I’m back in Toronto post-Cannes, and I have to face just how busy my summer is going to be. As a way to procrastinate writing my immediate to do lists, I though it’d be good to list the projects I’m working on this summer, here on the blog, since I hope to write about them over the next few months, and I want you all to know what I’m talkin’ about when I refer to each.

I’m currently juggling three film projects, on top of my consulting work with REEL CANADA (which will itself keep me busy for one or two days per week through the summer). The films are all in different stages of development (or completion), and my role is pretty different in each case. On the first film listed below, I’m not getting paid anything. I’m happy to do it in exchange for a producing credit, because that’s meaningful for me as well. The other two films might pay out eventually, once all the funding has been raised and I can get my allotted fee, but those paydays are a long way away, so for the foreseeable future, I’m just gambling on these projects actually getting made. It’s a big gamble, and I’ll be both busy and a little bit broke for a while, but  I gave up my secure full time job last year because I really believed I could make a go of it as an independent producer, so fingers crossed, right?

So, anyway, the films.

First, The Demon’s Rook. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook and/or Twitter may have noticed a few weeks ago that I posted about getting my first IMDB credit on this low-budget horror film from just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The film is almost done, and my involvement is in helping the director and producer polish it up and get it out into the world.

The Demon's Rook

a still from The Demon’s Rook

The film may be almost done, but the next few weeks and months will still be pretty busy as we hustle to submit it to various festivals around the world. If (when!) it gets into some of those, we’ll have to start promoting the hell out of it and trying to get a sales agents on board who might be able to help us get the film out into the world on DVD and VOD after its festival run.

The second project I’m working on is a cool film called Replace, which is shaping up to be a German / Canadian co-production. The film has a completed script and a few key elements into place, and we’re now trying to  attach the right Canadian partners so that we can access some funding and hopefully shoot the film here sometime in the fall or winter. Thankfully, I’m just a support player on this project, helping to match the German side with some great Canadians who can help make it happen. I’m not responsible for raising the money myself, and thank goodness, because I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

some cool concept art for Replace

some cool concept art for Replace

In a couple of weeks, the director and producer of The Demon’s Rook are coming to town to do some colour correction*, and the director and producer of Replace will also be flying in, from Munich, to meet with some potential partners. It’s coincidentally bad timing (or just hectic-as-f*#% timing), in the sense that I’ll be trying to juggle my REEL CANADA work, my other projects, and hosting two sets of filmmakers in town all at the same time.

The final project, which will actually be occupying the bulk of my time this summer, is one I’m working on with Canadian director Peter Lynch. It’s a cool murder mystery with noir elements and it’s at a similar stage of development as Replace. The script is mostly done, and we’re trying to line up cast and financing with the hope of shooting sometime in early 2014. I’m not sure if that sounds like a long way off to you, but to me it sounds terrifyingly soon. On this film, I’m working together with Peter on the nuts and bolts of putting it together. Rather than being a peripheral player, I’m actually on the front lines of producing this one. This is probably the project I will spend the summer blogging most about (the title is TBD, we’re working on it) as I navigate the various steps, from applying for funding, to putting together the key creative team, to casting, and so on. Since this is the project I’m most hands on with, I am anxious to knock it out of the park.

* For those of you who, like me a few months ago, are asking “what’s colour correction”, here’s the Cole’s Notes version. It’s basically a process of tweaking every clip in the film in order to get the right exposure and balance of light, and in order to adjust and match the colour temperature that you want for each scene. To me, this sounds like it must be a tedious and incredibly time consuming mechanical process. And yet, having seen films before and after this has been done, I can also see that in skilled hands, it is an art. The things you learn when you’re a producer who never went to film school!