We’re awaiting the results of the Rotterdam fest – which I think are announced June 20th. But congrats to the team behind PATRON which won “Best experimental film“
Also, work on BLÖDA, the Pagan horror feature is going well. The main story beats are plotted. Now I’ve just got to finish off the character breakdown and write the damn thing. 😉 But I’ll be really happy to share the way I’ve been working on this, when it’s all done. Definitely have been enjoying a lot more mind-mapping and writing by hand, to get the creative juices flowing.
I’ve had some computer issues, one where I’ve needed to re-install my editing machine software, to fix a crash after installing a recent plugin. Got a little more work to do on that to free up some space on the drives too. But hopefully soon I can resume work on TUMBLE DYING again. Luckily, despite my system crashing, no data was lost. Just the time to fix it. But I definitely had a brown trouser moment when I first saw the black screen of death.
I hope everyone’s doing well. There’s been a lot going on – including the first Covid-19 vaccine dose knocking me for six. But let’s focus on the scripts and festival news.
MAGIC IS MURDER, the horror comedy script I co-wrote / polished last year, has made it through to the finals of the Beyond The Curve International Film Festival in Paris. It was a great test, to see if I had the chops to work on someone else’s feature screenplay and collaborate. Firstly, it was a good test to see if I could get it done before my birthday last year – and despite a heavy workload, it took me 5 weeks to do a complete rewrite. And it was a real pleasure to get to know the author and original screenwriter and producer Simon O’Kill and to collaborate on all of the changes. So despite it being a little unconventional, I’m chuffed for the team that this script has been received so well.
Next, IMPRINT, the very dark horror short script, has just made it through to the semi-finals of the Cairo Indie Short Festival and hopefully we’ll find out on June 10th if it progresses further in the competition. But super chuffed that there’s life in the project yet.
Lastly, I spent this weekend chatting with Hasse Brontén and Johnny Vikeväkorva Johansson – both of them the leads of the horror short SVEN GUNNAR, and although I can’t reveal what was discussed, or agreed, I can tell you that so far there are multiple people who are raving about the horror / thriller feature screenplay. So once the jury is in, we hopefully will have something to announce around that project. Perhaps the name may also change… although it makes sense to work on the back of the original, we do have some better potential titles which are more fitting for a feature project – to help attract fans and financing.
I am currently working on the plot for another horror feature. This is a new project that I’ve mentioned here before. I have 1/3rd of the plot sorted for it. I’m toying with the title BLÖDA (aka Bleed, formerly known as BLÖT), for this pagan horror feature. But nothing’s set in stone yet. But I am making efforts to bring this one to the screen asap and get this feature project off the ground this year – if doable. I’m already on the hunt for materials to make some of the props I’ll need. As soon as I’ve figured out the plot, I’m knocking this one out in script form.
One last thing… I’m currently evaluating whether I should do a Patreon site. The idea being that perhaps I can share more of my filmmaking journey, including lots of unseen BTS materials, give people early sight of screenplays etc, more information on filmmaking and screenwriting tools, techniques and information, in return for some support to help me keep at this filmmaking journey. Hopefully the idea appeals. Please let me know please if the idea of a Patreon does interest you!
Today I learned that IMPRINT, the short horror script, is a finalist and had been placed in the top 7 short scripts of the Portland Screenplay Awards. It was in top 30% of 1000 scripts. And also, as this was a horror screenplay being judged against a diverse range of genres, and horror not being everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll that as an almost-won.
We’re very happy to be able to learn that the super dark horror Short Script IMPRINT has been awarded its 4th award for Best Script at the LA Sun Fest. This is huge news and so many in such a short space of time. We’re very grateful.
It’s been a good week in festivals for IMPRINT. Not so good for GAS! The IMPRINT poster was shared by a festival which is considering its selection, was then selected by the Berlin Movie Awards, was selected by and then has been considered as a Finalist in the Vancouver Independent Film Festival and lastly, received extremely detailed, positive and insightful feedback from the Portland Screenplay Awards – although we’ve got to wait to see it if places in that competition. However, GAS! didn’t make the quarter finals of one of the most prestigious top-tier screenplay festivals.
I share this because some people might be forgiven for assuming that these scripts are always winning. They’re not. And as this top-tier fest explained, writing is subjective, so what might not even get selected at one festival, may in fact win at another. So if you’re a writer who’s keen to find out where there writing is currently at, I would recommend getting people to read it and eventually trying to enter into some festivals to get some form of benchmarking.
Also, two potential planned short films, that were being discussed and considered for production in the coming months, are no longer happening. I don’t understand the sudden change in viewpoint, but I wholeheartedly agree with the reason why – which is it’s time to get features happening. Although I definitely still want to make some quality shorts, like SEPULTURE, GAS! and IMPRINT, which would serve as proof-of-concepts for more ambitious feature-length projects, I do have a burning need to make a feature. However, IMPRINT is definitely a short worth making and I am going to start actively shopping that one around to find a way to get it made, even if someone else directs it. Currently though, it will need some investment – just to help us pull off a couple of key moments / give it the production value it warrants.
Luckily, the latest screenplay, for my vampire feature BLOOD RAGE, has had two reads, and both “loved” it. Still waiting on two other readers. But so far so good. Despite then dealing with the crushing weight of being exhausted after delivering that script on top of my other work demands, I am now making progress on the planning of my next feature project. And work is resuming on the micro short film TUMBLE DYING, which has been sadly neglected of late. I need to get it done.