Friday, 24 February 2017

Self: 10 Years On

Growing up, I'd always wanted to write TV and film. I think watching Joss Whedon so effortlessly put together Buffy the Vampire Slayer was so inspiring in that regard. It's why I decided to pursue film making at college - where I made my first footsteps out into the world of script writing.


First up, April 3rd - somewhat of a failure, as the script didn't do what it was suppose to and the production was flawed to say the very least.

It's why I consider my next short - Self - to be the first truly 'me' script/film. Astonishingly, the film is 10 years old this week. Here's how I described the writing process and production on this very blog, all those years ago:

23/01/2007: Walking today I came up with a neat little idea (totally unlike something I'd ever do!) that I think would work as an experimental film. It's called Self and will explore the inner most thoughts of somebody my own age - and if it comes off it should be a real rollercoaster of a ride.

I'm only at the planning stages for Self yet, but I want it to be an essentially 'easy' film to make - with minimal cast and crew needed. Hopefully I'll start work on it at the weekend, and I'll report back my findings here asap.

27/01/2007: I've now made very basic plans for Self and hope to spend much of Sunday working upon it.

06/02/2007: I'm currently halfway through writing Self - since the last time I posted here, the development on the film has come on leaps and bounds. I've solidified my ideas, and at last got some sort of decent closure. In all respects then, all that's left to do is storyboard and then film.

However, I'm still missing my dialogue. Throughout the script, I've skipped writing down the dialogue because - as I've said dozens of times before - it's something I'm appallingly bad at.

Anyroad, my film uses narration so I can afford to spend a little longer working on the actual dialogue. I can (in theory anyway) film the film sequences and add the speech on later on. So I'm sorted! (If only it were that simple...)

12/02/2007: I'm halfway through production on my Self project, and it's leaving me with a few headaches. You see, I'm making the entire film all on my own; and every single decision has to be made my me. Which means that I've got a lot of work to do. I have to write/storyboard/perform/record/edit the film all by myself - and at times, even I'm lost as to where I'm up to!

13/02/2007: Work on Self is continuing thick and fast - but it looks although Thursday filming date has now been postponed by 24 hours, and will now take place on Friday. The guy I wanted working on the main camera, a friend of mine for almost five years now, wasn't available for the first filming date; so I've pushed back filming to accommodate him.

15/02/2007: Right now I'm feeling a little sickly. Whilst setting my bedroom up ready for filming of Self there tomorrow I encountered a real beast; and one that I have a real hate/hate relationship with - dust. It's a terribly nasty critter that somehow manages to get everywhere; clogging up book shelves, and making the television set unbearable to watch. Everywhere I turn it's there; and I swear I'm allergic to it, for the stuff gives me a right sore throat and headache. Damn you dust!

25/02/2007: I've spent most of my days tucked away in a tiny edit suite before a minute computer - editing away at Self. Friday was nice, as it gave me an opportunity to work with a close friend of mine, Jack Porter. He 'guest directed' a short scene of mine for Self - and did a pretty good job; although the scene is completely different to everything else in the film - which is no bad thing. I'll have to plan to work on a full length feature with him one day...

05/03/2007: Over the past week I've been editing my Self film (which is at last complete - hoorah!)

***

In the ten years since I have, of course, gone on and made a sequel - Fellow (click here to view it). On top of that, I've made another 12 short films since then, and have now moved into the world of comic book writing. But you can trace all that back to Self - the first time I ever felt like a proper media writer, and not just some pretender.

It's not perfect, and is a product of its time, but I am immensely proud of the film, and its legacy.
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