Monday, 14 November 2011

Filming - The 2011 Update (3)

So to continue from yesterday, this sums up 2011 so far.

Artistic Filming - Fail.

Money - Good.

Simple as that. So to be blunt, I am moaning not about the amount of money I have or my finances but just about my life.

Which is a pretty good position to be in, I know that.

But that is exactly it, I want more.

Now two days ago, I asked myself, am I enjoying what I am doing. And the answer is no.

So if not, why am I doing this in the first place.

Maybe I should qualify that answer.

First of all, I should state that while I have enjoyed making films over the past year, I have not done it with any love.

Over the past year I have collaborated on short films, competition films, written scripts and now I am editing a documentary. While I have had a lot of fun, the ultimate is that I have not enjoyed it.


Well, you see, I have been playing that old cat and mouse game. Where I am trying to second guess the festivals and think what they want.

And so, while I have been making great and wonderful films, I have not enjoyed making them as much as I should have.

And I think this has been a mistake.

A big one, obviously, as 2011 has artistically failed.

So what next?

Well obviously I am not going to continue down the same path - it is utter futility after all.

So that means, after Amigos is edited and finished this year, I will have a completely clean slate. No more films are being made by me, there is nothing in the pipeline...

Good. I want to be in that position.

I want 2011 to be the final year that I have to do certain things.

After all, I came into film making because I want to do it, not because I have to.

And I think my skills both technically and artistically are at a mature stage. Not perfect, nowhere near, but have markedly improved since my first steps all those years ago on the film making path.

And my mistake for 2011 (or maybe a mistake by necessity) is that I made films, not for myself, but for an arbitrary group of people I have never met.

There is also another thing. I have lost my connection to those films themselves. Time, bitterness and a complete lack of interest has meant that 2011 has been a year that I have barely been to the cinema. In fact, I would have been on a plane more times this year than I have actually entered a cinema.

That, is not a good situation for a film maker to be in. If I am not watching or enjoying films, then what am I bothering with all of this hassle for.

I have lost focus.

And passion.

And that is a very bad position to be in.

Part of that is due to the fact that I am fed up of rejection.

But I only got myself to blame.

I did not want an ordinary life - which would have been so much more simple.

I wanted this, a more interesting life.

I wanted life.

So what next is up my sleeve.

First, definitely finish Amigos Amigos. Whether or not it gets a good festival run, on a personal level I just hate leaving things unfinished.

And once that is done, I will no longer do any project unless I really want to do it.

And the only things I want to do is to make feature films.

It is as simple as that.

While I have had a lot of fun with short films, documentaries, competitions, internet webisodes, the bottom line is that these are not outlets that are going to get me anywhere.

Also, for a film maker, this is basically w**k fodder. Yeah, providing immediate gratification, but nothing of substance that I can look back on.

And second, I need to go to the cinema. Regularly.

So my mission for 2012. Simple.

Make a feature film. I have already started to talking to people about it and next week, when I head to Poland, I will be talking to more people to see if the possibilities to make and more importantly distribute the film exist.

Distribution is key.

But second, I am going to reverse the appalling lack of cinema visits this year.

Once a month, without fail, I am off to the cinema.

But I need something to motivate this.

Oh yes dear blog. This is where you come in.

A year ago I finished one series - Crossings of the River Thames, where once a month I went out into London and took in a crossing over the city's river. It got me got of the house, got my head up from the computer and made me sane.

I need to do that again

So from December I will be doing the Repertory Cinemas of London. There's a partial list of them here and here. But to be honest, this is going to be a mission, a big list. I will set out the rules when I get back from Poland.

Expect some new blog spots in the not-too-distant future, more of them cinematically related and finally this web page may live up to the title of The Blog of El Director. Oh yes, there will be a lot more blogging on films, seeing them and making them from me. It is time to get my mojo back...


magiceye said...

good on you!

Nadeem | Azam Marketing said...

Hats off to you mate for not taking the easy path in life as most people do which is the cushy suburban house, the weekend trips to Ikea/Habitat, and the Friday evenings spent sipping Chardonnay at dinner parties or staring at the box emitting light from the corner of their living rooms.

Your plans for 2012 sound spot on and I have no doubt it will be YOUR year.

Talking of the New Year, you, me and Asad must get together to reminisce on what was 2011 and muse on what 2012 will bring.

el director! said...

@magiceye - thanks for the support!

@nadeem - sipping chardonnay would be sooo easy, and sometimes i bash my head thinking why not.

but even a cushy suburban house requires a lot of hard work in something not very enjoyable. so why not work hard doing something you like?

agreed, an early 2012 meetup should be on the cards!