You won’t need telling how important social networking is to filmmaking these days. It has become an essential tool of the trade. Facebook is great for getting friends and friends of friends on board with your projects but it’s Twitter where things get really interesting. I have had a Twitter account for years but only really started using it at the start of the year. Almost instantly I started meeting all sorts of incredible people. Yes, people who I might work with but also people who you can learn from. As the old saying goes, independent doesn’t mean alone; and with Twitter you certainly enjoy a feeling of comradeship with other filmmakers, at all levels, working hard to make projects work.
It’s been a busy year for me full of networking and beginning new projects. Of course, my main priority is to make a new short film and a second feature film but I also had released a DVD of my short films and my musical project 7th Adventure Recordings had just released a debut CD. You can see them here: www.themoontheeye.co.uk/onlineshop
Also with new contacts and friends being made left right and centre a couple other projects barged their way to the front of the queue. As well as this diary I also write a series of articles about the arts scene where I live in Medway, Kent, UK. You can read them here:
After writing about a couple of local musicians it grew into something interesting. I was asked to make a video for the upcoming single by Medway band Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society. I listened to the track and straightaway I wanted to work on the 1930’s feel of the song. I shot, as I often do, very fast and edited within a couple of days or so. You can see the video to ‘Call Me Dave’ by Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society here:
Following this I was asked by Lupen Crook to make a video for the lead single from his new album. The deadline was very tight on this on. I worked day and night to pull off an ambitious shoot, people kept dropping out, as is often the way with non-funded projects but, if you have time you can get anything done. You either need time or money. We had neither. In the end the idea had to be shelved.
It was a pity but also a bit of a relief as I could now take myself away from that particular project and get back to the long delayed writing. It was a struggle. One of my problems (it happens to be a strength too) is that I have MANY projects on the go. It became very easy to work on different projects but not really the ones I needed to. Writing is hard, at least for me. Any distraction would take me away from it.
Then came a family holiday in France. A secluded little place, no internet. It meant my online conversations, my networking had to cease. It worked. I started to think once more about, firstly, my next short film called Dreamplayr. I needed to think about those characters, the situation, the problems. I needed to stop thinking about my other projects for a while. I needed to stop thinking about Twitter and Facebook and networking. I even tried to write something but, and here is where it got scary, I couldn’t write a thing. Well, nothing that was any good anyhow. It felt like I really needed to get to the bottom, to totally switch off. So, rather than panicking, I put my pen down and just let my mind sink to the bottom. No doubt the vast array of French cheeses and wines on offer helped with that. On the way home I could feel that, somehow, the story was ready.
Once I returned I switched on my computer and wrote Dreamplayr very quickly. I’m happy with it. It works. I will cast and start shooting that very soon.
And so it seems that, for me at least, in order to communicate with the characters I’m writing about the only course of action is to retreat into solitude. Perverse though it sounds to find out more about life and people we have to retreat from it. At least for a while.