Friday, 21 September 2012

COLD (No. 2)

This is another 'Cold' related blog because I can't write about anything else right now; I had forgotten how all consuming making a feature was, it's magnificently hard work. And doing Merlin at the same time doesn't help, how dare they make me work, don't they know I'm making a film....

I have been quite overwhelmed by the response to supporting the film, I use support because that word is appropriate, you may not realise it but every person who has helped it in any way even to re-tweeting or saying nice things has meant a huge amount. Myself and Tom, he will have no problem with me speaking on his behalf here, but maybe don't tell him just in case, were both astounded, not only by the speed of the response, but the generosity of the donations, and most of all, the words of goodwill. It's all been very humbling and makes it all worthwhile as knowing that making this film will make some people happy or proud or excited is already an achievement in itself.

 To be frank, I had been hesitant about putting out this idea initially and so I allowed it to gestate for a long time before embarking on it, partly because it opens one to criticism and a little bit of potential ridicule, but also because if it didn't work out then I'd be left looking a little silly. Then because I really didn't want to put out any of the story to ruin it, so as you can see the video gives a very limited overview of the story, it's much grander and painted across a far more epic tapestry than you guys have seen. Yet the over-riding fact was that because of how the film has gone so far, I simply didn't have the budget to complete shooting it in the same manner, and so I really needed some support, or else I was gonna have to sell a kidney. And I like my kidneys. And I've seen 'Dirty Pretty Things', not nice.

I have never asked for help before, or applied at any level for funding of any sort, and so now that there is the money there to actually use to shoot I am quite excited, it's going to be an odd experience to not have to take out my wallet to buy everybody's lunch, and then ice cream afterwards, it's always the ice cream that's the expensive part!!

I'll explain what the money so far allows us to do, and why I'm still being a pain and tweeting about it, not trying to outstay my welcome in the generous tea and biscuit house of film support trust me, so if I am annoying anybody, just ignore me for the next 15 days....then come back....think of it like an extended holiday, like a bubble in  Terry Gilliam's world with magic talking snakes and....yep.

The money is essentially a working shooting budget, it allows us to shoot for the 7 days needed to finish the film, such as equipment, because we are shooting 4-K on the RED so that's it's cinema quality, transport, accommodation, food (there is that pesky ice cream again, this time everybody gets a flake), and other basic expenses. We still shoot the exact same way, as that is essentially what it cost me for the initial block. Then it leaves a little left over to move into the initial stages of post production. Post production is the killer, it's like going on a date, doing all the ground work, buying a new shirt, getting aftershave, getting the right taxi, bringing her to the right place, saying all the right things, using those chat up lines you learnt in date chat up school and then getting home to find her parents are there, they are staunch Catholics and she is actually in a pre-marriage agreement to the local Lacrosse star. So that's gonna take a lot of effort, much will power, many favours and no small amount of money (all Lacrosse guys can be paid off, they're like colour graders, all fancy footwork but it's all for show). I use the analogy of a guy to a girl, but use your imagination to flip it around. That may be terrible actually. Sorry. You get the idea. If you don't, well post involves grading the image, which means making it look good, like a massively advanced form of photoshop, doing the sound scape, so people can understand what I am saying, and adding in nice squirrels frolicking in the background to make it warm and happy, the music, and all the bells and whistles. You get the idea now.

So yes, that is what the money that you have so very kindly donated will be used for. And then whenever you see this film you can say that you made that squirrel noise and that shoe on Tom's foot happen; hopefully in Cannes or Toronto or on a cold thursday night when you're bored and need somewhere to go on a date in the cinema near you. See what I did there? No. Okay.

But yes, right, I have digressed. Thank you so far, it's been very touching, everybody I've been working with has been very surprised and shocked at how we have done this so far, and so, from me to you guys, who read my rambling blogs and watch my little films, thank you very much....

Of course I will keep you all updated on the journey as it goes, but be warned, it may take 12 months, and in that time you will grow tired and forget all about me and Tom. And that's fine, just don't tell us.

This is a little video we made just to say thanks. ** A proviso: yep, back to those again, just in case! Tom is called Tom in the film too, because he has a quicker response time to his own name than a character name. And Katie is not in the film, but she was there today, hanging out and harassing us, so I decided she may as well do something for once....maybe don't tell Tom and Katie about this blog actually **



Monday, 17 September 2012

COLD, the feature film

This blog, quite predictably if you follow my twitter spam, is on the subject of "Cold", my new feature film which I have written and directed alongside my good friends Tom Hopper, Jack Reynor, Rebecca Night and Liam Carney. There are some other exceptional actors joining the cast in some really wicked cameos, like Tony Murphy, Brian Fortune, Micheal Yare, Charlotte Atkinson, it goes on....its very exciting for me :)

The film is a dramatic feature, which follows two English brothers meeting for the first time in 5 years at the unexplained death of their father. They are from a small village in the West of Ireland, where they have a history that is beginning to resurface when they find a girl left dumped in the moors. From then on strange events occur and.....that's all I'm saying. The plot takes some very unexpected twists and turns and I simply can't reveal anything further....

I find myself writing this blog and beginning to ramble a little with the excitement to be honest, as I think about the music from the Evora, and Greg French to come; The Evora are an exceptional group of musicians and their forthcoming album which will feature a lot on this film is truly going to be something to savour, and Greg....well Greg is one of the most talented musicians out there quite simply put. What's really inspiring for me is how we all grew up together, and like with Yare, Brian etc, to put together something which we would only have dreamt about in our teens is really quite cool. That isn't a justifiable reason to make a project, or be enthused by it, but it does help. It becomes a great source of joy through the act of collaboration, and it's what art should be....enjoyable and inspiring.

I wrote an article on crowd funding in the last edition of Phoenix Magazine without actually having any inclination to follow it myself, and yet writing the article really opened my eyes to it, and I think it's one of the great evolutions of social media that this kind of project can happen, that people around the world can communicate and get involved, and it gives me great ideas for the future....And this is what this blog is about, to see if there are people out there who want to get involved in producing a film that could be something really special....

Firstly, (or thirdly, or even fourthly after my inadvertent ramblings), I have to extoll the virtues of Tom. There are only a few actors, a small handfull whom I've worked with that I think will, and should go to the very top, and Tom is one of those. Along with Jack Reynor, the two of them give outstanding performances, genuinely Tom is simply magnificent and it was a pleasure working with him, and with Jack. The same with Rebecca, who is just a beautiful actress, and of course Liam Carney, who is a legend. The thing is that this film has grown and come alive in the manner that cinema should evolve for me; it should be organic, and the scenes and performances should leap off the screen from the page in a manner that is exquisitely exciting. This is why I am so excited about this film, cos these guys are excellent. Yes, I do act in this film, but for me, I just had to be there to react off them, to play off what they were giving me, and it was a pleasure doing that. Some people have asked me about the difficulties in directing the scenes and other actors whilst acting in it myself and my response is what it has always been in this scenario, that if the casting is right and thus the actors are good enough and understand the material, then you just let them play, follow the scenes the way you discussed, and then it, just, is.

The reason that I have put out some feelers for this film via IndieGogo is because so far it has turned out so beautifully, and has such potential that I have decided it is worth it to expose the idea and the footage (in as small a way as possible so as not to give away anything really), because it should really work as film and become something quite marvellous if completed in the right manner. At least that is always the hope with any film, or creative project. So I just hope that people feel the same way, as they have already shown in their generosity (which has been quite outstanding so far, really unexpected).

I guess that this blog may be a little unsubstantial compared to previous incarnations, but I really don't want to give much of the story away, I have tentatively compared it so some wonderful films and referenced exceptional genius film makers such as Paris, Texas and Kieslowski, so i hope it can be favourably looked upon, but the reason being is that they are the benchmarks and the inspiration for what i have wanted to achieve with this film, and story. The story, is explained more succinctly in the indiegogo video below than I will do in writing here late at night, and also watching it with music makes it seem so much more dramatic :)

We had such fun so far, it was tough, doing 17 hour days almost as standard, maybe longer as we had only 9 days to shoot the initial block, and the entire project will only be over 15 days maximum, but when you're working with good people who know what they're doing and believe in the project it just becomes easy....Henry, Barry, Tess, Miles, Alec, Aoiffe, Sue, Steven, and Eimear...

Finally, all the stills that you see are basic screen grabs, at barely 1/8 of the quality, are from the moving footage, and are ungraded, so the potential for how it can look is very visceral I hope...

I hope that the interest is there, and that the perks are exciting enough, there will be a few more up by the time this blog has existed 24 hours, because with the help that we have gotten so far I believe that we can make something truly special. And at the very least, we're gonna have fun trying and give it a damn good go.....

The IndieGogo link and video is here: On YOUTUBE:

And this is the actual IndieGogo page where you can contribute and get involved:

Much love as Scanlan would say,