Remember a few weeks ago, when I was saying that it just didn’t feel real yet, and wondered whether it ever would?
Well, last week, on Wednesday April 29th (coincidentally my father’s birthday and this year’s National Canadian Film Day, so a great day all around), we signed our contract with Telefilm. The day also marked the halfway point of our prep period, which ends exactly two weeks later, on Wednesday May 13. Our first day of shooting will be Thursday May 14.
I guess I can officially say: it feels f***ing real now?
It was the contract that pushed things over the edge, even though the train had left the station days before, while we were working out of a tiny borrowed office and starting to confirm locations, send real offers to actors, and the like. The feeling of “oh shit you are doing this” has been creeping over me day by day like a very slowly spreading rash. And now, I’m just one big red splotch of excitement.
That metaphor needs work.
Since early March, I’ve spent many excruciating hours waiting for paperwork to come back from this person or that, crossing my fingers that we’d get our interim financing loan, praying for good actors and locations to fall into place, and so on. Now, it’s all coming together at break-neck speed and I am finding myself marvelling at how quickly it all came together.
Quickly? The first time I read a version of this script was in January of 2013. So … I’ve been working on it for just over two years. I’ve been working on it intensively for at least one year (the year of endless funding applications), nearly-full-time for about five months, and actually-full-time for a few short weeks.
So, yeah. While two years might seem like a long time to struggle before you get to actually shoot a film, in the grand scheme of how long it can take to get a film off the ground, it has gone fast. This is nowhere near the length of time that people mean when they talk about being trapped in “development hell”.
Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve had a couple of private meltdowns, one or two not-so-private freakouts, and a lot of great, calm days of feeling totally on top of it, and maybe just as many days of feeling like everything is out of control and there’s way too much to do and not enough days to do it in.
I am constantly tired. I can’t wait to start shooting, but I also can’t wait to be done shooting. I want to sleep without dreaming that I’m stuck in a hamster wheel made out of to do lists. Y’know?