Monday, February 23, 2009

Blogging from the Rock

I am in exile.

It's self-imposed, but it's exile nonetheless.

Despite the fact that we are right this minute racing to put our Telefilm submission together for March 27 - i.e. nailing down a distributor (a deal which, I am thrilled to say, we're in the final stages of closing!), casting for our principal roles, finding our co-pro prairie partner - the script is still, and always will be, the thing.

So although I've been off dabbling in Dolly for a while, turns out there's no escaping the basics. While Telefilm and SODEC are looking for the overall production-readiness of a given submission, they won't look very far if the script is weak (at least that's the official line).

Aware of all this, my producer Barbara arranged a session with Ms. Katrina Best, a top-notch script analyst. Armed with all the goods she gave us, I then pulled the plug on my life last Wednesday. I have been holed-up in a bare naked apartment at the foot of Mont-Royal ever since. Writing. Just writing. I can be very masculine like that - doing only one thing at a time.

But while polishing my screenplay in relative isolation is an all-consuming pursuit for me right now, it makes for some pretty boring blogging.

So, enough about me. I want to talk about you...

As I mentioned in my last post, making a movie is so much about relationships and community. Our own community has been building slowly but surely over time - one interested, and interesting, person at a time.

If you're reading this right now, you're one of them. And you've probably already read about other very key people who've helped me get this far. But there's still others - people who are starting to feed the project in their own creative and stimulating ways. It's some of these people I wanted to shine a little light on... 

There's Erica Ehm (of MuchMusic VJ fame) who, along with broadcasting, writing books, writing plays, running a hugely popular website (, also writes and composes award-winning songs. Inspired by what she read right here, Erica sent me one of her original tunes. When I heard it, I got goosebumps. It's like the song was written for my protagonist, Elizabeth.

There's the visual artist, Paul Richmond whose work and personal story have been greatly influenced by "a certain be-wigged, sparkly songbird" (his own fabulous words). He's been following the blog and wrote to let me know.  Along with offering valuable words of encouragement, he also invited me to see his work. If you check out his website:, don't miss pieces like "Hello Dolly" and "The Dollypop Guild". Along with their accompanying stories, they intersect nicely with main elements in our film.

There's Peter Pan - who likely needs no introduction seeing as he practically invented social networking decades before Facebook ever showed it's - face.  Peter is a close friend from high school and it seems like he's always known more people than God. Nothing makes Peter happier than helping the people he knows, know the people he knows. Not only has he already hooked me up to a Very Interesting Person for my film, whom I hope to discuss here very soon, he has also recruited a bunch of industry people out West to join our Facebook Fan Page. So, if you haven't joined yet, just click the link in the sidebar to the right and start networking. For Pete's sake.

There's still more people I want to bring into the light, but better get back to the script.

In the spirit of Facebook and all the creative spirits feeding the project, I'll close by listing some of the music and movies that are presently keeping me company in exile...

"Loving Cup", Rolling Stones (featuring Jack White), from Shine the Light soundtrack 
All the Bach Cello Suites, Mstislav Rostropovich, Bach: Cello Suites
"Holly Holy", Neil Diamond, Gold

Also, I watched Alan Ball's Towelhead last night. The film's protagonist is a young girl who's coming of age and inadvertently challenging some archaic social mores.  It took a long time to warm up to it, but somewhere near the middle, the film started growing on me. Been thinking about it today...