Dreaming with a broken heart

Dreaming with a broken heart

I feel mean. In my script I have to break up two people and while the woman doesn’t truly love the man she is with, he has been kind and true and he really loves her. What did he do to deserve this? Nothing really. Life just can be cruel sometimes.

But it results in beautiful songs like these.

(Still no internet at home, hence the short post. Lucky you. DIRL: 9.)

My hands are shaking

The name is Nighy, Bill NighyThe internet connection at home will be down until Monday (and has been down since Monday and it drives me nuts) and having been out of the office yesterday – no possibility to write at all. So I apologize for the radio silence. I am afraid it is going to be a somewhat messy post. But one with style and grace and deliciously long legs.

The networking evening
Shortly: nothing happened.
As said, being shy and selfconscious, meeting new people at an event like this is not easy for me. A couple of unexpected tips and tricks things helped me – a lot.

A good friend send me some awesome pictures of Bill – and said “Think about those when you have to talk to people. It will put a smile on your face”. It did, in fact it worked so well that I, from now on, am going to do this every single time I have to meet scary new people like this. One of those pics is currently my windows background. And hitting it home, one of my male(!) colleagues who noticed that – “God he has really long legs hasn’t he?” Oh yeah he does. Rock legs.

Sam (my screen writing tutor) who was there too said “Don’t take it too seriously, just pretend you are walking around in a comedy”. That helped too.

And finally – one of my male classmates, who has loads of experience in the film industry told me:
“I hate this.”
Me “Me too.”
“I am incredibly shy.”
Me: “Oh tell me about it. I hate to have to sell myself and my story like this. I don’t want to do it.”
“Me neither.”
“But we have to.”
“Yes.”
“We’ll take a drink and then we will cast ourselves into it together.”
“Good plan.”

And so we did. It was somehow comforting that he was just as intimidated by the whole setup as I was.

In the end I did try to pitch my story to a producer, but my pitch sucked so much that I saw him switch off his ears after 1 minute. I wanted to die. He politely waited till I was finished. Still did give me his business card and than ran off. (Not quite but it felt like that). I promised myself to shut up from that point on and not do any attempts to pitch my story to anyone that night. I got some more producer business cards just by mentioning “rom-com” but know that those are “producers” who probably haven’t produced a single film yet. And I know one film needs to be their first, but I find it hard to take producers without business cards seriously.

Basically there were a lot of people around pretending to be more than they really were. The Nancy Meyers and Duncan Kenworthy’s won’t come to events like these. I won’t either, not before I have learned how to pitch my story in no longer than 30 seconds. So that’s my goal.

Good things that came out of this meeting:

  • In the tube on my way there the title for my film popped up in my head. So that’s one thing off my to do list.
  • It was quite nice to meet my class mates in a non class room environment.
  • I can talk to people without shrinking in front of them (when concentrating, not taking it too seriously and by thinking about photos like these).

Tonight it’s Cirque du Soleil, tomorrow it’s another day of work on the 60 seconds short.

A short remark about the miniature Trabant on the kebab stick: it was a clean kebab stick! And we just pinned the car on it in order to move it across a green screen. You won’t see the stick in the final result of course, and the stick made it easier to move the car around than fish wire. Green screen work is really cool to do, and by experimenting we learn a lot about it. The 11th of February you will hopefully see what I am talking about.

Sunday is reserved for writing on my no longer title less script, and on Monday I will need a holiday even more than I do already.

Enjoy your weekend.

Oh one more thing- Quantum of what?
Maybe someone had a couple of Wodka martini’s too many chosing a title like that?

Apart from the title,
something to look forward too.

Bill Posters will be CCTVed

OK, not a lot of time, so – memo style post with lovely picture.

  1. I am quite shocked by the sudden death of actor Heath Ledger (28). He was extraordinary in Brokeback Mountain.
  2. Where are we with the 60 second action feature you wonder? Well after another long night of mad movie making on Yorkshire tea the milky way, chocolate and pizza we are quite hopeful. I found myself moving a mini Trabant on a kebab stick in front of a green screen at 11.30 pm yesterday. How’s that for being a film maker.
    We nearly have a picture lock, which means that all the timings in the film are locked. Which also means that the sound track composer can compose his music on the exact second. Timing is a huge issue in a short like this. And being very creative in the edit is a huge issue too. I think we are doing fine. We need a break after this but rest assured that we will return with a new project to work on.
  3. There is a networking evening tonight where writers meet producers. I don’t want to go (being shy and self conscious) but I am going to force myself to go. While I tried to convince Sam that I had nothing to offer – he convinced me that I had – I had a first draft of a feature script, which is more than all the people saying they are writers without having written a complete script ever. So OK then, I have my feature script. And I will have to actively go and talk with people I don’t know, and tell them about it. Scaring the willies out of me that does.
  4. I will try to prepare a short run through of the story in stead of the several hours (felt like) session Bloglily had to go through.
  5. I will tell them about my Cookie short too, you never know.
  6. I will see if I can talk to some female producers as they might be more interested in a rom-com than male ones.
  7. I have a big stack of red business cards with me which, beside my address and website info carry the tag line of TGITC “Love can’t change what’s wrong in the world, but it’s a start”. How’s that for a rom-com writer.
  8. I’ll let you know how it went. It’s a first time for me on an event like this, so I don’t expect anything at all to happen. But making contacts is good and necessary in the film industry. Without it you don’t get anywhere at all.
  9. Bloglily called me good looking and my script “marvelous”. I didn’t pay her to say that. Does it encourage me – yes it does, the marvelous script bit. The good looking bit I don’t believe.
  10. I have such an insane week this week that I don’t have time for a cinema visit at all. I was happy to read that DIRL won’t disappear from the cinemas just yet, it has just been extended for a week. Good. As there is no Bill film in sight in the very near future (I truly miss him) Dan is getting me through January without going completely insane.
  11. Go on then, CCTV me.
  12. I hope you are well out there too.

It always seems impossible until it’s done

One of the editors of the Chicago Tribune turned 50 and made a list of 50 things he has learned throughout the years. it’s a nice list, and there are some points on there that are spot on for me too.

6. The most valuable thing to have is a good reputation, and it’s neither hard nor expensive to acquire one: Be fair. Be honest. Be trustworthy. Be generous. Respect others.

Being honest can get you in trouble I can tell you from experience because being honest sometimes means saying things people don’t want to hear. It is sometimes very hard to be honest, but it is the only way. For me. I will, some day, explain this a bit further, but the dust needs to settle a bit first.

12. Keeping perspective is the greatest key to happiness. From a distance, even a bumpy road looks smooth.

In addition to that I would like to add: Stay positive. Nothing annoys me more than people who have turned complaining into a way of life. I can’t stand it. Complaining doesn’t help, especially not when it is about things you have no control over so – just shut up and deal with it.

OK maybe that sounds a bit harsh, but the complaining I am aiming at, it complaining just for the sake of complaining, not because they are important in any way. You know the types.

Much more of this inside »

The Good Night – a rom dep and D.I.R.L: 6

Movie Maniac

OK, The Good Night

Lorenzo (owner of the now closed THE Cafe) already told me about this movie a year ago, they had shot a short sequence in his cafe. That was reason enough for me to see it. Bonus was that both Martin Freeman and Simon Pegg are in it too. Two of the funniest actors in Britain in one film. Surely that would guarantee a funny rom-com.

Surely I can be wrong about things sometimes, as this is the first Rom-Dep I have ever seen. I have never been this depressed watching a wannabe rom-com, it wasn’t funny at all and I haven’t seen any real romance either. What a crap script. What a crap movie!

And then I wonder – how the hell did it get made? Who puts money in crap like that? And than you read that it is written and directed by Jake Paltrow, which is indeed the brother of, and Gwenneth was in this film too. And I thought – shit – I wish I knew someone famous, because then I would be making my film next year.

So fully depressed I left Screen 6, and walked directly into Screen 5 where I injected myself with instant feel-goodness. Yep, find your pen and mark it up – Dan in Real Life – viewing number 6 was a fact.

I have just heard a first version of our 60 seconds film soundtrack and wow, it sounds quite cool. It needs a bit of adjusting but it is going to be a great thing to have a soundtrack tailor made for our short short.

I am in the middle of a screen writing class weekend. My script hasn’t been analyzed yet (will be tomorrow) but during the 30 minutes we had to stand outside because of a fire alarm, my tutor told me that it has moved a million miles (in the right direction) from my first version. Just hearing that is enough to keep me going with this script. That and the fact that I truly love my story.

Have a great weekend too.

Tube travel mates and Stephen Fry’s Cinderella Panto

Tube dogs

Those two did accompany me this morning on my travel on the Hammersmith & City Line. Trust me they look more dangerous than they were, they were quite cute, and a bit bored and not too happy to be on the train. And they have this intensely sad look on their face. They are not very pretty either, but I love them just the way they are. (Got that Bridget?)

And I saw Stephen Fry’s Cinderella in the Old Vic today.

More about Cinderella »

Inside my head

Great. Typical.

Before you start – I know that you write SCRIPT with a T in the end. I think this really stresses the point of this post: memory overload.

I promise, that soon, when I have cleaned up a bit in my head, I will write some proper posts again. Maybe. Probably.

In the mean time listen to this beautiful piece of music.
It is film music. Of course it is, it’s from Serendipity and it is magical.

It’s called January Rain (it is by David Gray) which is a pretty appropiate title if you live in London.

[audio:012008.mp3]

Let my love open the door

I picked it up, walked to the counter to pay and suddenly realized how pathetic it must have looked. I wanted to say – this is going to be a prop for my short – it is not for Valentine’s day – but I didn’t say anything. I just paid and walked out – with my new red heart shaped bowl. It is a great prop. And the wooden man (a New Yorker who lives with me) agreed with me totally.

The silver coloured heart in the bottom has a chime inside. I bought it in a shop in Notting Hill because I really like the sound and shape, and because it might be a prop too. I didn’t buy it because I am obsessed with hearts or anything, you know me better than that.

I saw Dan in real life again today in the Chelsea cinema. I love this film so much, it’s funny and touching and I laughed a lot and cried and I think Steve Carell is so adorable in this film. The fact that I know the soundtrack inside out made it an even bigger pleasure to watch. I apologize to all other viewers for singing along in the cinema and I want a soundtrack like that if I ever get my film made.

The rewrite – the breakup

To rewrite
In a cinema near you in 2012 (yeah – keep dreaming)

This is what it looked like (because it has changed now), a part of the break up scene in my feature, a scene I have been struggling with for a while. I think I nailed it now but let’s hear what Sam says next weekend. The list with things to fix in the script is still quite long and it is going to be a weekend of hard work again.

I have found a cafe close to Piccadilly which seems to be suitable to become a cafe for the girl in the cafe – until I find something better. It is far from as cool as the New Piccadilly but in stead of staying angry and sad about the loss of that place I have decided to move on and use this one, until something better pops up. The tea is OK, and they have proper seats and tables to write at.

See that pink pen? I bought it a week or two ago because I liked the colour. I started to use it to mark stuff in my script and was so pleased with the visibility of the pink colour in between the black text that I more or less raced back to the shop and bought a whole stock of those pens. I simply need a pink pen to make notes in a script now and I realize that that might sound completely bonkers to you but I guess every writer has his or her specific tics.

In about an hour from now we have a meeting with a special effects company in Soho. They are profs and their show reel is amazing and normally they only do paid work. However they did like our 60 seconds script a lot and invited us over for a meeting to decide if they are going to help us out with some special effects and maybe some animation. We are not counting on anything – but cross your fingers for us. If they say yes – the special effects in our film are going to be incredible. If they say no we have a plan B. It’s always good to have a plan B.

Enjoy your weekend.

I love pancakes

I love pancakes
I love pancakes

I really do. Those ones have been indulged in Big Daddy’s in New York, a fantastic 60’s style cafe close to Union scare. And no I couldn’t help myself with the maple syrup indeed. This was my breakfast.

Yesterday night we have cut a first rough (very rough!) edit of our 60 seconds action feature film. And I have to say: it looks great. Or rather: it looks exactly like we imagined those scenes and as a whole the story works. For us that is, let’s hope it will work for you out there too – a lot is happening in those 60 seconds! I went home at 1.10am, sat in an empty bus on my way home and am still tired. We have hired a composer who is doing his best to deliver a cracking soundtrack, and we have still hope to find a special effects/animator too.

We shot some green screen sequences which is going to look amazing and generally, we are quite pleased with how it looks at the moment. Mind you, we haven’t even done any serious editing yet.

The good thing for us, but not for you, is that the deadline for the competition has moved from the 18th of January to the 11th of February. This means that we actually can have our life back for a short while, but it also means that you have to be a bit more patient.

So tonight we take the night off, I can chill on my sofa doing nothing and I will actually have time to work on my feature script this weekend. This is all good. And on Friday Dan in real Life will have it’s premiere, so guess what I will be doing on Saturday and Sunday too.

I will try to scan in the rest of the Love Actually cards tonight!

PS I love all the new gravatars popping up here!

PS2: Sorry for the enormous amount of posts about film making and this short lately. But there is not much else going on at the moment! (which is great for me, but maybe a bit boring for you)

PS3 There is no one compared with you.

WordPress 2.3.2 upgrade headaches

Some parts are working, some are not. I am working on fixing the problems.

It surely wasn’t a smooth upgrade this time …

In the mean time, you can go and get yourself a gravatar, so we have more funky pictures when everything works again.

(I’ll fix the gravatar thing as soon as possible!)

Update: Gravatar thingy works now! I love all those tiny inventive images you have chosen!

Shooting day II – what a day

We did it. We shot all the insane scenes we wanted to shoot. We have been incredibly lucky with our actors as they were all very motivated, patient (when things took a bit longer than expected), talented and up for it and it has been a very busy couple of days. We now take 48 hours off, to let the dust settle a bit and to catch up on a lack of sleep. Then we will start the edit.

It has been an amazing couple of days, a roller coaster with little sleep and long days, but it has been so much fun and a learning experience too. Shooting on a no-budget forced us to be very inventive and creative but we didn’t want the film to look cheap and home made and I think we succeeded quite well in that.

Would we do it like this again? Well we might do a 60 second movie again but probably not one with such a short deadline (18th of January!), as it really wears you out rather quickly to have long days like this. Watching the rushes on the screen quickly makes you forget how tired you are though, as did the “It was such a pleasure to work with you girls” from one of the very experienced senior (he’s on imdb!) actors and our male lead wants to be in my rom-com feature, so generally everybody was happy and had a great time.

Here is just one of the many things that happened:

In the middle of London (WC1) we had to shoot a short scene which implicated the following:

  • shooting on the streets of London (not allowed without permission and we didn’t have one)
  • parking the car (which was a part of the scene) on the pavement (definitely not allowed!)
  • in front of the car on the pavement a bed with a man and a woman in it, the man being bare breasted (don’t know if that’s allowed, but at lot of people (women!) who passed found it very amusing, because he was a very handsome guy (we know how to cast)) and the woman scarcely dressed. And big up to our actors because it was a clear but freezingly cold day!

Do know that there are CCTV camera’s everywhere in London.

And it didn’t take long before a police car stopped to find out what the hell we were doing and if those two people in bed had any clothes on. In other words, were we shooting an X rated movie or what? The police man was not the only person who asked us that question, lots of men seemed to be amused to stumble upon a scarcely dressed beautiful woman in bed on the pavement in the centre of London.

So in a desperate attempt to save our set I tried to explain the whole setup to this police officer.

Guess what he said.

Short film – Shoot day I

I was home at 10.30pm. Yay! That means that I can get a close to normal night sleep.

We were all very tired today, which was noticable in the lack of laughter outbursts, but maybe that was for the better, having the actors around. And things went very well. It was clear weather, cold but with sunshine which was perfect.

It’s pure magic to see a pencil drawing we made a bit more than a week ago come to life in front of you. It makes all the hard work worth while, and it makes you forget how tired you really am. The actors were amazing, they all delivered great performances and we have been very lucky getting them on board.

There are some fantastic scenes (I think) and sometimes it’s a pity we only have 60 seconds to show it in. The good thing is that we are learning a lot which can all be used on any possible next projects.

I will take some still pictures tomorrow and if the actors are OK with it – will post some of them here. I am sure you can see which film we are making, and why!

Time for bed. Call time tomorrow: 8am. Location: Toothing Bec.

A last (long) day of shooting.

The year that passed

Sparkling New York
Sparkling New York – I. Love. It.

I love to summarize my year in 24 words, so here we go:

Bill. New York. The Girl in the Cafe. Cafe closure. Trains. Short films. Wrote feature. Love. Actually. Inspired. Job. Travel. Dreams. Realisations. Collaborations. London.

A quick look through my year makes me happy, I am glad I have written it down because I would not have remembered all the things that have happened in 2007. I have had a wonderful year with a lot of unexpected twists of fate.

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