
And speaking of a writing partner, for the first time since I began my filmmaking career many years ago, I have chosen to write with someone. Never thought I could, or should I say would, but it’s working out and has elevated my feature script to a place I wanted to take it but didn’t on my own. It’s hard to admit that but it’s the truth and I have grown to absolutely love the writing partnership I’ve formed with a friend of mine I’ve known for over ten years. What one of us lacks, the other makes up for and together, we work as a team. We are brutally honest with each other. It’s wonderful. And in addition to this feature, we’ve written a short film that we are dying to make but alas, the funds have not revealed themselves yet. We’ve tried though. For over a year now, we’ve been submitting our short script to every grant app and short film contest we come across that can help us. We got a nice nod from Slamdance as a quarter-finalist in their 2013 Screenplay Competition but other than that, nada.
I refuse to sell my soul. I will not be a filmmaker-for-hire. I come with my project and vice versa. Case closed. I have no interest in making something I don’t whole-heartedly believe in. I work day jobs and make ends meet, so fortunately, I can continue with my plan. That said, I need money to actually make my films. It’s a tough one. I try hard not to shoot union because of all the extra crap that comes along with it but I firmly believe in paying my crew well and being allowed to shoot where I’m shooting. WHERE ARE YOU MONEY?? HOW DO I GET TO YOU??
Right now, my writing partner and I are waiting to hear if a short script we wrote as part of a contest is going to get made. We made it to this point but now, the top five will be selected out of the fifty of us who are waiting to hear…
This part sucks. I feel like I’m always waiting to hear if my film is going to be picked over other ones, whether it be our script or finished product. The waiting is the worst but I suppose if the job was easy, everyone would be doing it and there would be way too many films.
Speaking of which, why are all the movies these days either tent-pole comic book action movies or “small films” that stare Robert DeNiro and Ryan Gosling? Can’t some of us smaller storytellers get a share of the audience without spending a zillion dollars on casting and marketing? What if the only available books were paperback romance novels and comics? Wouldn’t readers demand more choices? Why are moviegoers accepting this or are they not but rather turning to television where the real genius is being used in terms of storytelling (though TV series and films are very different entities.)
Anyway, we should find out by Wednesday. It will either be a day for celebration or yet another “no, thank you” email to add to our overflowing file box.
One day that box is going to grow dust from lack of use. I just hope it’s sooner than later…