Avid readers will remember that a year ago I went to a Hollywood lunch with a star and a director who inexplicably hired me to write a movie from a short story that he had optioned.
I remember thinking at the time that this was a great and wonderous event and that I should not tempt fate by expecting any more.
Well it seems the gods have smiled. There was always Jeff and I riding stagecoach and shotgun, as it went from being something we wanted to shoot for $100,000 guerilla style to a pitch that we prepared for Showtime on how to make it into a TV Show.
But now there’s three producers who’ve decided to launch their production company with DOASH, pulled some serious strings, got funding from the highest levels of Telefilm in Canada, hired the best casting director in LA, spun some wheels and made some deals. And now we have a shoot date in August to start rolling cameras.
Working for a year on the same thing every spare second I had has been a trial. I missed a lot of fun times out with friends. I burnt midnight oil in Germany after doing a day in the agency topping up my cash reserves to pay for this whole crazy LA writing whim. I sent fresh drafts off then raced outside to count down New Years Eve. I wrote until I made myself sick back here in LA. It’s been damn trying at times.
But, I’ve come out the other side a much better writer than the guy who wrote FADE IN: on the first draft. I’m not great at blowing my own trumpet, but, um, people have really responded to the writing.
And in the last couple of months amazing things have happened. Some pretty famous actors have read something I wrote. Or at least their people have. Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christiansen, Ethan Hawke, Ryan Philippe, Luke Wilson. And many more were approached and had a chat with the team about it. Last report, there’s an Academy Award nominee taking a support role.
There was a moment where the script officially had “Buzz”. It was being passed around town faster than a “guess who’s gay” rumor and the producers started fielding calls.
It’s very surreal when you hear that one of the top casting directors in town likes the script so much she’ll take it on even though we’re a little indie film. Then she takes it out and you get told so and so just read your script and thought it was the best thing they’ve read all year. Or actor’s agents call the producers and ask what do we have to do to get our client in this film. And who the writer is and why can’t they find him on IMDB. And the disbelief that comes when they are told that I’m not represented here in LA yet.
Nigel, the doubting voice that lives inside my head, tells me with great world-weariness that it’s all Hollywood hype. But even he knows that while a bit might be, not all of it is.
I always worry that if I write about the projects that I’m doing here in LA, I’ll jinx them. So rather than touching wood, throwing salt over my shoulder or crossing myself, instead I’ll make this one request.
Dear reader, take a minute and please say a little prayer for this thing that I’m doing here in LA, this little film that could, that it all works out.
Because it will change my life.
I left the best working relationship I ever had and my best friend eight years ago for my first false start at being a writer. Then I left my ex-partner, full-time employment, Singapore and a life I couldn’t live anymore five years ago to chase this dream again. I’ve taken freelance jobs to pay for time off to write. I lived out of a suitcase. I’ve been down to my last hundred bucks, three times. I’ve stayed in short-term accommodations, hotels, motels, couch surfed and slept on an air mattress for 6 months. I’ve watched my friends go on to interstellar careers in advertising and wondered if I’d made a huge mistake. I’ve had days where I knew this is what I was born to do and other days spent crying in my bathroom wondering who I was kidding. I’ve watched friends get hitched and wondered if that might have been me if I’d stayed in the one city for more than 6 months at a time. I’ve been so desperate, I’ve believed things I’ve read in fortune cookies.
But I make no complaints. Next to a lot of people here in LA, I haven’t been doing it tough at all.
Say a little prayer for me. Because I’d love to have you all over to the pool at my Malibu Beach house next year for a cocktail.