Tomorrow we start shooting principle photography on The
Fitzroy, a feature film set in a post-apocalyptic 1950’s on a hotel submarine.
It’s the first feature film I’ve ever produced and tomorrow feels like a day
I’ve been building up to and eagerly anticipating my whole life. A long held ambition to produce a feature film. Though I’m
calm, not nervous or anxious, it feels right. Which may not feel odd to a lot
of you, but it certainly does to me.
I’ve produced a lot of big commercial shoots with big budgets and really tough short films on no money budgets and 9 times out of 10 on each and everyone one I’ve been pretty anxious the night before or in the build up to the shoot in the morning. My stomach gets tied in a knot, and I worry about the most ridiculous things… What if the camera kit gets stolen? What if someone gets seriously injured on the shoot and I’m to blame? What if the catering doesn’t show up!? (that’s the worst of all, no one wants a hungry angry crew!)… though more often than not everything goes by without a hitch, barring a few minor issues that can be dealt with ad-hoc. Maybe its because I like to foresee problems before they arise so I can troubleshoot them, not a bad thing from a practical point of view but bad on the stress and worry levels!
So why am I so calm? Its certainly not because its an easy shoot. If we pull off what I think we can in the next few weeks this will undoubtedly be the greatest achievement of my professional career (and that includes the kickstarter campaign for this very film). It’s going to be a tough shoot no doubt about that. It would be ambitious at the best of times but to do it on the tiny budget we have, is plain madness. But what’s the point in playing it safe?
I think I’m calm because of the quality of the project and the amount of work we have put in so far. The writer/director Andrew Harmer has written a wonderful script, that I think is as tight as it possibly could be. He’s really been fantastic so far and likely been a calming influence on everyone involved. Together Andrew, Liam Garvo and I have not stopped working since the beginning of this year in build up to this point. We’ve been lucky enough to get a fantastic cast attached, thanks to the casting director Brendan at Beach Casting. Don’t get me wrong there are no huge Hollywood stars in there, but having been at most of the auditions and all the rehearsals I wouldn’t swap any single member of our cast for anyone. They are fantastic! The very talented crew have worked so hard already on little to no money. The tireless art department have been building sets and collecting props for the last month, and the rest of the crew have given up their time and done all that we could have asked for them. So now we are as ready as we ever likely to be.
Tomorrow we start filming on the sub and spend the next week down in Rochester, then head off to the studio build. It’s extremely exciting and what ever happens is going to be one hell of an experience. I can’t believe it was almost 4 month’s ago that we completed the Kickstarter campaign and all those incredible backers made tomorrow possible. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it - thank you so much to any and everyone who has helped make the Fitzroy happen and help fulfil a long held ambition of mine and the rest of everyone else involved in the film.
Bring on the shoot!