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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I have been putting off editing the footage that we shot last weekend because I am lazy. I am planning to do it after work tomorrow. When Kris gets back from North Carolina, we are going to shoot all the remaining scenes in a day or two and I will spend the new few weeks putting all the finishing touches on the film and completing the interviews. It seems strange that we are almost done, but I guess it had to end sometime. There's still about 20 minutes to shoot, but a lot of it is silent and should go pretty quick.

A filmmaker from Chattanooga, TN, named Jarrod Whaley, runs a screening series there, and has invited my short film, MIKEY, to play in late July or early August. Kris and I are going to try and attend the screening, and hopefully we will be able to get the word out about KISSING ON THE MOUTH and try and set up a screening for sometime in the fall.

Here's some "Nine Songs" news...

Legal battle over explicit sex film Nine Songs

Sean Clarke
Friday June 18, 2004

 The distribution company Tartan Films has announced it is suing the makers of Nine Songs, the sexually explicit British film which caused a stir at Cannes earlier this year.

Tartan says it is suing for £2m of lost profits after the production company Revolution Films pulled the film and sought a new distributor, breaking an agreement that Tartan would distribute the film in Britain.

The film's director Michael Winterbottom says no agreement had been reached. The source of the disagreement seems to be whether or not the most explicit images, which include unsimulated scenes of cunnilingus and fellatio, should be cut in order to get the film past the censors. Winterbottom has said he is happy to make cuts, but Tartan chairman Hamish McAlpine was quoted in the Observer as saying, "If Michael thinks I will bow to his desire to make cuts, he can think again". McAlpine told Winterbottom he had said no such thing.

McAlpine, a mercurial figure who was involved in a very public bust-up with US director Larry Clark at 2002's London film festival, feels that a deal has been broken by Revolution's decision not to use Tartan to distribute the film.

"An agreement is an agreement and it has to be honoured," McAlpine said today. He also warned anyone who took up the distribution that "Tartan will sue back to the stone age anyone who attempts to assume our rights in Nine Songs either in the UK or the US."

Winterbottom says that since "the film had been entirely financed by Revolution Films and that I had made it for fun rather than money, I didn't want it to be distributed by someone who was telling me how to cut the film," but that he had been under the impression that McAlpine was on good terms with Revolution.

"I don't really understand Hamish. We had wanted Hamish to distribute Nine Songs but hadn't agreed a deal.

"We are still hoping to work with Hamish on the distribution of Tracey Emin's Top Spot despite his rather bizarre changes of mind."

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I have made an absolute mess of scheduling. I'm not good at things like that. I live too much in my own head, and I just expect everyone will be available at the same time that I am available. My scheduling screw ups are not too big of a deal, but it just means we won't really finish until sometime in July, and I was really hoping to done by the end of June. We will have to wait on a few scenes.

The other thing that's getting in the way is the fact that Kate and Kris are moving soon, and we need to get all the scenes done in Kate's bedroom before she tears it apart and moves. Arggh. Damn the real world getting mixed up with the movie world.

At the moment, I feel like I never want to act in another one of my own films. It's not that I don't like acting, but it's really hard for me to turn the camera over to someone else. From now on, I think I want to only direct and shoot, so that I can be in total control of the look. I would still like to act in other people's films, but I'm just too much of a control freak to ever have to turn the camera over again, unless someone like Ed Lachman was shooting, or Anthony Dod Mantle, or Tim Orr.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I talked to AJ for a little while on Friday, and it's clear that the opening scene needs some reworking. The dialogue is iffy, and I'm pretty sure there are good options without the need to reshoot. I actually enjoy these kinds of challenges, because they force me to be creative. I'm going to play around with possibilities and work from there. I'm more concerned with finishing shooting, but once that's done, the opening scene is a top priority. I don't like it, but the fact is, the opening 10 minutes need to be really strong if a festival pre-screener is goin to keep watching.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Next week begins the big push to finish the film. Based on all of our schedules, we will be shooting in the mornings next week, trying to get most of the scenes finished. It's gonna be a tough week, but hopefully we can get most of the film finished during the week and on the weekend. We are shooting in Joliet on Saturday for the scenes where Kate is working for her parents. There is a big nursery out there, and we might be able to get access to a golf cart, which would be great.

After we have the narrative scens finished, we can spend the rest of the month conducting interviews. Kris is going to be gone for a lot of the month, but I'm hoping that we can sneak in a few interviews before she leaves, and I can do the rest once she's gone. The interviews will really tie the film together and I'm excited to hear what people have to say. I keep forgetting how big of a part the interviews play, but they are super important.

I'm starting to think a lot about time. I'm going to make sure that the scenes between Patrick and Ellen are nice and long to ensure that we meet the running time. I'm not too worried, but it would be a shame to end up with a 65 minute film that can't really play festivals as a feature or a short.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I did some work on the site, as you may or may not be able to tell. I felt it needed a bit of a new look, and some more pictures.

I am on the verge of having all of Kevin's scenes edited. Once his scenes are cut, I will have a really good idea of how long I want the other scenes to be. I'm aiming for a running time of about 75 minutes, so I will see how Kevin's scenes fit into the grand scheme of things and work from there. I think once I have this new stuff cut, we will be at about 45 minutes of good useable edited footage. That's pretty good, leaving us about 30 minutes to work with.

I'm at a weird place right now, because I can really feel the film starting to take shape, and I am almost scared to keep working. There isn't a whole lot left to shoot, but I'm very hesitant to take that step and get the rest of the footage in the can. It seems to final, and I'm now putting a lot of importance on the scenes we have left. It's like I'm starting to see a real film emerge, and I'm getting scared of it, because there are boundaries now. We have shot the final scene, which means now we have to shoot everything that gets us up the final scene. For some reason that freaks me out. Had I written a traditional script, I would have known all these things going in, but now, I must adjust and make sure the remaining pieces fit the puzzle just right. I'm still convinced that this is the best way to work for me. I've discovered so much and I feel like we really got scenes that I never could have written because of the way we worked. I'm totally satisfied.

I'm also starting to think of new projects, becuase part of me feels like this one is almost done, so I'm forcing myself not to mentally move on to my next project. I really have to focus now and make sure that all my energy is directed toward this film until it is completely finished. I've never worked on a single project for so long, and it's starting to take its toll. It's time to dig in and finish this bad boy.

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