Since returning from my wild film adventure in Vietnam, I’ve been preparing for the next steps in my Horror sci-fi erotica film project.
The post-apocalyptic scenes of this strange and alien noir-type world I wanted to create has been achieved and now we press on with shooting the remaining scenes and editing what footage we already have.
It’s both a frustrating and exhilarating position to be in because whilst we’re already in post-production for what we’ve shot, we’re also in pre-production for the London scenes. But there’s a scarier prospect at hand, just how will we raise the money!
Well, I’ve been busying around the place along with getting others involved to help along the way.
I was producing the Vietnam side of the project before I left London, so I had a lot on my plate with writing and directing. I knew that I couldn’t do this for the second part of the project without complete and utter burnout. I also want to ensure that I can focus on the creative aspects of the film. It’s very difficult to do this when preoccupied with logistics and administrative based tasks. Luckily a fellow friend and Frightfest Editor Jonothan Sloman recommended a producer called Helen Serruya who has experience working on independent horror not to mention rather demanding shoots. Helen has now come on board to help push this project in a more effective and organised way. We’ve already been to visit a fabulous location which I can’t wait to shoot in!
With the budget being quite high, I’ve had to look into crowd funding and applying for various funds, most recently the Emerging Talent BFI fund. There’s a few others also. Finding another private investor would be ideal, but even for recognised film makers with more of a track record than myself, find this to be difficult. Such is the meaning of film making.
I’ve also got my friend, James Burt on board as an editor, he edited my hair monster movie ‘Newborn’ and expressed a keen enthusiasm to immerse himself in some new Simi-aberration.
We worked fast to complete a teaser from the footage we have for when I’m ready to launch a crowd-fund campaign or present to a knight-in-shining armour investor. It’s not wishful thinking, it’s aspirational vibrations!
We’ve just completed the restaurant scene which was one of the hardest scenes we shot in Vietnam. It’s challenging because it will require heavy VFX and it took very careful choreography to shoot, not to mention trying to get the performance to the standard I wanted with non-English speaking actors. But the scene is beautiful, the actors fantastic and with the VFX it’ll be magical.
We’re making headway with the other Vietnam scenes also. I created a focus group to see what people thought about the teaser and so far I’ve had constructive comments. I was relieved to hear that we’ve managed to convey the otherworldly feel I was aiming for, not to mention our key actor Adam Lannon’s mesmerising performance holds the story together bringing the narrative to life.
With all of the challenges we faced, we’ve got a body of work we can be proud of, incredible set design by Quentin Delcort, alien afterbirth and other slushy coves by queen of gore Samantha Agnew.
Coming back to the reality of what we have left to achieve has been difficult. To keep the momentum going when you know you have a clear-cut vision reliant on the funds to make it all happen. Being ambitious in both narrative and style has felt like both a curse and a blessing, but I won’t let that stop me. This might take longer than I’d hoped, but with my team (a diverse international team at that) and keeping on top of everything even through the quiet moments the experience itself is like no other I’ve done before and will keep me in good stead for essentially where I’d like to end up.
My campaign writer and friend Gareth Beverstock has already prepared our campaign. It sits ready to launch, we just have to cut together the assets. But timing is essential in this. There’s no point in launching a campaign without a strong following and figuring out how to match fund what we raise on the crowd fund.
Bring on the social media manager! With the direction of my new producer Helen, I will soon have some help as to managing the project and myself. It’s all about marketing too, not just the creative element, but actually communicating to others ‘hey this is what I do!’ and obviously producing the content to go with it in between the film. This will mean more writing, podcasts and perhaps returning to the vlogging. I think it’s fair to say I don’t sleep enough, but as the saying goes ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’
The scene which is the most intricately designed and performed will be an erotic alien scene. I wanted to create an immersive experience for this which is why I sought the expertise of my neuroscience artist friend Iris Musel. Together we’re working on creating live visual effects projections and playing with perception. I created a mood board for Iris with the types of projections/elements I wanted to create with 3D Mapping.
Last week we had an exciting meeting with our DOP Jan Belina Brzozowski to figure out how we can all work together. For example, the lighting used, how we’ll capture projections, the logistics, additional camera play, footage also which Jan and I will prepare beforehand aside from the designs Iris will create. We will be working with the Dynamic Institute and Polestar Productions to help us realise the instance we will create.
Next is how we design the room in which all this will happen. This is a conversation to be had with Iris, my artistic director Quentin and myself.
It’s fascinating using both the scientific and artistic together in a cinematic medium, and also realising that we’re not just aiming to make the screen look pretty and ethereal, but to manifest the sensory emotion that goes with it. I cannot wait.
I’ll continue to keep you posted, but do feel free to leave comments and open up a dialogue!