In update corner, we are just 2 months away from shooting ‘Lady in the Woods’ and even sooner the cameras start rolling on Marq English’s comedy feature, ‘Ravenswood’ in which I play Nicholas Fox, historian. Joy is also in it as my partner Holly Laverne and in fact a couple of weeks ago we shot some footage for the teaser trailer. There are lots of old Albion chums involved so it should be a lot of fun.
After a quiet spring, work-wise I am delighted to have secured a new 60 week contract as an episode director on a children’s animated TV series, as well as some storyboarding work and some traditional, hand drawn animation – so am now finding myself working all hours. Oh, the delights of being freelance!
Despite this, however, I am still finding time to work on the ‘Tales of Albion’ – in fact they are a constant presence in my brain and keep me company in the bouts of insomnia I seem to be prone to at the moment. Useful, as I get a lot of ideas worked out but the sleep would be welcome! What I have found most interesting recently is how they have taken on a life of their own and seem to be telling ME how they want to be written. A brief history: when we finished with the movie, I started thinking almost straight away how I could follow it. I knew I didn’t want to make another movie but by the same token could not let go of the characters and themes that have become so much a part of our lives. Very quickly I came up with the idea of a web series as the preferred format (perhaps with an eventual DVD special edition release – but that is far away and only a tiny spark of a thought…) and initially thought to make it a direct sequel, picking up on the characters a year on and seeing where they were in their lives. Nice as this sounded, it became clear fairly quickly that this would simply be ‘more of the same’ and decided to look at it from another angle. We had told the stories of the humans in the film, so maybe it was the turn of the Gods and Goddesses this time. I would still be able to use actors and characters from the movie repeating their roles but in such a way that if you were new to the Tales, you wouldn’t have needed to have seen the film to understand what was going on. With that in mind I outlined the 8 stories I wanted to tell and started writing. Each film is to have a distinct style but they will all be linked by certain elements. At first, the 8 were very different but as the drafts have gone on they have all started to conform to a kind of pattern – an obvious one I suppose considering the title of the project but one that hadn’t consciously occurred to me at first: each film is a story being told by someone – a Tale within a storytelling framework. The framework itself varies from film to film – sometimes the characters in the film tell another about their distant past, sometimes a story of an incident that once happened to them and sometimes almost a parable to help someone they have met. As I say, it may seem blindingly obvious now but it actually took me (pleasantly) quite by surprise when I realised it and has actually helped me with the last 3 scripts I was struggling with a bit. At this point in time 5 scripts are finished and the remaining 3 are now in outline. Once I post this blog this evening, I will be working on storyboards for one of them and may post a few teasing pictures at some point. Then I shall press on with the final 3 scripts (they need to bubble around in my head for a bit longer yet during those wee small hours when I can’t sleep!)
The next step is the rather more mundane task of trying to raise finance. I have a couple of ideas and will keep you abreast of progress. Oh – by way of another tease, here are the working titles of the films (some may change before they are done):
1) The Washer at the Ford
2) The Noon of the Solstice
3) The Horned God: an unofficial history
4) The Cattle of the Cailleach
5) The Golden Rider
6) Dreaming the Dream
7) Birth of the Shining Brow
8) A Mother’s Curse
Right – enough of this, I’ve got storyboards to draw! Until next time, dear reader…