Making a Movie (1)

11 May 2014

With my film project now moving from ‘development’ to what’s known as ‘pre-production’, I have decided to write a new blog-diary (and who knows, hopefully one day a book) about trying to get a movie made, as well as actually now making a movie.

You don’t have to read it – although you already know that. But I mention it because I’m writing it for myself more than anything. I want to catch up on my diaries and finally put my ‘film journey’ down on paper, in order, and into perspective. If you do read it, and if you know little or nothing about the film business (as I once did – and I still have so much to learn), then it might interest or even intrigue you. If you already know a lot about the film business, then it might at least amuse you. You might even recognise some of the ‘scenes’ or characters.

It will be a blog written as a present day ‘diary’, but to include ‘flashbacks’ – hopefully in the order that they occurred. You can skip the flashbacks if you like (I will indicate when they arise) – but they might help to understand where I am today with the movie (which is in a very exciting place) and, if anything, they’ll prove my determination and perseverance, or insanity. Especially if you take into account that my very first pencil-scribbled draft of the script was written in 1998 – 16 years ago – and I’d had the idea of the plot over 10 years before that – 27 years ago. So it’s taken a while. But the best things in life always do. So here goes … Making a Movie (1):

This Wednesday I am heading to Cannes for a few days, where the Cannes Film Festival (14-25 May 2014) kicks off. Mention ‘Cannes’ to most people and a glitzy, sexy extravaganza of red-carpet catwalk-premieres instantly comes to mind. A chic Croisette packed with rat-pack movie stars, hot-shot producers, botoxed-bimbos and collagen-lipped ditzy groupies, helicopters, yachts and limos full of glam, glitz, gushing or garish glitterati, a crème de la crème of waif-like femme fatales in haute couture all air-kissing one another whilst living their 15 beau monde minutes of joie de vivre.

Yeah, it’s a bit like that, I guess …

The Festival has just turned 65. This year the competition jury is comprised of 9 high profile directors, screenwriters, producers, actors and actresses, including Jane Campion, Carole Bouquet, Sofia Coppola, William Dafoe and Gael García Bernal. 18 films will compete for the prestigious ‘Palm d’Or’ (Golden Palm) in the official ‘Competition’ section – films that are representative of ‘auteur cinema with a wide audience appeal’. The 18 films include work from directors such as David Cronenberg, Jean-Luc Goddard, Tommy Lee Jones, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. A further 21 films compete in the category of ‘Un Certain Regard’, which focuses on works that have ‘an original aim and aesthetics’. There are further films screening ‘Out of Competition’, as well as categories of ‘Midnight Screenings’, ‘Special Screenings’, ‘Cannes Classics’ (of which Sophia Loren will be the guest of honour), ‘Cinéfondation’ and a ‘Short Film Competition’. On 24 May, as well as announcing the films winning the Palm d’Or, Grand Prix or Jury Prize, awards will also be given to best director, best actor, actress, screenplay, short film, student film and first feature film.

So, yes, it’s a glitzy extravaganza of red-carpet catwalk-premieres … but that’s the Cannes Film Festival.

I’m off to the Cannes Film Market – the ‘Marché du Film’. The Cannes Film Market runs from 14-23 May, parallel to the Festival. In fact the Market rubs glitzy shoulder-pads with the Festival, so some of the glitter sticks … but it’s still … well, just a ‘market’ – and something I’ve had to learn over the years.

In November 2004, nearly 10 years ago now, I went to my first ever film market – to ‘AFM’, the American Film Market, in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. But I had absolutely no idea what it was …

(To be continued …)

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