SweetArts: Down is Up

I have long struggled taking this decision. I was jumping between the following two options:

No! No! No! Don’t be bloody ridiculous. Are you insane? Don’t do it. He will think you are stupid. It’s just not done. You can’t do things like that. Do-no-do-it. No! Don’t!! You will be doomed forever and he will never ever want to hear from you again.


OK. What have I got to lose? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life thinking: why did I not at least give it a try? What is the worst that can happen? That I don’t hear anything in return? Or that I get an angry letter from his agent telling me to bugger off, or saying “How dare you! Who do you think you are?”. Would that weigh up against the fact that I then don’t have to wonder about it the rest of my life?

Thoughts like these have played ping-pong in my head for a long time. I think the thing that eventually made me make my decision was the fact that all the people I have met the last couple of weeks, the very experienced producers (who are used to reading scripts) and the casting director: they all loved the script. It gave me confidence.

So last week I decided to risk it. I sat down, wrote a letter and posted it. Today I got the answer from his agent, and this is what it literally said – *he* would *love* to read the script. Shall I repeat that – *HE* WOULD *LOVE* TO READ THE SCRIPT! No I don’t quite believe it either.

Now *HE* is also a very busy man, so it surely won’t get any further than him reading the script. But bloody hell – *he* (the best actor in the world) is going to read my script!

(I won’t mention his name here, but people knowing me just a little, know who *he* is)

Oh and one more thing: there will 24 actors coming for audition tomorrow. 24!! I just checked a few of them and these are people that have been in things like Dr. Who and James Bond movies. I think I am going to pack my bag and run away now, this is becoming way too scary! Scaring the willies out of me this is!

SweetArts: Up is Down

Up is Down is that great moment of revelation in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. What? You haven’t seen that film? What are you doing here, go watch it, go, go, go!!

But Up is Down is also very appropriate when it comes to making a film. Some days you are up, and the day after you can be so very down. I have decided to write about the both of them, just so you don’t get the impression that things are easy. They are not. Today is such a down day.

The good

I had a very good talk with the casting director yesterday. He was very friendly, understood that I wasn’t that experienced yet, and generally he was just nice to talk to. He is off finding actors now, and with a little luck, we will have auditions on Saturday.

The bad

It seems simply impossible to find a producer/production manager. I have had talks with 4-5 of them now, they are all nice, they all like the script, but when it comes to it, they decide not to come on board. I can’t quite grasp what it is that goes wrong every time, but I am getting pretty desperate about it. I can’t do the film if I can’t find a producer/production manager. Simple.

I have put in another ad, have asked the people I know if they know anyone and now I just have to wait and see if something will come out of that.

I am close to giving up today, but let’s see if it also works the other way around, as in Down is Up.

Act for me

Watching people doing audition for a role was another new film making related experience. One of my fellow wannabe filmmakers is going to shoot a short, and he was kind enough to have me around to watch the process.

The setup was a short piece of a script where 2 people, one a nurse, and the other a mental patient should have a conversation.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • I saw 4 pairs of professional actors performing, and it was amazing how differently they did it.
  • Professional actors are absolutely willing to do shorts on expenses only basis.
  • There are loads of good actors around in London.
  • It doesn’t take long to spot if someone has learned their lines or not.
  • Some actors travelled all the way from Leeds (they get travel expenses paid) for a 10 minute audition in London.
  • Good actors make you forget quickly that you are watching 2 people on 2 plastic chairs in a small room, they pull you straight into the story.
  • Watching an audition is interesting and exiting, and I also felt that I had a good sense of picking the right actor for a particular role, which might become handy should I ever make that short myself.
  • I want to trade some bags of shyness for some bags of courage.

I have a lot of respect for people who dare to jump out and go make their shorts, as I don’t feel I am ready for that just yet. I have to find some more inspiration for a good story, write a decent script and dare to just do it. It will come if it is meant to be I am sure about that. In the mean time I help other people out with theirs, meet a lot of nice people that way, and get some hands on experience.

This weekend I will meetup with an old travel friend of mine, we were in the same group travelling around in Mexico in December 2003. Can’t believe it has been three years since that trip. I have seen him once after that in Holland, now he is visiting London with a friend of his, so a perfect opportunity to meet up and have a tea.

Apart from that I am going to relax this weekend, go visit my Cafe, and see if I can get some ideas out of my weary head onto paper.