Yesterday I had the unenviable pleasure of moving house - something which I doubt anyone enjoys, and I certainly dont.
Moving can have its high points - it can be quite cathartic to sort though all the things that clutter our lives, weeding out those which are old, useless or just unnecessary. Its also exciting when you actually get into the place you are moving to, and you can begin to reoganise your life in a new space.
Unfortunately, this time I am not really 'moving in' anywhere. Ive moved out, with my now very diminished material possessions, but for the next few months I wont have a permanent base. The reason for this is tied in with my upcoming film project, details of which will appear on here in the near future (am I building any suspense yet?!) Suffice to say however that for the moment Im relying on the very good nature of friends to put up with me in their homes while I organise my future.
On the plus side, once I get past all the uncertainty, its pretty exciting really. Not being tied into any housing contract leaves me feeling freer than ever before. The world could be my oyster should I chose it, and perhaps I will.
Today Im sending off my booking form to attend the Royal Geographic Society's annual expedition and fieldwork planning weekend. 'Explore 2008' was definately of the highlights of last year for me, providing unrivaled lectures, seminars and chats on the logisitics of planning travel, plus just some great company of amazing people. Hanging around with explorers chatting about expeditions to remote parts of the globe over a beer or two - surely every boys dream! So I could barely be more excited about 'Explore 2009', and November 15th-17th cannot come quickly enough. Details on the conference and some info from last year can be seen here:
When I wasn't day dreaming of adventures that took me away from my life of working and packing my stuff to move house (surely theres few less enjoyable things) I found time to watch Michael Mann's 'Public Enemies' last night. What a film. Honestly, it was fantastic. I don't have a problem with Michael Mann - Heat was superb, Last of the Mohicans was a childhood favourite of mine, and Collateral, The Insider, Ali - they all have their plaudits. But I didn't enjoy Miami Vice at the cinema - I really didnt. Public Enemies however blew me away. Johnny Depp was inimitable as always, inseperable from his role as John Dillinger. In fact, all the performances were spot on, even if a lot of them didnt stretch the actors too much - Christian Bale's Melvyn Purvis for example. But the film just looked incredible. The colour, the depth, the framing - the atmosphere was created from the opening jailbreak scene and didnt drop till the end. The handheld camerawork kept us up close and personal with the characters, not allowing breathing space during the intense scenes. I felt physically tired after a couple of lengthy exchanges involving Dillinger. On top of that, there was the gunfights and car chases, which are most certainly Mann's speciality. 8/10 I reckon - some of the characters were a little undeveloped and there was a bit of confusion as to who was who in the supporting gangsters. However, the important things worked - great film. If you havent already - go see it!
So I've made it past my 23rd birthday, and inevitably dont feel any different. I try not to dwell on the fact that people such as Usain Bolt and Rafael Nadal are the same age as me, but I did think a lot about what Ive achieved so far - and what I still aim for. Sure, we cant all be the fastest ever human being ever recorded, and thats probably a good thing! But Im definately a believer in having goals to meet. My current ones arent particularly specific, they are generally wider aims such as 'break into the Film industry,' and 'make a documentary on something noone has thought of before.' Kinda silly I know, but it works for me, and drives me to keep going.
As I plan my upcoming documentary project I find it useful to draw on what others had achieved at my age - just not to dwell on it beyond garnering inspiration. Details on my new project will follow soon, hopefully it will help me hit some of the targets Ive set myself - or at least get a little closer.
So it's here -the final day of "The Sea Shall Have Them" shoot. Its felt like a long couple of weeks, mainly because Ive been working at a theatre in the evenings as well. But, upon reaching the last day of principal photography I've definately got that 'good relief' feeling. The project has gone on an upward arc - by that I mean it started tough and frantic, and there wasn't much time to remind myself to enjoy the buzz. As the days passed it sunk in - the workload and stress got bigger, but that feeling of 'being alive' really kicked in - "this is what I do, and it feels great"! You know that one?
We seem to be on schedule, on budget, and I honestly think its looking good. Possibly one scene to pick up next week, but otherwise a good shoot. Coincinentally, its also my 23rd birthday - so another reason to celebrate this evening!
Meanwhile, on a very different topic - adventurer Alistair Humphrey and I seem to have similar thoughts on how exciting facial hair can be during expeditioning, and hes posted a great link to a video about it, you can see it here http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/
Pick up in 5 minutes for the final scene - best go
To whoever may read this, welcome to my very first blog! Hopefully in time this blog will gain an audience of some sort who would like to hear my thoughts on the things that I'm passionate about - filmmaking, cycling, adventuring, music, and whatever else I may encounter. Until then, should you stumble across it, perhaps there will be something of interest - I will endeavour to keep my film projects up to date, and my musings short and to the point.
Tonight I sit in the Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury - technically working, but clearly not very hard. It has been a long day, indeed a long week of filming during the day and working in the evenings. My current project is called 'The Sea Shall Have Them,' and is the first of six short story adaptations by the novelist Anne Perry. Productions stills will appear soon on the site.
The story is about Davey, a schoolboy struggling with his history lessons, who is transported back to Elizabethan times where he learns more that he ever did at school. Sure theres an educational aspect, and Im learning quite a lot about the Spanish Armada to be fair, but the most attractive thing I think is the ambiguity.
As director I'm a big fan of playing on this uncertainty as to whether the whole adventure is completely internal, or if there is some supernatural force that has actually taken him time travelling. Okay, so its not a groundbreaking mindbender of a quandry, but things like that really help motivate the much more subtle character nuances and what have you. The latter choice of the two is pretty unlikely, but it's kinda nice to play with the fantasy aspect. After all, I think everyone wants to suspend their disbelief to a certain extent when watching a film, and really time travel for the character shouldn't be that much harder to get to grips with than the time travel we have to make ourselves to try and empathise with Elizabethan characters on screen.
Anyway, more thoughts as I have them...