Friday, 8 November 2013

I'm a real Film Maker me. See I've even got an office!

So after 20 years or so of doing battle in this ridiculous yet brilliant industry that I find myself in I had a brainwave earlier this year. Nothing big and yet possibly the best thing I've ever done.  Why not get an office and call myself a professional film maker?  So that's what I've done and here I am sat in it with walls covered in post-it notes of different scripts I'm working on.

I've been in the new office for just over a month now and what have I learnt so far? Well my first thought is how much of a difference in mindset it makes having a dedicated space to come and work in everyday. I never really had myself pegged as an office-bod but if I'm honest it's great having the space to spread out and be free of any distraction other than the blank word document before me on the screen or the contact details of that sales company I really should've called last year. I've got more work done in the last month than I have in probably the last two years. I'm not one for 'if only's' but imagine 'if only' I'd done this years ago?

The main difference I've noticed is in the way I deal with the industry. In the past I would be sat at my kitchen table at home struggling to write between all the distractions of home (TV and coffee you know you're the worst offenders) and the thought of trying to have a decent conversation with a sales company, distributor or funding body while the kids screamed around the place was impossible. It's very easy to lose track of yourself when it's like that and it's very easy to feel like a fraud whose just play acting at filums.

Not any more. I sit at my desk, mind focused on why I'm here and what I need to get done and where as before I'd say to myself "I really must email that person sometime" and never get around to it, I now pick up the phone and call them and the results have been amazing. Great conversations, people taking interest and even a couple of meetings. Ok so no money as yet but small steps. The thing that has surprised me most is just how happy people are to talk to you. It's very easy as an indie film maker to become isolated and begin to think that you're on your own in a battle against a huge faceless industry that won't let you in the club but the truth is I'm finding it isn't like that at all.  Being a film maker isn't a battle, its a love affair. Hey maybe the problem's been me all along? Just by putting in the effort and speaking to these people I find that actually the club door is most definitely open and happy to accept new members, even if it is only just talking through your idea.

Now what I'm finding really exciting is that none of this is stopping me from putting my films out as I've always done. I can carry on doing what I do. Indeed I'm still shooting The Long Road on and off, the only difference being is that this time I know that the sales companies will take a look at it when it's done. Self-D is still the long term aim for any indie film maker I would suggest (maybe that's just a left over from my days in a garage band?) For me it just seems to have opened up another avenue of maybe getting other kinds of projects made, larger scale projects alongside my no-budget films. That would be a good position to be in, one for the industry, one for me. Who knows? Either way the important thing is that I'm doing everything I can to make these projects happen...and it feels good.

So here I am a month or so in and I find my whole experience completely different from that of the last 20 years. For the first time in a long time I feel that there is a way through and maybe just maybe people are interested in the films I'm writing and making. Now comes the tricky bit, translating all that industry good will into hard cash. Still, so far so good.

Until next time Workshoppers


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