And we're off!
The second phase has begun and it's all a bit nerve-wracking. And yet wildly liberating and exciting at the same time.
Over the past 18 months I've re-written and re-written and re-written. With advice from people in the industry I trust and respect I took the hugely terrifying decision to build on what we
already had but, in order for the film to be the best it could be I had to make some fundamental changes. These changes would mean a re-shoot. Starting again.
I'm nothing if not persistent. I have a core of the original crew coming forward with me. They are troopers and purveyors of excellence. They have always understood my vision and have always been
here to help realise it. They have been unfailingly hard-working and have trusted my decisions. I could not have got this far without them and the resulting film will be what it is because of
them. I also have new team members slowly coming together.
With the new script and the new team I have regained control of the film and I'm ready to take it to the next level.
My next task was a major re-cast of the lead role of James.
I first saw George Taylor on screen in a behind-the-scenes video a friend of mine had made for the Independent feature film Resistance, starring Andrea Riseborough.
George leapt out of the screen and slightly blind-sided me so I googled his showreel. I was fascinated by his ability to completely transform for each role and really wanted to connect with him. I messaged him through twitter and told him a little about the film. He loved the concept. He was performing some lunchtime theatre, so I popped down to watch him. He was amazing. Then we had coffee afterwards and we seemed to hit it off, we liked each other's showreels, we seemed to have the same philosophy towards acting and we seemed to click as people.
At that point I would have given my right arm, and probably a leg, to work with George - but I didn't have a finished script. Just a pitch, some scribblings of dialogue and a general story arc.
George was sold on the film's concept but I now had to sell him my writing. Over the next couple of months I worked and worked to get a draft script on paper that I felt would reflect the closest
thing to a final draft. I'm notorious for fiddling around with my writing. Judy Goldberg (film producer, screenwriter and Manager of The London Screenwriters' Festival) spent hours poring over my
script - reading, re-reading and sending me notes on small changes in dynamic and structure. She was brilliant and together we finally drafted a pretty polished version that I could send
Now, George is repped by 42 Management (who also rep Nicholas Hoult and Michael Caine) so I knew they weren't going to let their client just do any old short film. The script had to be good
enough for George to want to do it and also to be approved by 42. No pressure, then.
The script was emailed across to him (with lots of apologising for how dreadful it was - I wouldn't advise that approach, it's not the best!) and I chewed off my nails up to the elbow waiting to
hear back, convinced he'd hate it.
He didn't hate it, he loved it. After a few emails George was on board with the blessing of his agent and I couldn't quite believe my good fortune.
Second and fourth stills credited to Manuel Harlan and are from rehearsals for The Moderate Soprano at Hampstead Theatre.
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Here's where the adventure begins, the first step in what will be a journey to remember. Eyes peeled for instalment two!