I just re-watched FORCE MAJEURE by Ruben Östlund. God it’s good. And so is the end credits track by Ola Fløttum. Unfortunately it’s not available on Spotify or iTunes, so I’m listening to it on repeat on YouTube while I write today.
That exhilarating, terrifying moment of cracking open a project and staring down into the chasm; breathing becomes difficult.
Today I’m listening to Bowie’s ‘The Motel’.
Writing again. It feels good.
It’s a funny thing, how projects get under your skin.
We’re now just four weeks out from shooting BROKEN LINE NORTH, a project I’ve carried with me for the last three years.
Before I moved to Melbourne for film school, I was determined that I’d make it as soon as I returned. Yet when I moved back to Sydney a year later, I wasn’t so sure. I was broke—not just broke, but in considerable debt—I was trying to find a place to live, and I was working full-time. I also wasn’t sure I needed this project anymore.
I wrote another short as a proof of concept for a feature. I tried to get it up. It was shortlisted for funding. Twice. I took TOMORROW to festivals, travelling overseas for the first time in 10 years. I did my tax and won some prize money, I worked hard, and somehow I got back in the black.
And late last year I found myself searching—that age old question, the one I keep returning to reared its ugly head. But how do I make this career, this life, sustainable?
I turned 29 and thought about what I wanted my life to be. I thought about my parents, also ageing. I thought about the people we come in contact with on the way, how their lives intersect with ours, how they change us. And suddenly BROKEN LINE NORTH was back on my mind and in my heart. Truthfully, it never really left.
That was it: I would make this film in 2019. I’d save up $5,000 and make it on the cheap if I had to.
Then, in March, I was shortlisted for the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship again. I pulled out this script which I hadn’t touched in over a year and wrote three new drafts. It was the best writing I’d ever done. It was nuanced and specific and spoke to the kind of features I want to make. The application came together with remarkable ease. The whole thing just felt right.
Getting the fellowship made me realise what I couldn’t see a year ago: the project wasn’t ready then; I wasn’t ready then. I’ve grown in the last year, and I know how to direct it now. I know what it is; I feel it deep inside me.
I’ve come to believe that things happen the way they’re supposed to, when they’re supposed to.
In four weeks, I’ll be back on set after more than two years of living and working and writing and growing and searching. It almost doesn’t feel real, but it does feel right.