Sunday, 26 April 2009

All aboard...

"Is there anyone out there?" sang Pink Floyd.

That's kinda my feelings about blogs in general - I'm not sure why most people do them.

The only other person I know who has a blog is Chris Regan, a local script writer, who you can follow at

I do follow some blogs myself, I mean, I don't subscribe to them, I just remember to check them out every now and then.

So why start a blog?

Well, it was a recent post on one of the bulletins from Shooting People, which I'm a member of. There was a link to Ted Hope's blog about selling your film. Now, I'm currently in no position to be selling a film, or at least not yet and I have doubts whether I would be actively trying to sell my latest short films when they're complete. This list was saying that there was no point even considering attempting to sell a film unless you've got the following...
A trailer made and up on the web
You do not have clips selected and up on the web
You have not been writing a blog regarding the film for a significant length of time
You do not have a plan on how to keep that blog interesting for a year
You do not have a website for the film up on the web
You do not have a simple way to collect email addresses from fans
You have not set up a way for fans to subscribe to updates about the film
You have not joined multiple social network sites, both as an individual and as the film
You have not created a press kit with press notes for the film
You have not identified the blogs and critics you think will help promote your film
You have not built a study guide for film clubs
You have not mapped out a festival strategy that builds to local releases
You have not made several versions of a poster, and have enough to sell and give away
You have not made promotional items for your film
You have not manufactured the dvd and made great packaging

I know this is geared more towards feature film makers and I see the point that you do need a presence on the web, but sometimes I wonder if all we end up doing is creating a whole bunch of white noise, that means nothing. I mean, in all honesty, my first port of call regarding a film these days is normally iMDB, rather than a film's own website. I also wonder if all that creative energy used in maintaining a presence online could be better applied to the actual film being made, or writing a script, or something...It reminds me of the story of Jim Morrison, who apparently would spend hours in the bar, drinking, waxing lyrically and poetically, but then find himself spent by the time they got to the studio at the exact time they needed that energy.

Anyway, I've sorted myself out a little bit this weekend - I've tarted up my Shooting People profile, getting credits and stills where I can on my work profile. With the advice above, I should be starting a Facebook page for my latest short The Crunch, which was finished a couple of weeks ago following a protracted post production process. And of course, I've started this blog.

Another reason for starting this blog is that I'm currently writing a large essay on the making of my no budget feature film "Gettin' Some" - this film was shot back in 2000 on DV in Nottingham and, fingers crossed, after another protracted post production process, could well be finally completed in the coming months. My main target for the film now is to break it into piecemeal chunks and upload it all to Youtube, but I'd like to have the making of essay somewhere online, to hopefully give some context to the film and an insight into the behind the scenes soap opera which unfolded while trying to get the film made.

As I have several older shorts kicking around on Youtube, I'll probably post my old making of essays regarding them up here too, to provide some context and history of them.

So, why Wars Of Attrition?

I'm sure all film making feels like a battle, whether you've got £100 million or £100, though having the millions I'm sure helps grease the wheels. But where I am, at the bottom of the film making pile looking upwards, it can often feel that every aspect of making a film is a battle and you have to keep chipping away at it bit by bit. Where I am, making my films in my spare time, most of the people involved have jobs and other commitments. Trying to get 7 crew and 3 actors together in a location can often meaning planning months ahead and even then you might have to hope the weather is good, or the actor hasn't been offered a paying role, or that someone isn't ill, or that someone hasn't made plans and completely forgot about committing to your shooting date two months ago.

But still I carry on, chipping away. At the time of writing, I've been struggling to organise the final shoot for a film which was written in August 2006, was cast in September 2007, had a one day shoot in June 2008 and a second day in August 2008. Now I need to film the final day, with an actress who's been cast for nearly two years and yet to do a single scene. With the logistics of things, it looks like I'm going to have to shoot this final piece in a way I don't really want to.

With these wars, it often feels like there are no victors. Only compromises. But I, and I'm sure many other film makers in a similar position, soldier on.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps all creative activity feels like a battle.

    A lot of what you've described here could apply pretty well to a building project, for example.