We are getting closer than ever to making something happen with Mountain. I recently told you that a company guy that had liked the script was no longer interested because they thought Midnight Clear was a "snoozefest." Well, it turns out that it was somewhat of a misunderstanding, which I discovered after I wrote him a passionate letter that was basically a last ditch, "for the record" attempt to let him know that I was capable of making a film he would want to be a part of. I outlined my specific vision for the film and included details of how I've been preparing for it. It seemed to make an impact, as he said he still liked the project and saw no reason for me not to direct it. We'll see what happens, but you never know!
We've got about 4 or 5 different financial options that seem to be presenting themselves. None of them are locked in stone or anything; obviously, if they were, we'd be making the movie. But they all have some viability and potential. We want to make the film in the Spring, which means that once we find a real production partner, we've got to move fast.
More to come...
Published: November 8, 2007
Been awhile in my blog, I guess I've just been lazy. A few things going on:
1. In the "that hurts" department, there was a studio that was really interested in Mountain, the project I've been developing. One of the head guys really loved the script, was excited about it, and was talking about putting up some money for the project. Then he saw Midnight Clear, the feature I directed, thought it was a "snoozefest," and said he wasn't really interested in the project anymore. The thing is, I've gotten enough good reviews of the movie, and have had enough success with festivals, that I can handle a bad review or a negative comment without getting too depressed. Plus, I know the strengths and weaknesses of the movie and know that it might not be for everyone. But obviously, it's not fun to lose out on a project because of your own work. It also makes me concerned that there might be an actor who's interested in Mountain but who doesn't like Midnight Clear.
Anyway, I decided to write him a letter to outline my vision for the project and basically tell him that I believe the movie's going to be great, and that he'll be proud of it if he gets involved. I figured it can't hurt anything, what have I got to lose? We'll see what happens.
2. I had a meeting with a producer who's part of a big movie fund for a slate of films, and he wants to make Mountain. We'll see how serious it is, and we'll see how the structure works out, but it's certainly promising. I'll keep you updated.
3. I'm working with a local Virginia businessman to meet with the Virginia governor and local authorities to discuss the idea of shooting the movie in Virginia and actually getting possible funding or tax incentives from the state. I really believe that shooting on location, where the story took place, is the best option, but we're going to have to go to where it's most financially viable.
4. The book I'm about to read is called "Save the Cat." I've heard it's a terrific book for screenwriting, and I want to take the time to make the Mountain script even better. I'm also reading Roger Ebert's books, "The Great Movies" and "The Great Movies 2." He basically gives great critique of some of the greatest films of all time, so while I'm currently getting caught up on some of the great all-time films and studying them, I can read his critique afterwards to get additional perspective. This is a great tool for a filmmaker who's seeking to learn what makes a film great. I just saw Godard's "Breathless" for the first time, and some of his techniques were revolutionary. It's important to not only see films from those who influence you, but from those who influences the influencers.
So if you're in the early stages of your film education, I'd recommend renting the movies that are in the AFI Top 100 list, or Ebert's books, and then reading Ebert's analysis of what makes them great.
More to come...