A Daze in the Life of a Directrix…

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, News
March 14th, 2011 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

keyimg20090401_10522028_1“Should I send a St. Bernard with a drum of brandy after you?” a friend e-mailed this morning, gently reminding me I had seemingly fallen off the planet once again.  For the record, though all is quite well, dogs bearing booze are ALWAYS welcome in our household.  Anyway, here’s the Deviant latest to shed some light on our frequent disappearing acts of late…

PfH_envelope_splat_a-01My wonderful producer and I have been working with our growing team on our next feature, PAIGE & HADLEY’S PROM FROM HELL , for nearly a year now and momentum is building at an intense speed.  We’ve been slammed with endless deadlines for big meetings, pitches, proposals and so forth.  I get way more of the jokes in Altman’s THE PLAYER now.

Prom from hell look bookHow does one prepare for such things?  Well, it ’s no longer enough to have a mere script and business plan.  Minimally, one needs to have bankable names attached, a good marketing strategy, and what’s called a “LOOK BOOK” – basically a picture book to accompany one’s script since merely reading is so terribly out of vogue.

Actually, it’s been helpful putting together this visual bible for our film, not only to help share our vision with outsiders, but to help the growing team better communicate our collective vision.  It’s even helped with rewriting tweaks.

development-hellWe’ve put together a pretty nifty package and team so far with more interested parties every day.  Our budget’s modest by Hollywood blockbuster standards, but  never one to sit idle, we have Plans “B “and “C” in place lest our movie winds up in “Development Hell”, which I’ve seen happen to far too many folks.  I have no intention of waiting years between projects to get back on a set.  We’re filmMAKERS, not “Film – Having – Maders”, you know?   Besides, it’s not like getting back on a bicycle.  Directing requires practice, lest one become rusty.  And, more importantly perhaps, souls require nourishment as I learned the hard way.

half_nelsonAfter the latest slew of deadlines, pitches and proposals, we will shoot our teaser, which we will add to our presentation and premiere at our big fundraiser in June.  The fundraiser is not for the full feature, but for the first 15 minutes of it, which also serves as a stand-alone short.  Many successful indie films have begun this way (GRACE, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, HALF NELSON, OVERBROOK BROTHERS, FROZEN RIVER and the list goes on.)  dic still devi Repeatedly, interested parties wanted to throw money at a DEATH IN CHARGE feature I didn’t have.  Lesson learned. We’ve sure gotten a lot of much mileage out of that short.  Whoever knocks short films as a waste of time might want to rethink that.  I’ve seen numerous folks hurt by making a mediocre first feature and amazing things transpire from a decent short.   Just saying…

US-Australia-FlagsMeanwhile, another script I wrote a while back is in the hands of a brilliant director and we’ve formed an Aussie/American co-production, which is also building momentum.  That means more proposals, pitches and “Look Books” to be compiled.  The two projects couldn’t be more different and I’m hopelessly devoted to both.  Switching gears is exhausting, but ever so rewarding.

joe mick zed stillAdditionally, tRIPPIN’ has surprised us with a number of interesting opportunities making her life a potentially full-time job unto itself if we only had the time to pursue it all.  But we do not.  However, a decision needs to be made quickly and I will write a full blog on the pros and cons of distribution and the interesting alternatives shortly.  It’s a constantly evolving reality.  I’m really glad we did the whole micro-budget thing – it’s been an invaluable education on top of some very serious other benefits that are becoming clearer all the time – a blog entry unto itself.

dolores still 1 smLAST SEEN ON DOLORES STREET has begun racking up the fests as well and as we’ve made a point to mostly target ones we’ve never been to before (and in places we want to branch out), we’re having to pick and choose which dates/locations are financially and time-wise-ly (?) feasible in between all the other madness.  Accounts of Nevermore and Taos will hopefully be forthcoming prior to our upcoming trips to Phoenix and Kansas City.

gstqAnd, though our new webisodes series has been repeatedly pushed back due to all the other madness, we are earnestly aiming for a summer shoot when we’ll be in the earlier stages of pre-production for GOD SAVE THE QUEEN and hopefully not overly crazed yet.

devi paperwork smAll of this, of course, is being juggled in and about my heavier-than-usual teaching load this semester, some writing gigs and marketing a few other scripts I’ve knocked out these past couple months.  I’ve made a rule that unless there is simply no alternative, 6:30am-10:30am is mine in which to write (and do a morning workout and eat breakfast) and it’s amazing how much I now pack into each day.

group woods bw 3 smNonetheless, this lifestyle has not afforded much time for e-mails, blogs or any semblance of a personal life.  14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week are mostly accounted for, with the very occasional breaking of bread or something stronger with kindred spirits.   I miss the outside world, I do and feel a bit in a daze by it all for sure.  But right now, it’s all about focus and discipline and, besides, our team efforts feel social.  Having a great team makes all the difference and everybody’s working their tails off and cheering each other on.

There should be time to play again soon.  In the meantime, thanks for having patience with us.  We shall be back soon with eyefuls of all new goodies, I hope…

One Response to “A Daze in the Life of a Directrix…”

  1. Just read your synopsis for PAIGE AND HADLEY. Sounds so very cool; hope it comes together soon.

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