Monday, 28 January 2008

Short film gets shorter and the problem with too many outlines...

Met up with my friend John tonight who I met on the evening class at Brighton Film School. He produced the short film I directed there, Souvenir Detective, and we've been talking about working on something else ever since. We started out talking about working on a feature film but given how much time and hard work has gone into Ten Dead Men I wasn't ready to commit to something that huge when there was only two of us involved. We were then going to work on a twenty minute short based on one of my old scripts, the idea being that we could put a crew and a group of local actors together and if it worked out well use the same team for the feature. That never really happened either, and again it was down to me never really committing to it. I wanted to rewrite the script we chose but with all the feature work I've been doing, plus trying to find a new day job, I never actually got around to it. So tonight John suggested a 3 minute horror film instead, which is a great idea. Depending on what we do, 3 minutes can ideally be filmed over a weekend and edited over a week so shouldn't get in the way of the writing too much. Now we just need to agree on an idea.

Directing is something I would like to do more of and definitely something I would like to get better at. I like the idea of having more control over my scripts and while I find the actual directing process hard work I like seeing how it all comes together afterwards and the sense of achievement you get from putting the hard work in. But it is hard work and that's why I'm reluctant to devote too much time too it. I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to concentrate on writing, but I'd still like to keep my hand in directing just in case the right opportunity comes up someday.

In other news I got some feedback on my last treatment of the serial killer film I'm writing for the producer of Ten Dead Men. This idea has been going back and forth between the two of us for about three months now which isn't really that long, but it feels like its been going on for much longer. It's getting there but still needs a bit more work. Phil still isn't quite happy with the story, but I'm getting to the point where I just want to get writing. I don't really have a system that I use for every script - each one seems to work a little differently. Sometimes I think it pays to put the work into the front end and develop the story until it's close to perfect before going into the script. Sometimes, as was the case with Hit the Big Time, I think it's easier to go straight into the script and see where the characters take you. With the horror film I think it definitely needs the development as it's potentially a very complicated story, but I also feel like I need to get into these characters a bit more and give them some room to develop, especially since it's a two-hander. So I think I can manage one more pass at the treatment, but then I really need to get these characters into a script to see what they say to each other.

Also as I'm writing this I'm listening to the Brent Hanley (writer of the amazing Frailty, one of my favourite films of the last few years) commentary on his episode of Masters of Horror and he's just said he doesn't like doing too many outlines!

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