Well, this is awkward. I have not been on top of my "A " game with my Sunday email as I had promised or my Friday Film Club (exciting news about that later). No excuses on here, but preproduction for the new feature film has required all the downtime on our end so we can save on many things later down the road during shooting. The good thing about all of this is that we have final creative control over something we believe in, El Tonto Por Cristo.
It's always the case. When you are making something, it's hard to find the time to sit back and enjoy other people's work that inspires you. I have a stack of films that I am dying to watch but can't at the moment because of deadlines, campaigns (investors, not politics), research, location scouting, and at times, sleeping. To pull the curtain back, I don't write on a laptop on a new blank page. I have an idea, write things on napkins, do voice memos ( no one should ever hear these, they will lock me up), scribble in moleskins, sticky notes, and whiteboards, and then I sit down and write the script in Final Draft. I have spent most of today watching different Orthodox monks play handmade bells and Semantrons. Jessica said maybe I should focus on some other things at hand, and she's right, but sometimes this is just how I work.
I am excited for yall to see this film in my head. I promise to write soon but you can always write me too, I like hearing from ya!
P.S. The photo is from Andrei Rublev. The kid who makes the bell at the end. It means more now than ever. Don't tell Jess.
I am making film #2. And I'm glad you are going to be a part of it. This is an early investor opportunity that's just for you. Thanks for being along this journey with me, it means the world. https://wefunder.com/eltontoporcristo/
Making films is a long process and you hope you get it right. Maybe you're making it for someone to discover later on down the road and you have to be okay with that. We live in a "instant" world and that's hard to compete with. I'm about to embark on my second feature as I'm writing my third but I'm pretty sure no one has seen my first. It is what it is and I'm writing my story as you read this. I am thankful that I was born in this era of filmmaking, you don't have to have rich parents or live on the East or West coast, we can make films that are in our head in our own backyard and that's something I don't take for granted. I hope you like this next film but maybe you won't. Maybe you like to follow the journey and the whole process, that's cool too, I'm just glad you're here. Filmmaking is a lonely thing, I'm just glad someone's listening.
I'm having a launch on Sunday, It is were you can be an investor on the life of the next film. There is no $20 donation where you get a T-shirt, It's for real. I'll probably send you a T-shirt though, but that's just me and I love the process.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, we all have a lot things that we could be doing, you're doing this and I appreciate it. So here's to making a new feature film! The #2 Josh David Jordan Texas film is going to be in the books!
I set my alarm an hour early this morning. I could barely open my eyes. I've been burning the midnight oil this week with long filming days (not the new film. Yet.). I went down to make coffee, and all the clocks read 5:30 am, but my phone said 6:30 am. I forgot it was daylight savings. That's a two-hour difference for asleep in a little bit Sunday. So I went back upstairs with my coffee to finish some work on the computer. I get settled in when a loud crashing sound is next to me. Our macrame plant hanger fell from the ceiling. I am up now. Wide awake.
I also got a text from a friend this morning telling me about a podcast with Warren Ellis on it. We saw Nick Cave & Warren last weekend, so it was a timely text. In the podcast, Warren Ellis talks about his new book, experiences with the supernatural in the form of Beethoven, but also about the nature of holy relics. This floored me. Because in my reading today of " A Daily Calendar of Saints," March 13th is the day we commemorate The Transfer of the Relics of St. Nicephorus. These coincidences? In my world, I think not.
Speaking of Saints, the new film's preproduction phase is moving along. It's a lot of moving parts, a lot of hats, and not as much boxed wine right now; gotta stay up late and get up early. Location scouting, phone calls, emails, talking to investors, contacting overseas distribution, and face-to-face meetings are getting up early. The staying up late part is writing and creating. It's the time of night I can get weird and let the subconscious take over while everyone else is asleep. I like this part the best.
We are wrapping up filming the Ochre House Theater's new production today. The Ochre house has a special place in my heart for countless reasons. One of these is the creative director Mathew Posey (pictured in this week's photo). Matt believed in me over 12 years ago, and I've kept that belief in my back pocket ever since. Not only is he a close friend, but Matt is also one of the finest actors on the planet. He has directed me for so many years, and it was an honor to direct him in This World Won't Break. But the bigger thrill is to have him play the lead in my next one.
If you have any extraordinary tales of saints or relics, please send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear them.
Belfast is a semi-autobiographical film that chronicles the life of a working-class family and their young son's childhood during the troubled times of the late 1960s in the Northern Ireland capital. It is unquestionably Kenneth Branagh's most personal film to date. Jude Hill is Branagh's younger stand-in, Buddy, who's playing outside when fighting breaks out in the street and Molotov cocktails start flying. This scene sets the tone for the film, using young Buddy's eyes as the innocence Branagh left behind all those years ago. Religious, political violence looms in the film's background and at times rears its ugly head.
The film reminds me of "Ivan's Childhood" with warlike uncertainty and bleak images. There are static shots of family life at other times, as in "Roma." But it's when Branagh uses his own style is when the film shines. Unfourtantly, he doesn't use this style for long. Instead, he jumps back and forth from stark images, slow-motion shots, handheld shots, and then uses color at times, which do not work as well as in "Wizard of Oz" or "Schindler's List." It takes me out of the film, a place that I quite enjoy at times.
The music tends to be like the cinematography, all over the place, sometimes genius and at others jarring.
Belfast is definitely a film to discover on your own. It wears its heart on its sleeve. At only a little under an hour and a half, maybe a film I need to rediscover soon as well and put my heart on my sleeve and give it another go.