[Originally posted 27th September 2018]

So… I’ve been neglecting you. Sorry. Will it happen again? Probably, if past behaviour is anything to go by….

So quite some time has passed. And during that time I’ve been through the ringer, health-wise. Let me fill you in on what you’ve missed:

  • Worked a lot. And was exhausted by the end of it. This including making a short promotional film for a friend, to promote the release of his computer game.
  • Went to Japan in March and April for the trip of a lifetime. Had an amazing time, 17 days travelling across Japan and came back exhausted through lack of sleep.
  • Got a stomach bug, while still exhausted from Japan. This weakened my system so that I then got Shingles. It took months to recover from and I am still daily suffering from random attacks of chronic pain from it.
  • Had a lot more work to do and had to do it while battling the pain and the heat of the hottest summer on record – while sweltering in my pants (there’s an image you didn’t want in your head). Cue a lack of sleep and a complete neglect of all creative activities until the worst of it subsided.
  • I managed to edit the photos from that trip to Japan, but haven’t finished editing the 4hrs of footage down to something more palatable. Essentially the VLOGs are dead for now.
  • I also finished writing a new short, called MR CLEAN, at the start of August.
  • I went to the Lake District and to visit friends, and then to Skiathos, where upon my return my cat got himself lost for a week.
  • During that whole period, from April to September, I had been suffering a massive depression. I had become burnt out through the demands of work and my ill health, and I had also seriously considered ditching all social media; this poor neglected blog included. I tried not to wallow, to turn things around and get my shit together. As a result of a new regime of behaviours I’ve tried to cultivate, I’ve lost some weight, I am more productive and marginally happier. Will it last? Who knows… but I’m not giving in easily!

What is Mr Clean?

So, now that you’re up to speed, what is MR CLEAN? Wasn’t this post supposed to be about that? – Yes. Right you are then…

I had written a darkly fun short about a nice guy who breaks into people’s homes and cleans them up, to explore why he might be doing such things. It’s a variation of an old idea, fused with a bit of inspiration for adding something new and also seeing if it could be done for a very low budget, perhaps even shot at home.

After spending some time over the holiday to do a few storyboards for the film – actually part of an exercise from the Martin Scorsese Masterclass – and yes I am crazy enough to want to do this while on a beach, with a beer in hand. So it was homework essentially. But made fun. – I then shared the storyboards with my good friend Darwin Reina, to see what he thought.

Darwin and I were both in a creative rut of kinds. I went around to view the rough edit for DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE and showed him the storyboards and let him re-read the script. He was immediately enthusiastic about it and asked a very poignant question: “Why aren’t we making this?” To which, I had no answer. I had wanted to do it earlier in the year before I got sick…

So we talked it through…. Could it be done? If so, how? Where? When? With who?

And that my friends brings you fully up to speed. At the end of October, we are shooting MR CLEAN. We’re going to shoot it mostly at my place, shoot it with the GH5, in 4K, and we’re going to try and make it as great as possible.

Here’s a quick and dirty test shot – where we just looked to take the storyboard frame and plan which lenses to use and where to put the camera, to get the shot on the day – because we’re crazily going to try and get it all done in 4 days…

Here’s a screen grab from a test shot.Storyboard_1B_CU.jpg

Here’s the cruddy storyboard of mine (below) that we’ve recreated above.IMG_5339_trimmed.jpg

We’ve broken down the script and done a test shoot – so we can perfect our workflow for the edit as well as not dick around too much on the day of the shoot. We still need to sort our lighting. Special FX are being prepared. We’ve sorted vehicles. We may have a composer and we’re searching for an actress. It may just happen… but still so much to do and to fall in place for the shoot.

Wish us luck!

And if we pull it off. There are already two planned sequels. Yes, this might just end up being a small short film web series.