Getting it ready is the thing. You can’t wait until everything is 100% prepared, because it’ll never be 100%. At some point you just have to get rolling and plough ahead until you come out the other side.
The idea to make a movie was a light-bulb moment several years ago. I feverishly wrote a script, ignoring the fact that I had no idea how to go about actually making it. I had no experience, no contacts, no gear, and no money.
But you can’t step outside your house in Vancouver without being side-swiped by a convoy of big white trucks en-route to that fabled land – “Location”. This city is a filmmaker’s banquet. All I had to do was reach out to the community through the one tried and tested source:
25 eager headshots and resumes in my mailbox later, I knew I was in over my head.
So I decided to teach myself film making by doing a bunch of shorts, and hopefully pulling together a company of people with the same goals as me, so that when we made it to the feature we’d have all the bodies and experience to pull it off.
So…meeting actors.Dare I travel into the realm of these super-confident, outgoing, charming, beautiful people? Little did I know….
The first actor I ever arranged to meet, in Starbucks, never showed up. There was one guy I thought was him, at first, until he went to a different table and sat chatting with his smiling friend. So I sat there for the next half hour, and no show.
I went home with a new appreciation for how difficult this was going to be, if this non-meeting was any indication. Would all actors be like this? I’d been very honest in my ad., admitting to having absolutely no experience; there was more than enough info. for them to judge whether or not they wanted to meet with me.
I had an email from the guy when I got home. He’d shown up for the meeting, saw a man sitting at a table, assumed it was me, and so went to sit with him. The man, apparently, had also been waiting for someone he’d never met before, and had greeted my actor warmly.
Sooo…they sat and had a lovely little chat over coffee for about 15 mins. before realising their mutual mistake, whereupon the floor of the Starbucks opened up and swallowed both of them, putting them out of their misery.
I recalled that guy rushing quickly out, head down, sheepish expression, and how I had thought it might be him when he’d first entered. A lot of actors, I find, tend not to look like their headshots.
We did meet afterwards, and he ended up acting in my film, PLANET PAUL.
Five short films later, and I’m prepping JACKBELL. This is not that first script I wrote. Some of the people from each of the shorts are still on board with me for this.
Each short taught me a ton about filmmaking. Each was a huge improvement on its predecessor. I’m tempted to keep banging away on shorts until I finish one I can show to other people without cringing.
I’m fairly sure I’m never going to feel ready. I’m fairly sure that, from what I’ve learned so far, I can make something good. If I strive for greatness, maybe it won’t turn out too bad.