GAS! has made it to the semi-finals of the Lit Scares International Horror Festival! Which is awesome! The finalists are announced on Friday Dec 12th. So fingers crossed this WWI horror short script makes it through. But it’s much appreciated to see it get through this far. I’m definitely beginning to think that this may have a future beyond being merely a writing sample…
Also, COMFORT HIM has successfully passed through the Early Notification of Round 1 Qualifying stage of the Wild Indie Sci-fi & Fantasy Film Festival. It’s not officially selected as yet though. Official selections will be confirmed in January 2021. But it was nice to see that it has made it this far.
And in other news – re TUMBLE DYING, I have managed to cut from 2hrs of total footage, down to 24 minutes. I have a workable sequence, rough cut of 2.5 minutes. But have much further to go. But I’m enjoying how this one is coming together, even if my time is quite limited.
Work is proceeding apace on two feature script ideas. I’m expecting one meeting this week to resolve for me which one is definitely going to be the official front runner, because I can’t do two at once. And although I am sure which is the natural front runner, it seems that there might be a good reason to move the other one forward, to jump the queue. Apologies for being cryptic, but I just wanted to show that not all in writing goes as planned, when you’re collaborating with others. But I’m keen to resolve that asap. – what I can tell you is that the MURDER TOURS synopsis has been well-received by 3 of the trusted readers. I’m still waiting on feedback from two others. But I do really appreciate their collective efforts and feedback.
I also surprised myself this last week, by writing a couple of micro fiction / flash fiction short bedtime stories with a Christmas theme, and no one died in them! There was a very specific reason for doing so, and in such a rush, and if anything comes of it, I will tell you more. But I was happy to challenge myself and do something very different.
I’m very happy to share that my WWI short script ‘GAS!’ won “Best Short Screenplay” award at the September 2020 Reale Film Festival. It’s awesome! Great news. And as it got selected and awarded on the same day, it was quite the surprise!
It’s confirmation to me that I was right to dust it off and try my luck at resubmitting it to festivals. I only wish that I’d thought of doing so sooner. In fact, I’m beginning to think about revisiting some other scripts for potential festivals. But mainly I am thinking about finally achieving my long term goal of getting one of my existing feature scripts up to spec and a worthy festival contender.
However, long term readers would know that the reason that hasn’t happened is lack of time. lol. So don’t expect that goal to be achieved too soon. But don’t think I’ve forgotten about it either. And I’ll have more news soon re feature scripts…
For now, let’s forget such dreams and goals. And enjoy the fact that the GAS! poster now has 4 laurels. Sweet.
I haven’t forgotten my promise to print some t-shirts (When I said, if it won such an award: “I promise to print some limited edition posters of Karen Keslen’s fantastic art work, and get some t-shirts made – if people are interested.”). So when this is all done, I will indeed do such a thing. Who cares if it means some people wearing a t-shirt for a film that might never get made?
I am super excited to announce that GAS! – my first world war script about a mustard gas attack is now an award winning script! I found out yesterday that it won an “Outstanding Achievement” award! That’s amazing, seeing as it is the first official selection, and first festival of it’s new incarnation. many thanks IndieXFest.
Previously, a different earlier version of the script, did get to Semi-Finalist at Shriekfest I believe… but memory is hazy now. But it’s nice confirmation that the changes I’ve made, have improved the script. And I’m keen to see how it fares at some of the other fests.
In honour of its win, I’ve listed it on IMDB, only to attach awards to it – HERE. But I won’t personally be producing, as I don’t have the resources / budget to pull it off. Although I’d love to do a real war movie like this, I’d rather get it to other potentially interested parties / be content to use it as an example of my work. But if it wins a “Best Script” award, I promise to print some limited edition posters of Karen Keslen’s fantastic art work, and get some t-shirts made – if people are interested.
We’re very pleased to share that COMFORT HIM had its first official selection – at the Venice Awards. Nice. 🙏 – well done team! Thanks to Karen for updating the posters. And already, as a result a few more film festivals have generously reached out and offered discount codes to submit the film to their festivals, so such results do pay dividends.
We will be releasing some behind the scenes (BTS) materials soon, about the making of the film. So stay tuned for that.
This happened just before we hit 7K views. Nice. So our micro short has begun its film festival journey and people are also enjoying it – well apart from 1 dislike on YouTube and 1 dumb comment on Twitter, but that’s still not a bad success rate if you think about it 😉 .
Breakdown of views across different platforms – 1 month after release:
= 7016 views
We are very satisfied with the results. It’s a great start. Let’s hope people can continue to like and share it! Because remember:
Liking helps these films get picked up in algorithms, for more people to see them and help us attract more views.
And more importantly, sharing is caring! If you share the film, more people will see it and this will inspire us to make more films. 😉 – thanks to everyone that has already done so!
NEW MICRO SHORT FILM: Hasse and I have officially begun pre-production on our next comedy horror short, called TUMBLE DYING. We’ve started asking people to donate socks, we’ve been gathering props and finalising the shooting schedule, with a date earmarked for the end of August.
THREE PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT: We have some exciting potential projects in the works. But we can’t really tell you much about them. Sorry – but soon as I can, I will! Two of them are feature projects earmarked for possible development in 2021, and one of them I am working on at the moment. But there’s also a new short, tentatively titled called HEAR SOME EVIL, that I can’t wait to tell you more about, when it is ready. It’s a return to form of more in-depth and ambitious short films. The reason I am so excited about the latter, is that it’s the second script that is being written after all of the work I’ve done forcing myself to plan scripts and to become a plotter, instead of a pantser. However, all three projects are collaborations and so in time, I’m hoping my improved approach to plotting helps bear some impressive fruit and be able to firmly embed this new approach in my ways of working.
DESEO EQUIVOCADO: Darwin is off in Barcelona, shooting this latest short film without me sadly, although my gear is there and helping him get it in the can. But good luck to him and the team. The film was originally going to be done earlier in the year, but with it being shot while I’m back at work, and while I’m sick, and have no money for the trip, it’s not really an option for me at the moment. And with things being the way they are with the virus in Barcelona, it was a bit too risky overall. But I can’t wait to see it when it’s edited.
MR CLEAN – the short – has had a few rejections recently, sadly. It’s bound to happen, especially with the increased number of film festivals that are cancelling, or having to cut down what they can show during virtual / online events. But there are many more festivals that have delayed and still yet to decide its fate. We’re still very positive about its chances after such a positive start to its festival journey. But it’s always dispiriting when one of the choices was quite a key one to wish for.
MR CLEAN – the feature – is still sort of on hold. I failed in my task to get it done during the summer. I ended up writing two shorts, planning another two shorts, shooting NO TELL, and working on another feature project, and allowed all of those things to get in the way. Work is ongoing, albeit at a slower rate. I am very conscious that I am at a crossroads, re which direction I choose to take with it. As soon as I wrestle it into place in my mind, I will be much happier to proceed at pace. I just have to fill in an important blank for the middle of the plot. But when i do it, I will let you know about how I’m going about it, as I’m using some interesting tools to help me get there.
And the only other news of note is that I am sick right now. I got sick two days into being back at work weirdly. I hope its not Covid, but I’m not sure what it is…. But I feel pretty rotten at the moment. And as usual work deadlines will and are already having an impact on projects. I do miss being on Furlough, although the reduction in pay was significant. But productivity has been high elsewhere.
Mike is an amazing sculpter and made the tentacle and severed arm effect. And I made the intestines, applied the blood etc . So it’s more Mike’s award than mine. And of course, Rinat and Darwin were totally essential for puppeteering the tentacles and helping us get it right on screen. 🙂 – Visit Mike Strick’s website.
This is great news. This is our 4th award and it now brings the other award nominations to 3. According to their context submission figures, we made it in the top 12 %:
And you might notice the use of the special wording: ‘the short film’ above….
That’s right, I am finally working on the feature version of MR CLEAN! I’m still in the planning stage, but work is definitely under way on bringing the feature script to life. I usually pretty much just ‘pants’ my feature scripts (as in write them with very little to no planning). Yes I know, it’s a shocking admission. But having reached various points in past feature scripts, where I need to do a rewrite, I have since recognised the value of trying to properly plan out the task ahead, to make it less of a nightmare to fix, once the inevitable first draft is done. In the past, because the film was in my head, I would just blurt it all out. But as time passes and you need to question details, and long periods of crazy workload get in the way, and you have to pick up the piece and start going back over the plot, to fix things, you realise that having more planning data to hand would make the whole process so much easier rather than relying on memory.
I’ve been waiting until this moment to properly tackle the script. I’ve been in a hell of crazy work load and long work days for the last three months and have been officially put on furlough, due to the effects of Covid on my company’s financials, so this is literally the first moment I’ve had to properly sit, find a quiet space and devote actual thinking time to the project – instead of trying to do that and being constantly interrupted by my lovely partner, the job and life. I’ve got some resting to do first, to build up the energy for this rewrite. The scripts I’ve been writing for work and the pace that I’ve been working at, have really taken it out of me. But this is a perfect time to build up my energy, polish my concept, flesh out my characters and work on the beats / conflicts etc. I have two months before I go back, although at reduced pay. And yes, weirdly, rather than worry about the world, my financial situation or fate of my job, or this virus, I can only think for now of putting the work in, to get MR CLEAN out of my head and down on paper for others to read… because it’s itching to get written already.
Fingers crossed that I get to do that. I mean life has a way of getting in between of me and my creative goals. But let’s hope that I can use this time for good. Because I hope that if I can pull off what’s in my head, you’re going to love it. Who cares if we don’t have the budget for it yet… and no one can really make a film with the virus screwing things up….