Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Thoughtful Paws

I have been writing The Sci-Fi Gene blog for almost four and a half years. I don't always mark blogiversaries or make serious New Year's resolutions but just occasionally it's worth putting on hold the fame, excessive wealth, groupies and rock'n'roll lifestyle of the modern-day blogger and taking some time to reflect.

2012 was a good year for me as a filmmaker and this has carried on into 2013. Serendipity (possibly my favourite out of all the groupies) played her usual role and many projects I've taken on have grown from some kind of chance encounter. I've had my first festival screening with "2007" at London Independent 2012, and now my second with "We Can Get You Some Really Cheap Gear" at St. Albans 2013. Serendipity was at work again - "Cheap Gear" came about after I accidentally broke the house rules at Kino London, which is worse than Crossing the Streams, almost as bad as talking about Fight Club, but in this case has turned out OK.

It's also been good to return to "Soupremacy" and bring it to some screenings - I think it's OK to say I'm really happy with this animation, and even more happy to see the composer's music out there. More news on this film shortly.

2012 has also been a bad year in some ways. One reason I started the blog was to keep my creative projects on track and place myself under pressure to complete them. That's only been half successful - for all the films that have gone right, there are still two short films from the past few years that I've shot but never completed the edit, and a third project that is still only half done. I've entered my fourth 48 hour competition but despite drawing together a team of incredible people I still failed at the final hurdle and the mess I eventually submitted was a long way from being a film.

So I have to learn that there are things I can do well and things I can't - and use this self-knowledge when planning future teams and projects. It sounds obvious but when you start out as a filmmaker there's a misleading feeling that you can just pitch in and do anything yourself if needed - but actually my best films have come about from collaborations where everyone plays to their strengths.

Meanwhile those unfinished projects are a dilemma - return to them in the distant future, delete them and move on, or focus on completing them now? It's not just about me. Everyone involved in shooting these projects has contributed in so many ways - time, hard work, creativity and skill at the very least. If I don't complete them there's a feeling that I'll be letting down the other participants.

So on into 2013 and there are some plans afoot. I recently completed an animation project for a film crew - but until I know the fate of that film I can't tell you any more. I'm also hoping to make two conceptual music videos this year and I have some other music-related plans as well. As far as the unfinished projects go, I don't think I'll be able to sort them all out so I'll have to choose which ones I'd like to return to - but on a more positive note, I've learnt a lot in the intervening time, and the software I'm using has also grown in strength, so goals which might have seemed impossible in the past are now starting to feel merely stupendously difficult. I will of course be ready for Serendipity if she chooses to help out again.

The best thing about the past year has been getting to so many enjoyable short film events and festivals, and seeing so many different kinds of film. It feels good that my own successes and failures haven't in the slightest dented my love for film.


Maurice Mitchell said...

Congratulations The festivals are probably the best part.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Thanks! Yes it's been a great experience.