Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Short & Long Terms

So, it's complete. For now.

Of course I'm talking about The Tolltaker. What else do I ever talk about? Four years, and I have a 23-minute short film. Should the feature-length version ever get made, I would hope the timescales wouldn't be proportional.

I've uploaded a cut to Vimeo. You can watch it here:

That does bring up an interesting point, however. What now? All along, I've been saying that I want the short film to be a trailer of sorts for the entire feature-length version. The goal up til now has been intermediary: get the short film done. Then that medium-term goal will support the long-term effort to get a Tolltaker feature made. Well, now that medium-term goal has been accomplished. How exactly do I proceed from here?

Well, obviously, there's applying to film festivals. I have submissions out to several now, and the Tolltaker is screening next week at the New Jersey Film Festival in New Brunswick. And there's building awareness - and an audience - for the film through Facebook and blogs like this one.

But as for the next step in the development of the Tolltaker movie itself? Well, it's been my experience that the projects that are most fully realized are the ones that tend to get approved or get backing. The easier you can make it for the person you're pitching to visualize the final product, the more likely that you'll get that person's backing. That was the whole rationale behind the short film.

It seems logical, then, that the next step in this "pre-visualizing" process is to complete a story board for the feature film. That would take many factors that are now abstract and turn them into concrete things that can be measured and planned for. A shot list can be derived. A budget and shooting schedule can be fashioned. Work on details can begin. All of this adds up to a coherent, rational plan for completing a job, one that only needs the fuel of financial backing to be realized.

There are a couple of intriguing software packages out there for storyboarding a film. You can create three-dimensional spaces for the action to take place in, you can choose from a myriad of stock props and characters, you can design and execute camera moves - create a complete animatic of the film. It should actually be a lot of fun.

In the meantime, my hope is to get the number of "Likes" on the Tolltaker Facebook page up as high as possible. Another medium-term goal.

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