Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tick, Tick, Tick...

Boom!... and that's the only Fresh Prince reference you'll get from me today.

The ticking is actually the sound of my time in Trinidad ticking away. I've made some promising connections over here but I think the time is soon coming when I will have to return to England to keep this project going. I'm hoping to have a meeting with Yao Ramesar soon. He's a talented film maker over here and I'd like to get his perspective on the project. He directed a Trinidadian film called SistaGod which did very well at the Toronto Film Festival a few years ago. He now lectures in Film at the University of the West Indies along with continuing his film making.

So a return to England is on the horizon. This is not because I don't want to be here, you have to love the sun, sand and sea all year round, but I do need to find opportunities for getting the film funded. This is far more likely to happen in England as there is a bigger film making pedigree and culture. The bottom line for any film to be made is always getting the interest and cash to fund it. Film making is a risky investment but I hope to show that my hard work and determination will overcome any doubts that potential investor may have. So a big wave to all you out there with a spare couple of grand tucked down the back of the sofa.

Product placement is also an option and there are some clear opportunities in this script to exploit that investment pool. However guaranteeing numbers of people seeing companies' products is always difficult, especially if you have no track record. It's again about selling the dream and showing the hard work to make it happen.

There seems to be a rather sneaky catch-22 in the low budget film making process between actors and investors. Investors want to know who's attached to the project before they chip in and actors/casting agents want to know about the money before they commit. The bottom line of this is that my most viable option is to cast new talent in the lead roles with them taking a risk on me as much as I take the risk on them. Still everyone starts somewhere.

With some talent attached the project can move along a bit and with that there will be more to encourage investment. I did send a cheeky e-mail to Daniel Radcliffe but it was well intercepted by a stealthy junior agent and an instant rebuttal was received. It would actually be nice to get some insight on how the agent/client relationship works. You can watch Entourage all you want but I very much doubt an unknown script writer could get a screenplay to a big star with at least one arrest for stalking.

I'll be looking for some enthusiastic up and coming actors who want ply their craft running scared through a tropical jungle paradise. I have a couple of people in mind and it's about time to run the idea by them. That's the plan anyway... hooray.

Yesterday I got a response from a producer who had requested a copy of the script.  Unfortunately they turned down being involved but it was constructive. The points made were helpful in that they made me focus on the idea of the script. One point was in relation to it not having a conventional 3 act structure. A point well made but a 3 act structure, while convectional, is not the only way to do it. You only have to look at The Blair Witch Project to see that for this type of film it's not the only way to go. The thrills and spills of the ride are there to see. There is no true right or wrong way to write a script, there are only good or bad scripts and I've had generally positive feed back.

So there... but polishing doesn't hurt <:-) (my wizard's hat is too small)

If anyone is interested I have a press release downloadable from here,
or the link somewhere over there --->

Orange Sky were as awesome as ever and I'll miss seeing them play live... maybe I should contact them about a UK tour... could help fund the film too.

hola mi amigos,

Sim Bon

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Right down to business... then we can rock!

So this is me blogging about trying to get a film made. I wont be the first and I very much doubt I'll be the last. That is until the internet evolves into a social privacy nightmare and gets the thoughts of everyone in the world beamed directly into your consciousness. Maybe that's how Star Trek came up with the Borg? That's why I love Sci-FI, always thinking ahead... and I bet they didn't tweet about assimilating.

So these will be my exploits, splitting infinitives where they have boldly been split before... or not... I wouldn't know as my use of grammar isn't something I'd list as a virtue. At least I hope you find the entries interesting, funny, informative, short enough to fit into a coffee break but long enough to use real English words ROFL (Ruminations Of Flightless Llamas?).

Here goes...

Had a very interesting meeting today with Denise Geyette at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Company. Very helpful with what they can offer to facilitate (that's the official tern) film making here. As well as the support with permits, contacts and other paperwork related things, she filled in a few details about the current incentive schemes they offer for film and video productions. They have a fund to help write scripts for shorts and TV and is also used to support production. As far as features are concerned they have no direct funding at the moment because the government don't want to splash the cash up front. They used to and TTFC are lobbying hard to get it reinstated.

It's not all bad for features though as they do a rebate scheme which, for this film would give a 12.5% refund for money spent on production in T&T. This could be going up to a whopping 35% if they get their request passed through the Arts' ministry... Come on guys! They also just changed the tax code to give a 150% deduction on all money used to sponsor film production. This could be a nice little bonus to get some corporate sponsorship or cash from a people with big tax bills.

It was great to meet Denise, she's very enthusiastic if not a horror fan. She also mentioned about offering internships to recent graduates from UWI which I'm all for. I would have loved to have done that after, or even during my degree, but I had bills to pay. I still have the bills but unless they're reading my blog, they can wait until I come back to England. So internships will very likely be on as TTFC can part fund them.

I love the TTFC, you can like them here.

I did a little bit of research on potential locations. Have a look:

Love-er-ly aren't they?

I had better plan a scouting trip to Tobago and take some proper photos instead of google imaging. I'm not sure how often I'll be blogging. The more I get done, the more I'll have to write about. I'll just have less time to do it in. I'm going for Having-to-find-time-to-blog-as-I-just-got-$1,000,000 :) (I'm happy but I was born without a nose). I'm off to see Orange Sky tomorrow night, rock and horror do go well together and these guys most definitely rock. I'd love to put some of their music in the film or even the band playing. So that's the gig filed under research too.

Stay classy,

Simo Bo

Watching: An Idiot Abroad - lizards like hob-nobs.
Reading: Endless tweets about SDCC.
Listening: Orange Sky - Dark Room.
Eating: Ham, avocado, cheese and mustard rolls - D-lish.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Blair Sea-Monster Caribbean Honeymoon Project!

I've written a screenplay for a low-budget, high-concept feature film and I won’t stop until I get it made. I just need to find a little help. I'll be blogging my journey from script to (eventually) screen... it will happen.

This is Bloody Bay:

The Pitch

Get married... Go on honeymoon... Survive the end of the world?


A young professional couple, recently married, take their honeymoon on the idyllic islands of Trinidad & Tobago.  Little do they know they'll have to fight for their lives against a creature that has survived unknown to science.  As they record events for posterity on their camcorder, this tropical paradise turns tropical apocalypse and only an old man and his trusty machete can save them.

This film is going to be the next Blair Witch Project, and with the success of films like that, Paranormal Activity, and Rec (with the added bonus of being in English), this niche of the horror genre is approaching its peak of interest and is ready for something new.

So how is this film new?  Like its predecessors it will utilize the method of shooting hand-held with a small cast and crew to keep the production fast and cost low. However, being set in the Caribbean, with the evil threat of a sea monster based on Trinidad & Tobago's folklore, and a tropical paradise for a back drop, it brings a different and exciting take on the found-footage of people in peril scenario.

Trinidad & Tobago is a beautiful country with a vibrant people and rich culture, but has been criminally under used by filmmakers. In fact the last film to come out of here with recognizable success (critical and financial) was Swiss Family Robinson in 1960!  I want to change this.  I'm an Englishman abroad but this country has inspired me.  I can think of no better place to fulfill my dream of making a feature and starting my film career than here.

If you're interested and want to get involved in this project in any way drop me a line.

Simon B