The ups and downs of filmmaking

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.

IMPRINT temp poster
IMPRINT temp poster

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.

18th and 20th festival selections!

JellyFEST in LA, selected both COMFORT HIM and MR CLEAN to their 6th season, and has also awarded both films Semi-Finalist placings. Both films were in the same Narrative Short category and at the same festival. Nice! Many thanks. And congrats to the team!

Film Freeway Win notification
COMFORT HIM and MR CLEAN festival notification

That means that COMFORT HIM has now been selected to it’s 18th and MR CLEAN has now been selected to its 20th film festival! That’s amazing and both films have done far better than our original dreams or expectations!

Find out more about MR CLEAN

Find out more about COMFORT HIM

SVEN GUNNAR is an award winning proof-of-concept

SVEN GUNNAR screenshot from the CYIFF award live stream via Zoom
SVEN GUNNAR picks up a 2nd award!

SVEN GUNNAR picked up its 2nd award in Cyprus yesterday! Congrats to Darwin Reina and the team! And many thanks to CYIFF for recognising that our short horror film is a great proof-of-concept. I couldn’t agree more.

WATCH THE CYIFF AWARD LIVE STREAM here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=692319208356170&ref=watch_permalink (the award is given at 1:28:58).

It’s a really interesting award to be given, precisely because although it is a self-contained short film, SVEN GUNNAR is the feature film we wished that we’d been making – when we set out to make something more ambitious than MR CLEAN, with more characters and locations, but due to budget limitations etc we set out to do it as a short, but always hoping to later get enough interest to develop it as a feature. It is also one of the feature scripts that I am currently having fun developing, to explore how it will work as a feature film.

SVEN GUNNAR poster with laurels
SVEN GUNNAR poster with laurels

And in fact, one of the things that always concerned me about the short, was that I didn’t want to cut it down and weaken it. There was plenty narrative there to make a good long short film. So it’s not a huge stretch to open it up a bit. And we really suffered to get some of those shots, especially the damn mosquitoes which are rampant in Hälsingland. So to get more potential mileage out of it would be awesome.

SVEN GUNNAR grab with laurels
SVEN GUNNAR poster grab with laurels

And luckily there have been some reviews and feedback where others have also recognised it’s potential. e.g. this one on IMDB by Mikief. “…I loved the Tim character – that sweet innocent family guy- “No problem I take you”! and SVEN GUNNAR the fat character of the film so nasty, So weird! I also liked the whole Europeaness of the film – the location Sweden country side, that English accent, and overall a great flick! What I will give as a negative rant is that I really wanted to know more about the town where it was shot, and the Swedish people.…”

So watch this space. Soon we will announce something more tangible regarding the possibility of such a feature version. And congrats again to Darwin and the entire team!

Here’s the trailer:

MR CLEAN wins cinematography award and more!

Three very cool thing shave happened in a very short period of time for MR CLEAN. As a result, we’re not yet able to update the posters for all three things, But they are as follows, in order of when they happened:

Mr Clean Gold laurels
MR CLEAN poster with latest Fest selection

We are so happy and grateful. With six awards now, and 17 selections, the film has already exceeded our expectations and aspirations! Obviously we won’t turn down any more glory for the project. But each bit of positive feedback and acknowledgement is further encouragement for pursuing the feature version of MR CLEAN. In fact, we have some news regarding feature films / scripts and such. But we can’t share that just yet. But hopefully soon! – all I can say now is a feature script has been written and another is in the developmental stage, they’re just not yet for MR CLEAN the feature.

But I am personally honoured to have the cinematography singled-out and celebrated for MR CLEAN. It was a crazy shoot, and far from ideal conditions to achieve the best frames possible, and with a meagre crew and resources, but this amazing festival has the good sense and judgement of evaluating films based on the cameras used. Which I think is an interesting way to show that not all films are equal, that not all films should always compete against each other, when some have more budgets, bigger crews and resources. And thank you to Darwin, Eric and Albin – because without Eric’s colour grading and Albin’s VFX, and Darwin’s help positioning lights from time to time, I’m not sure how I’d have pulled it off otherwise.It was a team effort.

I will say that we’re very happy to have been a part of the SIN CITY FILM FESTIVAL that took place this last week. Although sadly, due to the format (single play stream at time of screening and no consideration for those in other time zones with an extra day’s grace before the clips disappeared, which is sadly a very restrictive choice) and my own life getting in the way, I gave up trying to view anything, as each time I was free nothing was available to view and then they were streaming when I was unavailable or asleep. It’s a shame as they had some amazing films selected (some that I was lucky enough to see during the HP Lovecraft Film Fest). But I think the fault is mine, as I heard others were enjoying the fest.

But we are really enjoying the films being shown in the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival 2020. There’s an impressive range of style and presentation in horror right now. There are tickets still available if you want to enjoy. MR CLEAN is screening on Thursday!

Unrestricted View Horror fest
Unrestricted View Horror fest

The Night of the Horror Fest selects MR CLEAN

Mr Clean Gold laurels
MR CLEAN poster with latest Fest selection

We’re very happy to announce that the Night of the Horror Fest in Tienen, Belgium, has selected MR CLEAN. This is great news. Congrats to the team and thanks again for selecting our film, with such positive feedback on it. 🙂

Find out more: MR CLEAN movie

Visit the IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8974954/?ref_=nm_flmg_prd_7 

Thanks to Karen Keslen for updating the posters.

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