After all the to-ing and fro-ing, the waiting, the build-up, the Big Secret Project is finally here.
The aim? To win an Oscar and/or a BAFTA for Best Short Film.
As many of you will know, a good friend of mine set out to make a short film when I was waiting for my transplant. Gone Fishing eventually reached the final 7 in the shortlist for the Oscars, some going for a little film made with the help of friends, colleagues and people he didn’t even know at the start of the project. Shot on 35mm film and finished to the highest of professional standards, Chris’ film has won far too many international festivals for me to count. If you visit his blog, you’ll be able to find out all about it and the festivals.
By far the biggest thing to come out of Gone Fishing for Chris, though, is the launch-pad it has given him into the film industry. From taking meetings in LA to signing with an agency and manager, Chris is living the life he (and I) has always dreamed of.
When I sat at home an mulled over my options for how to get where I want to go when I don’t know how long I have to achieve my goals, Gone Fishing and Chris’ experience thrust themselves into my consciousness. I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker, I’ve always wanted to make films. It’s that simple. So why sit around thinking about it when you can actually go out and do it?
And given the blessing I’ve been given – the most wonderful gift any person or family can give to anyone else – it seems even more important to push myself to achieve the very best that I can. No middle ground, no soft-peddalling. If I’m going to do this, I’m reaching as high as I can. As a wise man once said, “Reach for the stars and you may just reach the ceiling, reach for the ceiling and you will barely get off the ground.”
Every journey, as they say, starts with a single step. And this is it, “Remembrance”.
Remembrance is a 15 minute short film about war, family and memory through the eyes of three generations of a single British family. It’s chock full of action, carefully-crafted dialogue and packs a real emotional punch. It’s designed to showcase all of the things I can do as a director and writer, working with big names (if things go to plan), working with children and young actors, directing action scenes and working with stuntmen and stunt arrangers as well as working on a smaller scale with intimate dialogue scenes.
As I said when I first sat down to write about it: this one’s good. It’s really good. And I believe it can go all the way. I intend to fully document the process on here for everyone to read and for filmmakers to learn from and I will shortly be enlisting you all for your help in creating this piece of historic cinema. It may not rock the entire world of film, but it will turn my world upside down and become a launching point not just for my career, but hopefully for everyone involved.
Keep checking back for progress reports and on Friday I’ll tell you all how you can help.