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Time to take stock and look back at what has been an incredible year. Some very big steps have been taken in advancing my fledgling film career. I wanted to share some of the highlights with you and thank you for your support! And to pre-warn you that 2011 is going to be even bigger!
Here’s a look back at the highlights of the last 12 months, month-by-month.
Angel of the Night, my short, no budget, horror film was broadcast on Zone Horror TV. It made it into the final 10 of their national Horror CUT competition. A very cool moment indeed and not bad for something I shot on no budget and mainly as a learning exercise.
I shot Angel of the Night at the end of 2009 out of desperation to just get behind the camera and make a short film. It worked a treat. The film has continued to get very positive feedback from those that see it.
It was also the month that i started my Live film maker’s show. The first of its kind in the world for an indie film maker. The hour long show is an open and honest account of my journey as a new film maker. The show is usually broadcast every other Tuesday evening UK time. The viewing figures continued to grow as the months progressed. My Livestream channel currently has over 250,000 viewer minutes.
The fund raising efforts began for what was going to be my first major short film, Love Like Hers. We need to raise £10,000 to help shoot the film. A mammoth task.
Niklas Aman, an incredibly talented composer from Sweden was one of the first people to join the Love Like Hers team, my first major short film project to be shot later in the year. Niklas very kindly agreed to compose the music for the film, which was fantastic news as we were going to get a soundtrack written specifically for the film. This meant I wasn’t going to have to buy off the shelf production music – which I was very pleased with.
Developing the script for Love Like Hers was one of the main highlights of this month. I had the story, the concept, but it needed a lot of work doing to it. I needed to work with a scriptwriting professional to help shape it up. So the search began.
Visiting Cannes in May was also on the cards in this month. This would have been my first time. Although i was a Little concerned about the expense of the trip and whether I could afford it. Tuxes don’t come cheap you know!
The Live Livestream show was going from strength to strength. I even hosted a live 1 hour fund raising show to help raise funds for Love Like Hers. It was hugely successful as we raised over $600 in just one hour. Again, I was breaking new ground as far as crowd funding goes. A lot of film makers have been inspired by this method of raising money.
I decided it was time to give Love Like Hers a teaser poster. A shop window you could say. Working with Serena McCutcheon a local model, photographer Julian Holtom and designer Dan Anscombe, we came up with what would be our ‘teaser trailer’. This poster had a dramatic effect on the profile of the project – in a very positive way.
I’d also decided to expand on the one hour live fund raising show idea from the last month. I now plan on hosting a 24 hour live fund raising show. Crazy I know… read on.
The Love Like Hers team was ever expanding. I’d found an experienced Script Editor to help shape the LLH script, in the form of Danny Stack. Danny is a former script analyst for Pathe, Working Title, Miramax and the UK Film Council. Leoni Kibbey joined the team as Casting Director, a move that was to prove VERY important to the casting process of this film project.
The marketing machine for Love Like Hers was also moving forwards in this month. I was working on an original song for the soundtrack with Niklas Aman. I co-wrote the lyrics for what became Here Tomorrow (the Love Like Hers song). Anna Goldsmith, also in the Isle of Man, added her incredible vocals to the track. More on this in the coming months.
On Thursday evening, 20th, at 9pm UK time in this month, the clock started on the live 24 hour fund raising show. That’s right, hosting a live film makers show on my Livestream channel for a whole 24 hours. It was an incredible event and one of the highlights of my year. The show was packed with guest videos, features, live chat and lots of support from people all around the globe. We ended up raising over £1,000 for Love Like Hers. An incredible achievement, and again, another first for an indie film maker. Something I can be very proud of.
Rachel Devenport joined the Love Like Hers team and helped generate some very effective PR for our fund raising campaign.
There was lots of writing going on. An intense amount of writing to get the Love Like Hers screenplay finished. Danny Stack had added his magic, the script was really taking shape.
There was another visit to the Isle of Man planned in this month. This time to shoot the music video for Here Tomorrow, the Love Like Hers song. I was shooting the film with Dave Armstrong, a very good friend of mine. We ended up filming it on the Canon 5D. We filmed in some incredible locations and were very pleased with the final video. The idea was to now release the music video and mp3 of the song for download to help raise funds for the film.
Chris Jones, Oscar short listed film maker, joined the team as Executive Producer.
We were still debating over what format to shoot Love Like Hers on. The real viable options on the table were Canon 5D, RED, S16mm or 35mm.
I was invited to a media college in Doncaster to share some of my experiences with a bunch of keen students. The invite came from the course leader who had been following my progress on this blog.
Here Tomorrow, the Love Like Hers song and music video were finally released for download. It was just £2.50 for the video (in full HD), or £1.50 for the mp3 version of the song. This proved a very popular method of raising funds.
The pressure is now well and truly on, the camera rolls on Love Like Hers next month, August, and there is still lots of work to be done in pre-production. Including finishing the script.
I received the most incredible, generous and unbelievable news in this month. A private contribution of £5,000 towards our film. I couldn’t believe it – it took several days for it to sink in. The contribution came from someone who had been following my blog for over a year. They wanted to remain anonymous. I still hope that one day they’ll let me write a blog entry on their kindness.
Our current fundraising total stood at £8.5k of £10k needed. We were nearly there.
Pre-production was proving to be very difficult and time consuming. My role as writer, producer, director was really starting to take its toll. There was still so much work to be done and little time to do it with the August shoot date looming. I had to make a very tough decision. I had to push the filming date back to September.
We were now shooting the film on Super 16mm film. We were offered lots of stock from Kodak but were really struggling to get that killer deal with a lab for telecine. In the end we had to go with Fuji and iLab in London who offered us an incredible deal.
The new filming date of September 14th was confirmed. A three day shoot was planned. A lot of work was still to be done in pre-prod but I was confident it would all get done. Finding the locations was becoming a real headache. There were six locations needed, including a road in the middle of nowhere, a hospital care room and a diner.
And, more great news for our fund raising efforts, an incredible contribution of £1,000 from a viewer of my live Livestream show. This and several smaller contributions took us over the £10k needed!!
The month for Principal Photography on the biggest challenge of my film making career so far.
We were panicking at one stage because the actor we were after to play one of the roles in the film hadn’t gotten back to us, shooting day looming. But finally, his agent got back to us and confirmed that Vincent Regan would be happy to play the role, big sigh of relief, and what an incredible name to have attached to the film.
Very possibly one of the craziest ideas of mine was to attend the Isle of Man film festival the week before we’re filming Love Like Hers. The event was fantastic, but there was so much work to be done and I had to hit the phones and email hard during my time over there. And believe me there were many last minute problems that needed fixing. One of the major scenes in the film was to be filmed in a moving car, yet we had no low loader at this point. I did finally manage to get in touch with someone and we had our low loader. It was a tense few days I can tell you.
On Tuesday 14th, 15th and 16th the camera rolled on Love Like Hers, and what an experience, one of which I will never forget.
The film was now in the can, time to send the footage to the labs for TKing.
It was time to take a break from Love Like Hers and start work on my next project, another short film, this time called P.I.
Love Like Hers is now with my editor. It’ll be some time before the film is complete as my editor is working on a feature film at the moment. Hope to have a first edit by the end of the year.
In the meantime, I can start thinking about what the future holds for Love Like Hers. I’m sending it to 5 film festivals only, I’ve decided to show the film for the first time at a special premiere screening event in West Yorkshire. Once it’s done the rounds at the 5 film festivals it will be released for sale on DVD/Blu-Ray and digital download.
It was also the month that I revealed plans for a new venture in 2011 called The Film Maker’s Journey PART 1. This will be an online event that I’m sure will be of interest to new film maker’s like myself. More news to come on this in the new year.
And so here we are. I’ve just heard back from my editor that the first proper edit of Love Like Hers, along with ‘epic’ temp sound will be available for me to see within the next week. I cannot wait to see it!
I’m very busy working on P.I. my next short film, and a serious attempt at winning an Oscar. I’ve also had an incredibly busy month with my video production business.
NEXT TIME ON THE BLOG…
In the next blog post I’ll sharing some of the projects that I’ll be working on in 2011.
Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out my YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/dannylaceyfilm