We've been working tirelessly on Recognition, our 30-minute film about memory loss, for months on end. As production is on its way, there are still many intense weeks to come so that our next film will be the best it can be. November: The Interview was complete, and I had that amazing sense of freedom that only comes when you're looking down to a blank page after escaping the trials, tribulations and thrills of the last project. Research needed to be done - it was lucky that our producer and 1st AD currently takes a masters in Neuroscience! She was a great consultant when it came to the depths of the mind. After much blockage, scribbles, pins on walls and a rainbow of post-it notes did I have a decent first draft. But the first draft is always the worst draft - so I begun on the lone road of development. Only last week was the final draft of Recognition completed, and tweaks still manage to find themselves sneaking in: But overall, I have a script that I'm reasonably happy with and something that's had a good response from those who have read it. It's always good to get good feedback, it completely renews faith when faith is dying. December: Crew members came on board - highly-efficient producer Amber Tear, intelligent and innovative DOP Ewan McAleer, ingenious production designer Carina Haouchine... Things began to come together. January: The calm before the storm. Things were coming together nicely - we had several locations booked, recces were done, and casting was on the way. February: As busy and intense as the strings of Vivaldi's Summer which features heavily in Recognition. Casting came - it was a tough one. We held auditions at The Arches, Argyle Street which I recommend - a great environment for those with shallow pockets. I've found out how hard it is to judge how well your character is being portrayed when the actor, however great, is reading from paper. We didn't have time enough however, to ask for the lines to be learned by heart and so script it was. I've also learned, however, that everyone has something new to bring to your character. And every time you work with a potential actor, even in auditions, you get to know that character a little bit better. Everyone who auditioned brought something new to the role: a tug at Joanne's heart necklace, and fiery gesticulation of Doctor Yale's arms. But we just couldn't quite find our Joanne, and our Doctor - yet. The second casting call was met with overwhelming response - this week has seen a wave of meetings which reminded me that co-producing and directing simultaneously is not necessarily the best idea. I found myself writing dates and time on the back of my trodden-on script, and then losing sight of them for a few blind-panic moments. On the plus side, we've got a fair few actors booked in for a screen test and I feel very confident that my Joanne, Doctor Yale and Frederick are in there. In other news, we had a glorious location scout up to Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland in an attempt to find the exact spot where our ash-scattering ceremony will be held (my production designer tells me she's not actually going to cremate my cat and use his ashes, however much I plead). The photos say it all about the incomparable North of Scotland. We found our spot.
Storyboarding is in the works right now - some parts are easy, and some are not. The Sims 3, a brilliant game - let's face it - is a surprisingly useful storyboarding tool. Design your sets beautifully (with realistic lighting), your characters (with unrealistic eye-colours) and your shots, with complete control over the camera. Grab a screenshot and then, if you want to take it further, edit them together and create, effectively, your entire film from stills and subtitles. The first scheduled shoot is Thursday 5th March, which will involves LOTS of people, black and white, experimental aspect ratios, and bookshops. So all is sounding good. Apart from the locations crisis. It's proving very difficult to find two rooms separated by a windowed-wall, one room with a ceiling that can be projected onto, and the other able to be transformed into a control panel with sounds mixers, wires and space for photographs. March: The battle commences. -S