Friday, 23 May 2014

Stay calm and start filming

I'm only writing this to see if I can still can write.  It's only been month or so, but I feel like I've fallen off the wagon.  Unlike other blog posts that I have written, I don't have an outline in my head of what I'm about to write, so bear with me.   I have to get back in the saddle. For the last month or so, my head has been up my bum. All my efforts to re immerse myself in my own personal creativity has gone out the window. Having only recently gained the confidence to write start writing a blog, all ideas dried up. Meawhile, I hadn't the time or the headspace to do any drawing either. I had worked hard to build up my drawing technique. Like physical exercise, drawing requires regular attention.

Speaking of exercise, at least I walked my doggy ... a bit. Myself and my mutt have a regular 6.45am date. Just me and him, pounding the tarmaradam. But lately, I've had early starts and haven't always honoured out dates. I've been feelling guilty about it. At times I've hardly made eye contact with him.
Speaking of guilt, the chizzlers. Oh lordy. Even when I've been there, I haven't really been there, distracted by all that has been going on. I've looked in at them while they sleep as I head out the door to work before they wake and kiss them goodnight in their beds.

The reason for this ? I've been producing a feature film, via my role as Arts Officer in KCC In the film world, I'm a green horn and so small I'm not even small fry. It's just one project of many that I am working on.  

But it's a big deal to me. And to the people working on it. I've been working on this for over 18 months. It started out as a relatively small project, with a e6k budget. Over 50 people came to a think tank of sorts in Winter 2012 and were invited to submit scripts based on a drama set in the equine industry. It was to be an online drama, written by local writers and performed by local actors, shot be local crew. I met one of the Executive Producers, Tim Palmer last summer and he said to do it well, we needed to increase our budget ten fold. I didn't sleep for two nights worrying about it. I was worried because I felt that a lot of expectation had built up around this and I needed to make it work. In a rare 'eureka' moment, I realised that I could source the additional funding from a Per Cent for Art scheme for commissioning original artwork. 

 Ferdia Mac Anna came on board as Director last summer and led the writing team to refine a script. Auditions ran last autumn.  Again, doubt set in. Who would turn up ? Would we find the right people ? In the end, over 70 people turned up. The standard was extremely high (although there was a few memorable-for-the-wrong-reasons audition renditions of Jack Nicholson's 'you can't handle the truth' speech on A Few Good Men'). Unless you ARE Jack Nicholson, don't go there. It was such a buzz when we found our cast, breathing life into our characters. It was running like a machine. Locations sourced and secured. Before we knew it, it was May. 

Stressed and all as I was about the filming, having a family wedding in the mix didn't help. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled and excited about my brothers wedding in Kerry on the May Bank Holiday weekend.

But let's face it, weddings are stressful. Ideally I would have had a few days off work to get myself together for it, but I was too busy with the film. I had hoped to have my bags packed before my parents arrived from Meath on Thursday evening. Instead, I had my head over a sink trying to dye my hair when they pulled into the drive way, as I didn't have time to go to the hairdressers.

We left for Kerry the following day, three hours later than planned, but still in good time. My wee man, bursting with excitement, and known for his interrogation techniques asked questions the whole way there. The same questions, over and over AND OVER. My dad, not the most patient of men started to get cross with Leon. Leon thought it was a joke and asked even more questions.

After tea with the in-laws-to-be, I dropped by parents to their hotel. As I was leaving, someone ran out and said that my mothers head piece was missing. Badly parked with kids swinging out of the car, I just wanted to cry. I did a little. We found the head piece. I headed off.

I stayed in the Gleneagle Hotel with the children that night, determined to have a good nights sleep. I drank a large glass of wine and hit the hay. At 3.30am, a gang of boy racers attending the Rally of the Lakes started a party in a bedroom across the hall from me. A girl who split up with her fella had a tearful conversation in the corridor with another fella who was trying to snog her. I was going to go out and offer her advice, but I just pleaded with them to stay quiet. At 5am, they all went to bed.  I was thinking of sending the kids in to jump on their beds when they got up at 6.30.

Denise and Robert's wedding in Dingle was just fabulous. Mighty craic with great hospitality. It deserved a blog post all of it's own, but that's for another day. Suffice to say for now, that Iron Maiden's 'Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter' was played after the traditional first dance, with my brother and his new father-in-law having a sword fight.  It was that kinda wedding. 

My parents travelled back to Kildare with us on Monday, with my dad anxious to get back to the farm in Meath.  I could have cried when he said that they would stay for another night. Much and all as I love my parents, I'm thinking, 'NNNNOOOOOOO, GO HOME !! I start filming on FRIDAY !!!! Of course, I said nothing.  My dad asked me the following morning if I had 'much on' that week.

The morning that filming started, I had my car parked with the oddest assortment of props. I baked canapes for a party scene and raided flowers out of my garden. I cried. I could feel the stress creeping up my chest.  It was all too much. And then filming started. SSHHHHHH !! 

And calm. 

We got into our rhytmn.  Scenes came to life. Tenderness. Violence. The comradary. The fun. The generosity. Euphoria. And then it was over.

And now I'm on come down. The strangest feeling of them all. It started with sleeplessness, then exhaustion.  I have barely been able to taste food, or feel hungry. And now I'm over analysing. Self doubt is creeping in.  Expectation and anticipation.  The fear, oh the fear.

A launch to organise. What next ? Who knows ? I've got the bug now, so more of the same please

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