The email drops. I’ve won! I have been selected out of several hundred projects to receive the Film Offaly/ Filmbase Bursary 2016. Holy shit – now we’ll have to make it. How are we going to make it? Can we make it for €8000? (Quick answer – not by a long shot)
Stipulations: to work on the love story aspect in the script. Film Offaly very graciously set me up with Eugene O’Brien who selflessly gives his time to read and review the current version. His notes are spot on.
Next it’s time for a sit down with Vinnie Jassal - location manager extraordinaire and producer in the making. We have to raise some cash and soon. Some very generous people came on board straight away – Dan O’Toole from Above the Line, Steve Harvey and Charlie Pigram from SP Locations. We’re forever in their debt (spiritual and not financial) and can’t wait for them to see the film.
The immensely talented Stil Williams was my first port of call for DOP. Just this year he has had a film at Sundance, a film at the London Film Festival and, of course, a film at Encounters (our one!). He is a master of his art form, knows exactly what I need, what story or emotional beat needs light and shade. Now we all have a lot to live up to in emulating Barry Lyndon but Stil has to step in to John Alcott’s (DOP of Barry Lyndon) shoes and try and give us a “hot Lyndon”… We head to see Barry Lyndon at the BFI in London. It’s stunning as ever but especially on the big screen.
We started a Kickstarter campaign and were both humbled by the support from friends and family. In particular the amazing contribution from Georgette Turner helped us get past our total and secure the money. I’m still mildly disappointed no one chose to invest £5000 and become an Executive Producer as I offered not only a T Shirt but also a chance to sleep with me. Which I think is rather a good deal.
Another great supporter was the director Michael Mann but not in a way you’d guess and certainly not in a way I can tell. Suffice to say Michael Mann, director of Heat, Manhunter, Miami Vice and The Insider ended up one of the major financial investors in Kubrick by Candlelight… Cheers MM.