Over the years, I have had multiple jobs and professions, but always in the back of my mind, I wanted to be a storyteller and filmmaker. It has only been in the last decade that I have been able to express myself with the technology available to us all now, however that doesn’t mean you can pick up a camera off the shelf and shoot a movie, as you know, there is a little more to it than that.
My life experience has probably been my greatest asset, it allows me to reflect on experiences gone, and adapt to suit the story I am portraying, but that doesn’t make it easy, as you have probably had to live the experience and it has more than likely been an experience that has resulted in some sort of tragedy or the most wonderful experience in your world.
My first flavor of working on a movie set was over 20 years ago, when I was actively working as an extra. I rode horses, wielded swords and was killed a number of times, but this experience was enough to make me pursue a career in film production. So over the years I have watched and learned, experimented and struggled to make my stories.
One of my recent short films, called ‘Shooter,’ was an experiment; I wanted to create a short meaningful story, with a little kick at the end. It developed over about 7 months, in my down time, and as it was created as a visual storyboard, and I was expecting to have to look for funding’ then shoot it all again on a high definition system.
“In hindsight, I should have applied for smaller festivals first, as the film had no clout to carry with it. It wasn’t till later in the year that I found out how important it is to have official selections, as it means you will probably be looked at.”
I met Paul Hunter, now my good friend, student and actor, a couple of years before I made the film, and he was always there when I was creating the story, he even wrote his perspective of the story, and his poetic section made it to the final cut.
When it was finished I screened it in front of a bunch of my students, and they loved the story, so I decided to try a couple of festivals. I sent the film to the short film corner at Cannes in 2009, and what do you know, I got official Selection.
In hindsight, I should have applied for smaller festivals first, as the film had no clout to carry with it. It wasn’t till later in the year that I found out how important it is to have official selections, as it means you will probably be looked at.
Shooter was in competition at the Palm Springs Shortfest by invitation in 2009, and that is where I met Linda Olszewski, from Shorts International. She came up to me and said she had heard good things about my little film, and would I consider a distribution deal once my festival tour was over, 2 years later and Shooter is now being broadcast by ShortsTV, with DirecTV, Dish Networks and AT&T.
Another unique moment I need to talk about is when I was asked if I would be interested in broadcasting Shooter on Heartland FM, yes the radio, on armistice day in 2010. The radio presenter explained that he loved the sound track to the film and it’s message, and I must say it was a very proud moment for us, sitting in Fergie’s shop last November, listening to my little movie on the radio, just priceless
Shooter is currently in competition at the 10 Minute Movie Contest, and hopefully by the time this is published it will still be in it.
I made a very short film called FLY during the summer, took me 10 days to make a 90 second short, and again, it was more of an experiment in producing an audience. I noticed that the fly fishing community is very active on social networking, so I set my sights on the Global Fly Fishing Network, and after about 4 weeks of campaigning, FLY is number 3 in their most viewed ever chart.
This exercise in building an audience has been very fruitful, I have connected with a world wide community of fly fishers, who are now helping with my other film campaigns, these social network times are very exciting. I also met my newest addition to my tiny crew, and her contributions to the cause are well appreciated, helping me to create my new film, due for release very soon, titled ‘Fly, a Legacy.’
Throughout this almost 3-year journey I have learned a huge amount of things, but there is one code I will always live by.
Never mind getting all the latest equipment and software there is, to make your epic film, with dreams of wealth and prosperity, and red carpet rambles with the beautiful chick on your arm, blurting out your well versed story to the media as you proceed to yet another screening of your masterpiece…
Just tell your story.
If you are interested in reading more on my experiences, my blog is here.
You can see Shooter and a couple of other shorts here.