I’ve spent the last month shutting down my life. I’m often prone to burn-out as there are no boundaries in my life. I’m always constantly working, whether being paid to or not. I have the best ‘day’ job working on various film and film education projects with Screen Education Edinburgh (I’m part-time but like everyone else at SEE; we love the place, we fight for it daily; there is no such thing as part-time. It’s like running your own business; it’s morning, noon and night). Time off over evenings and weekends are spent working on Write Shoot Cut, Tartan Features, punting out my debut feature, writing, planning, meeting people, attempting to put any number of other projects into production plus spending time with my wonderful family. That’s a lot to pack in and that’s why my Christmas was spent ill in bed with a nasty chest infection; when I stopped so did my body.
I was looking forward to starting a fresh new year with new focus and renewed energy. My time in bed had allowed me to recover and feel 100% again, plus I had my debut feature preview screening in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as a short film in preproduction and a producer for a second feature. It was rock and roll, time to go… but this was all on top of all that other stuff I was doing (and had to pick up again when I recovered) and it wasn’t long before my body and mind were taking a complete battering and for want of a better phase, telling me to fuck right off.
After the debacle that was the March Write Shoot Cut screening at the Banshee I decided enough was enough. I needed to rest, refocus, cut down on what I was doing outside of paid film work and wonder again (like we all do all the time) why the hell am I doing all this? What’s the point? What do I actually want?
The answer to these questions often gets lost in the chase to achieve everything you want to achieve, fighting against the system, or simply wanting to find your way of fitting into it but taking the time to consciously think about them and to weed out all the distractions I come back to the fact I want to create cinema. I have a burning desire to make films, not television or any other visual media; I want to make films. Indeed in college I called my production company ‘I Wanna Make Films’ and I was heartily ridiculed for it but it’s the one single truth in my life. I want to make films. I want to make feature films. I want to make films that screen in cinemas. That’s it. That’s what I want. I enjoy other stuff, especially teaching and supporting young people to find their own voices, but that’s on top of the main objective of making my own movies.
So in the process of refocusing I have been watching a lot of films and remembering the people who inspired me in the first place. We are all on our own journeys and no two journeys are the same but sometimes it helps to seek inspiration and wisdom from others in order to clear away the cobwebs and focus your own ship. That’s why I have decided to post here about 3 filmmakers who inspired and continue to inspire me, that way I get to articulate my feelings about these people in a way that others may discover their work or relate to it but more importantly I get to say thank you to them… even if they’ll never know this post exists.
So anyway, here we go… Read more of this post