Turn The Page

Well I’ve just come off one of the more intense weekends I’ve had in a long while, stretching from Friday afternoon to Monday night (quite a contrast to the intense weekend before, an marathon of MetallicA). Where to start? At the beginning. Yes. That seems suitable.

Lets back track a couple of days, Wednesday evening. My dad hands me a newspaper article about a deal being brokered between UPI (Universal Pictures International) and Hopscotch which will see UPI distribute more Australian films internationally (you can check out the article HERE ). A very exciting prospect. He says to me “Get in touch with the guy interviewed [Troy Lum], sounds like SHOTGUN! would be right up their alley.” So, armed with my IMDb Pro account, I got his details. Fast forward a couple of days to Friday, about mid afternoon, I shoot him through an email. A pretty damn good pitch, if I do say so myself. That being said, I expected that I would be waiting a week at the least to hear back from him & that in all probability I would have to follow it up before I heard anything. WRONG! Within an hour he wrote back to me two simple lines “sounds interesting…. send me through a PDF script…”

Well, needless to say I was tickled that I had sparked his interest so quickly. But, having spent the better part of the last 5 weeks developing my ideas for a re-write and for the next draft, I was apprehensive about sending him the script in it’s current incarnation. So I wrote back to him “I’m just about finished a re-write, I’ll have it to you Monday morning.” And so the weekend began. Knowing that I had to work both Saturday & Sunday night in the Bio box for 8 hours each night, I immediately sat down and began pounding out the next draft. About 20 pages in, I realised that it was just not realistic to get this draft out in the small window of time I had. So, instead of re-writing the whole thing, I went back to draft 10.5 and began revising, re-writing and reshaping that with all the new ideas I had been working on.

Saturday day was spent writing. Saturday night working & writing. Sunday writing, Sunday night working & writing. I was up until 7.30am Monday morning (that being said, there was a 4 hour break from writing to hang out with Lee & watch Liverpool surrender a lead to Spurs… Fuck you Liverpool. Get Hodgson OUT NOW!) getting everything finished and looking peachy. I have to say, I’m pretty proud about what I’ve done, about some of the new developments in this draft. While it’s still a little bit off, it’s getting close enough to taste. We could shoot this script and make a kick-ass film. Fo Sho.

Had about 4 hours sleep, woke up & sent it off to Troy. One little problem I had was that the concept I pitched to him was the concept for Draft 11, working with an idea I had been developing for the Sam/May/Tony story line. This was not incorporated in draft 10.9, and thus I felt like I was back tracking a little bit in my email, like I had sold him a product under false pretense. It’s an idea that will be incorporated in draft 11 & will not make any whole sale changes, but it does spark the imagination a little more. Changing the concept from “what happens when three average joes get caught in the middle of an old gang rivalry” into “what happens when a hugely successful rock band gets caught in the middle of an old gang rivalry”. I felt a bit sheepish writing to him in the email that the concept I pitched to him was actually not the concept of the current draft. In fact, I felt like an absolute idiot. A moron. But I told him in all honesty. I sent him the development notes and gave him a little taste of something I have been organising – a comic-book cover series to accompany the website for each story line. I have to say, the proofs I’ve seen thus far are fucking amazing & I can’t wait to share them with you.

Monday evening. Nick & I had decided to go out for a romantic night out on the town & to have a chat. Nick & I had not been chatting that much in the previous weeks, and it had become apparent to both of us that something was wrong. To be honest with you, I was quite nervous about this meeting. I knew the direction it was gonna go & I know that neither Nick or myself like confrontation. After all, we are mates, more than mates, we are brothers from differing mothers. The last thing I wanted was for this to all end up in a shit fight.

So we met up & it is with great sadness that Nick & I came to the decision that he steps back from the producing side of SHOTGUN!. We spoke at length about the process, about his love of the project and belief in it, but that his passion and dedication lies in writing, directing & acting. At the end of the day, Nick is the same as me in that regard. I felt a great sense of honor when he said he wanted to produce my film, because I knew in his situation, I wouldn’t want to do the same. I would gladly & proudly help to get the film made, but to produce my first feature? No, it must be to direct & write, or act.

Nick & I had a great chat, cleared the air & he will now be taking charge of helping Nicole to deliver us a pretty awesome behind the scenes story, as well as helping me as a creative consultant. I have to say, it took a big man on Nick’s behalf to actually do what he has done. Many other people would’ve just stuck around for the ride, or kept going for fear of letting other people down. But in the end, all that does is tarnish the project in the long term.

We ate dumplings in some dumpling place in China Town, to a score of 90s love songs. We made up & then made out. And then I went home and got some much needed sleep.

So that’s my intense weekend. It rocked.

To infinity… And beyond!

AL.

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