Grinding It Out

Writing is a great activity. There are few things more rewarding than being able to express oneself creatively and then share it with others. Whatever the format, being able to put thoughts and ideas into written words requires skill and passion. It sometimes requires tenacity.

Cooper and I have been working on sharpening the script for MY SPIRITED SISTER. We’re planning to make a great film and turn it into a series. It’s going to take all of our skills and creativity. As those of you who write regularly know, sometimes, it flows like water. Everything is effortless and writing feels like the most natural thing in the world. But the opposite can also happen. Cooper and I experienced that today.

We’ve been incredibly busy with other tasks. We launched our Kickstarter campaign last week, and this week was spent prepping our three stars for their TV interview and then accompanying them to it. It tends to break up the flow of a project. Momentum is lost and time much be spent getting it back. That happened this morning. The first couple of hours were difficult and frustrating. We knew what we needed to do but weren’t quite sure how to do it. I had suggested we pack it in and try again another day, but fortunately, Cooper decided to persist.

It was a grind, but we kept at it and eventually broke through. We took things back to basics, making everything simple and specific and after several more hours, had the outline for our revised script. We’re very pleased with it and writing the revision will now be much easier.

This is an essential part of being a writer, having that ability to keep the faith and plug away through those difficult times. This is where having a partner is so beneficial. If I had been working alone, I honestly think I would have bailed. The mutual support from our partnership kept us both going. I have to say, I love collaborating, especially since I have the best partner there is. Bar none. I don’t know how I ever wrote alone and I never want to go back to it.

So, the campaign is working, the script is working, our leads are amazing. I’m tired, with hours of work ahead of me tonight, but I feel great.

Transition Time

Now that ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? is in post production, things have settled down considerably.  I am waiting for my editor to do the rough cut.  He doesn’t like working with someone looking over his shoulder.  He’s experienced, very creative and I trust him completely, so I am having him do the rough cut without me.  He has the script supervisor’s book with all of my notes.  After he’s finished, I will take a look at it and then we will fine tune it together.

In the meantime, I am working on other things.  Basically, I am transitioning from director back to writer.  My partner and I have started on a new feature screenplay.  We’ve got a concept we both really like and are off to a good start.  It’s a process I’ve been through many times and with which I am very comfortable.  It is, however, the first time I’ve completed production so it feels less hectic and exciting.  The time spent in preparation and on set required so much work and energy on my part, that I almost feel lazy right now.

Another thing I am keeping busy with is reviewing my performance during the production of IIR.  I made some mistakes and there are things I will do differently the next time.  As a rookie director, it is natural that I would have made some errors.  A big part of why I made the movie was to learn, after all.  I think the main thing I need to work on is my organizational skills.  I tend to do things on the fly.  My mind works very quickly and I adapt and plan at high speed.  That’s all well and good, but my team doesn’t have access to my mind.  It is really important to get things on paper so that other people know exactly what we’re doing and how.

I also need to more clearly define the role of each person on the team and make sure that he or she knows exactly what is and isn’t a part of that job.  Coordination between departments is also critical.  I’ve given all of this a lot of thought and I am very excited about the prospect of directing another film in the, hopefully, not too distant future.  I have many ideas and a great writing partner to help me craft the script.  It will essentially come down to my ability to raise the money.  The business side of filmmaking is another area that I need to work on.  Networking and promotion do not appeal to me at all, but they are vital parts of the business and I need to learn them.

Overall, this has been a terrific experience and I have grown as an artist and as a person.  I went way outside my comfort zone numerous times and not only survived, I thrived.  I’ve got to do this again.  In the meantime, it’s great to be  a writer again, especially because I get to work with my talented and quite brilliant partner.  I guess I’ll be blogging about that until I’m ready for my next production.