This is going to be a little difficult to get through, so bear with me. I think, later on, I'll appreciate having everything here, and that it'll clarify a lot of what I'll be doing over the next several months.
Some things have changed. As of now, Kyle Quinn and I are no longer looking at "Trendsetter" as our next [re: first] project together -- rather, we are currently looking at making the short film "Nova." I am currently preparing a final draft of the script, while Kyle is working storyboards and making the first moves towards getting us the proper funding. I've also requested we put a reading of the screenplay together, which will hopefully be taking place in the next month to month-and-a-half.
It is still a little early for a lot of specific details, but a few things are already apparent. Our projected budget for the project is somewhere in the area of 10-15,000 dollars, and we will likely be shooting the film on the RED camera. At some point there will be a casting call, while the film itself will likely shoot in Huntington, maybe Charleston [re: less likely]. There are three major roles in the movie, and a lot of little ones, too, a few of which have to be just as strong as our leads.
My role in the film is currently up in the air -- of course I'm the screen writer, and may also take over in the role of director, co-director, or producer. Kyle will be our director almost certainly, and may be stepping around to the other side of the camera as well, to act in it. I'm certain Glen and Seth will be involved, and my kid brother has also shown interest in helping us out behind the scenes. We also have loads of other friends who sometimes come in on these things, so a lot is happening, and who know who will be doing what by the time we start rolling. There's also a possibility of a small, indy film outfit getting involved with it's production -- so possibilities abound.
My work on "Nova" has been well documented here, and since the beginning I've posted each new draft as I've finished it. If you haven't read "Nova," and would like to, I recommend downloading it from the previous post now, since at the end of this week, I'll be disabling all the links to it on ADrive. If you have read it, and have you notes for me, or just want to pick my brain, you can reach me by commenting here, emailing me at email@example.com, or messaging me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/randallnichols. I would really appreciate the help and opinions of my friends and the few readers I have, especially since the quality of "Nova" needs to be especially high now.
On to the obvious questions. Why has "Nova" superseded "Trendsetter"? There are a lot of answers to that, and I want to cover as many of them as I can. The first is that, quite simply, the script to "Nova" is finished, and ready to shoot. It is my intention to do at least one more draft [if not two], but if the camera and crew were available, it could be started tomorrow. The same cannot be said for "Trendsetter" which is, of course, a failing on my part, and one I take as wholly my responsibility.
I don't think anyone would be surprised as to the why on that. To say it out loud [and it has become important me to be able to say it], my dad died recently. I'm having... trouble with it. I'm not saying I've done nothing but think about Dad, because that would be disingenuous, but it coloring the way I see things, and the way I work. And while it certainly didn't seem as though I was making a great deal of progress on "Trendsetter" before that happened, any chance of getting back to it after has been... difficult. There is a mindset about TS, a certain kind of grief that is apparent in it -- it's a relationship story, it's about finding someone, most importantly, it's about losing that someone in a very particular way. And while my mind has been on grief and on loss lately, it is a completely different kind of grief I'm dealing with now.
To put a finer point on it, there is no death in "Trendsetter." And even the protagonist, as broken as he is, never thinks about the concept. I do. Lately, almost constantly. And not just death, but the cruelty of it. Banal persecution, and finality. Part of "Nova" [thought it may not seem like it], part of all the shorts I've been writing lately, have been me trying to deal with that. And while I would like to be more professional, while I'd like to be able to set my own personal feelings aside and just get on with the work, I can't. I'd like to be that kind of person -- I know loads of them, people who, when faced with tragedy, can throw themselves into whatever they're doing completely, and be productive. And while I have been writing, as far as "Trendsetter" is concerned, I haven't been productive.
My hope is that one day that will change. That I'll grow up. But right now, this is where I am. And I'm eternally grateful I have people my life, who I work with [re: Kyle], who understand.
I feel uncomfortable posting all of this, but I feel it somewhat necessary. There's still something very cold to me in talking about the practical implications of losing Dad. Selfish.
I know there is a lot of different feelings amongst those who have read "Nova," with some enjoying it and believing it is some of my best work, and others feeling it isn't nearly as powerful as "Trendsetter" or some of the other things I've worked on. I think both of those assessments are fair -- there are things in "Nova" I am very proud of, and there are things I readily admit are a bit lighter or more derivative of my influences. I don't think this makes it bad, however, and there are a lot of benefits to doing "Nova" now.
For one, it's cheaper. Even with the necessary special effects, "Nova" can be completed for half the cost of "Trendsetter," and will provide Kyle and I with a much stronger test run for making our own movies. Though Kyle has some experience, helming a project like this is a new thing for both of us and something smaller is a much wiser move as well.
Another reason for the change is that I believe that "Nova" is overall a better platform to get us noticed. The intention of "Trendsetter" was to make a profit [not the sole intention, of course], but that burden is largely lifted with a shorter piece. Furthermore, the content of Nova, with it's influences in comedy, horror, and magical realism, will show greater range and have quirky enough content that it will hopefully stand out a little better -- and attention will mean more money, and more money will mean more work. Kyle and I may even be able to use the film as a springboard to our next job. So I think, with all these factors considered, "Nova" is a better use of our time.
Does that mean "Trendsetter" has been abandoned? No, not at all. I love "Trendsetter," the story means a lot to me, and the characters mean even more. I've actually been looking at it today, and it's in arm reach of me right now. If nothing else, all this has strengthened my resolve to finish it. Just taking this detour is very difficult for me, and I've agonized about it privately. But I need time, time to get my head together, time to sort some things out, and time to find that spark again. My hope is working on "Nova" will give me that, and help me sort some things out.
So "Nova" becomes a primer, with "Trendsetter" as project #2. Which is actually far closer to what Kyle wanted in the first place [re: a short]. And there's still plenty of time for both.
And for those of you in the know, none of this effects next year.
I realize all that above is a lot to get through, and I appreciate anyone who took the time to read it, especially since most was for my own benefit. I hope it clears some things up. I'm pretty excited to finally be getting started on something, and I'm really interested to see what Kyle and I can do on this sort...odd concept that is "Nova."
There are a few other things I need to cover, few more changes, few other projects, but I don't want them to get lost in all this, so I'll save them for later in the week.
Here's to the next step.