Strange things have been happening. Wonderfully Strange.
It started Labor Day Weekend, when my long time manager called to say he was going to talk to someone about one of my scripts. Fine. Great. But I’ve been in this chase long enough to not give this much thought. Lots of conversations happen. Talk is very, very cheap. But I’d rather he’d talk about my work than ignore it!
The meeting was with a small film producer who’s been doing work in Lafayette, Louisiana – allowing him access and experiences with the tax breaks and cheap production opportunities available there. And now he was in Los Angeles looking for new projects and people to work with.
Fast forward three weeks and I’m sitting in an office at the YARI FILM GROUP, meeting with Bob Yari’s #2 guy because we’re making my film.
I’ll stop for a minute and allow that to sink in.
I had a lot of trouble with it at the time. In fact, I flat out didn’t believe it. I was bold enough (Cynical enough? Stupid enough?) to actually ask how serious this all was. I suspect it was the first time in Hollywood history that the writer/director of the upcoming film was struggling to get as excited as everyone else in the meeting.
And the weeks that followed became a rush of surreal activity. Suddenly I’m faced with questions I would have laughed at mere days before:
“Can you meet with the Visual Effects company?” – Actually, I was pleased to learn we can afford Visual FX. Now to be told there was an actual company behind it and not some grad student with a great Macbook… my calendar is suddenly free!
“How much blood do you want?” – My personal favorite recurring question. I’ve talked about it with the budget folks, the visual effects folks, the makeup folks and expect it will come up with many others before we’re done. And it’s something, which – ironically – I never thought of in so much detail when I was actually writing the script.
“Look up all the people on this list and see if you like them for the role of _____”. – Except I look at the list and discover I don’t have to look them up. I recognize the names! I’ve watched these people in movies. Now suddenly, they aren’t people I’ve seen in movies, they’re options.
So… I’m making a movie.
Something I wrote.
I get to direct.
A close friend of mine said to me “After 12 years out here, it’s about damn time! You deserve it!’ And I was overwhelmed with one response:
Deserve isn’t right at all: I’m prepared for this. I’ve grown and learned and gained experience for this. I’m thrilled. Elated. And appropriately nervous.
But I don’t deserve it – I’ve been blessed by it. This whole situation has been way out of my hands. I can’t begin to control or take credit for the things that have happened so far. It’s in God’s hands, and I don’t say that lightly.
I wrote the script, but it has come together outside of me. I’ve been picked up by the wave along with everyone else. And the ride is just beginning.
TITLE: Fight or Flight (FoF for Short)
LOGLINE: When terrorist action releases a secret government virus in the Houston Federal building, the employees become aggressive and homicidal. Federal officials quarantine the building to wipe out the infected and control the story, but a small group of uninfected are fighting to get out.
SCHEDULE: 18 Day shoot in 3 six-day work weeks. Shooting for one week in December and two more weeks in January ’09.
SHOOTING ON: The “Red” Camera. Two in fact.
STARRING: Jeremy London, Natalia Livingston, Judd Nelson, Robert Carradine, and More… according to IMDB.
And I’ve even gotten to include some friends in front of and behind the camera: Brian Bentley, Drew Waters, Patrick Kelly, Brandon Lippard, and my awesome wife, Cate.
This is happening.
Oh… and I’m directing it, did I mention that?
Yup, I’m already shopping for my beret and working up my list of ridiculous nutritional demands.
Of course – this is Hollywood – so a week from now it could all go away. Some part of me won’t fully believe it until I’m in Louisiana and we’re about to roll cameras.
Told you it was wonderfully strange.
– Addendum: To further complicate things, SAG is now asking it’s members to support a strike. So, as I said, anything can still happen –