Circling the Industry


Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00


Greetings, citizens of Earth. Denizens of Jendell.

"WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ELDER??" people ask me on Facebook. On Twitter. On the bus. On the train. On the street. On the corner. On the misty mountain. On the dark side of town. On the beach. On fire.

And I'll tell you. We've been having some interesting meetings. We know some things. Things we didn't know before. And this knowledge is moving us in new and exciting directions.

We're basically now pretty certain that KISS are not going to directly invest in our film - they are not going to fund any of this upfront - no matter how killer-driller our screenplay may or may not be. Shall I tell you what KISS do? KISS get given money to do things. Lots of money. Give KISS a load of money and they will not only endorse your product, but they'll endorse it with all guns, flash bombs, smoke bombs and elevating drum kits blazing. Not only that but they'll turn up in sunglasses and cut your big red ribbon with an outlandishly large pair of scissors whilst doing that devil-hand sign thing ever-so-slightly wrong. If you want the KISS brand to add value to your product, you must pay to get access to this brand, because this brand SELLS. And KISS don't come cheap, ladies and gentlemen. KISS don't even know what cheap MEANS. KISS even refused to go out on tour with the band Cheap Trick, so loathe were they to have their venerable logo anywhere in the vicinity of that dreadful C-word. So you can see where this is going, right?

Why in God's name would KISS want to give a bunch of Limey amateurs a pile of their own, hard-earned, hard-assed, hard-putted KASH?

They simply wouldn't. Even if they think this is the greatest movie idea of all time. Which of course it is. But still.

However. If we start to channel this film through more traditional avenues - ie an independent movie production company, whose very raisons d'être are essentially cash facilitation - then we get into far more interesting territory. Production companies are supremely adept at raising finance for moviemaking. That's essentially what they're there for. And in order for our - now significantly-developed - movie project to appeal to one of those, then we need to begin to play the industry game. So far, we've played this by our own rules. Worked on instinct. Drive. Passion. Complete fucking ignorance (or as I prefer to call it, inspiration). And we could still make this film on our own terms. The fact is that we COULD start shooting this film in a mere few months' time. We have everything in place - we have a script, actors, most of a crew, the technical nous, the hardware, the BASIC ABILITY to make the film we have conceived.


And this is a big but. The $6m but.

Do we REALLY want to make it ourselves? A diligent, dogged, lo-fi, artistically pure, quite possibly somewhat amateur-looking local piece of film-making? Maybe we do.

Maybe we don't. Maybe we want to make a film with a proper budget. A film that looks great, feels great, IS great. Is proper, plush, MONEYED. If this is to happen, then the way to proceed with this movie project is to hook up with an independent production company, and essentially join the film industry mainstream. Yes, we'll then quite possibly be in dreaded 'development' for a while; yes, I won't be able to drive this project single-handed any more, if indeed at all; and yes, the whole thing might well change into a disabled pensioners' romcom set in Bridlington-on-sea, but perhaps this is the price that we need to pay in order to get The Elder made? We do this via an established movie production company, start to raise finance, hopefully secure the services of a star (for the Morpheus role, the key role), then rest assured, KISS will answer our phone calls. Because we'll be phoning with money behind us.

OR should we stay completely independent and fund the entire movie with an all-singing, all-dancing, massively proactive Kickstarter campaign?

I really don't know. Both options have their merits.

In the meantime we are going to be speaking to some independent production companies, testing the water. I recently had a great lunch with a well known director who, when I showed him our all-new, sexy 4-page treatment document, told me to rip it up (AGAIN) and boil it all down to an even sexier (just how sexy is it possible to make a single piece of paper?), ONE-pager, and include with it some visuals - some concept art, Ralph McQuarrie-style too, so that we're going in with a visual hook, context, right from the offset.

So this is what we're now busy doing. Weirdly, the very morning after this lunch, I was Facebook messaged by a guy in Chile - Claudio Bergamin, concept artist extraordinaire - who got in touch offering his services over a year ago, and to whom I've not spoken since, simply as I've had no need for his considerable expertise. Until the exact moment he contacted me last week. Life is weird like that sometimes.

So Claudio, God bless him, has now been briefed on the specific concept art required, and we should now be in a position to pitch professionally to the indies by the end of June. Phew!

So we'll see what kind of reaction we get. I'll keep you posted. I guess if nobody shares our vision then we'll be forced down the independent, Kickstarter route, which might in fact be the best way to proceed in the first place. We'll see. But everybody who reads the script, or the treatment, seems to really *get* the movie, so I'm feeling quietly confident. A lot of people have worked very hard to get us to this point. And the movie, as it stands, as a fully-fledged concept, script, the works, is in damn good shape.

So it's all still to play for, folks.

The kid stays in the picture.

For the time being.

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