Thursday, 19 November 2015


I'm back in my comfort zone . . . making movies.

Last Saturday the young students started to shoot their stories, which they hope will turn out well enough to enter into a film festival next year. First day was tough, and the performances were not great overall. However, it takes a while to get into it. The added challenge is that due to time restraints the students are only able to film for an hour each Saturday, so that all six groups get a turn. That presents logistical nightmares, especially for me. In January they'll get a three-hour run at it, so hopefully we will achieve success overall.

They should be very proud of themselves. A single page of script generally works out at one minute of screen time. On average, with a professional crew, I would look to shoot three pages in a 10-hour day. These kids are shooting seven pages in the equivalent of four and a half hours!

They're a bit daunted, but I reminded them all last week, that just 12 months ago they had no idea what a dolly and track were, or what an Extreme Close Up was used for. Now, here they are, shooting a short story that they developed, into a film to enter it into a festival. If they are selected they'll end up on the red carpet in Leicester Square in London next August.

If they finish it that is.

But even if they don't, they'll have learned a great deal. And a lot of creatives are notorious for not finishing a project. I can count myself among them.

I met with a colleague last week for a catch up, and we discussed this very subject. Why do we go on about ideas and projects, yet after only a few weeks of developing the idea in our heads, we abandoned it?

Making a film is a massive challenge, and we deduced that the large potential to fail puts us off, especially after we have told others what we would like to achieve. We also get stuck on the big picture, pardon the pun. Rather than seeing it for what it really is, a sum of very small parts, we can't get away from the overall larger project.

But this doesn't just apply to film makers. We could say this about any idea or project we all come up with but fail to bring to fruition. Maybe it's a desire to impress, but once that initial reaction has passed, you're left with actually doing the thing.  And setting the bar too high can destroy the momentum.

There's  an old saying in film making, that writers have the best decorated house; because they'd rather do anything but write.

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