Thursday, September 02, 2010

"So, What Have You Been Doing For The Last Two Years?"

Every time I look at that sidebar and see SON OF A SEAHORSE (2008), I cringe. Not because I think it's a bad film; I think it's a great film, actually, especially now that we've shorn ten minutes off to transform it into something meaner and leaner, something that really lets the bleak despair shine through. Which is, of course, the most important feature of any comedy.

No, I cringe, because this is 2010, and soon it will be 2011, and 2008 seems awfully far away. What have we, the scrappy, keep-our-overhead-low, hand-made mom-and-pop-eration filmmakers been doing, exactly, with the last two years?

Well, we tried to make a film-- that would be Olivia Forever!!-- that we stopped making for the time being. Partially this was due to soul-sucking production delays-- everyone seemed to have something go terribly wrong in their personal life as soon as someone else had theirs in order-- and partially it was because of an inability for Tom and Mary to see eye-to-eye on things. And since we're making films together, with equal partnership being the stated goal, seeing eye-to-eye is immeasurably important, more important than just soldiering through and hoping to figure it out in the editing. Close collaboration has its advantages and its disadvantages. We are, however, much closer to seeing eye-to-eye, and after we've tidied the script up to our satisfaction, we're planning on doing the whole thing over again from scratch.

In the wake of Olivia's implosion, we announced another project, The Scottish Play, adapting the work of the bard about a certain thane. The plan is to do Shakespeare, to use his words-- why else would you do Shakespeare?-- while providing our own peculiar reading of those words, a reading that errs more on the side of comedy than tragedy (not "classically", in terms of structure, but practically, in terms of laffs) and recasts the thane-- actually without much difficulty!-- as a milquetoast neurotic. We're very early in pre-production, a term which here means that we're making sure we're seeing everything eye-to-eye before we start cramming Shakespeare down our actors' throats and trying to fill all the parts.

There's another script we're working on, one that has its origins in a nightmare. It's something that, if it sticks, we can shoot much quicker than Olivia Forever!! or The Scottish Play-- and that would, of course, go a long way towards correcting that cringe whenever I see the (2008).

And since life isn't just about making films, we've been doing other things. Like, for one, working on the DVD for Seahorse. Tom's been hard at work on some game design-- both video games and tabletop-- but of course, you knew that already, having no doubt bookmarked Second Party Games a long time ago. We've started a D&D campaign, and while we're trying to get our current films jump-started, it's been a fair replacement for the social element of filmmaking that-- as homebodies and squares-- we've been missing in the interim. We've made a concerted effort to try and plow through some of the various screeners for review we've received, and to write about them-- and other films-- with some semblance of intelligence. Also, Tom almost died, but then he got better.

So, we've been keeping busy, and we'll be busier still in the months to come, and my hope is that all that busy will result in some new and shiny additions to our sidebar.

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