Because I celebrate Christmas, here is my Top 5 list of my favorite movies about the holiday.
- A Christmas Story
- Christmas Vacation
- Home Alone
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Animated)
- Emmett Otter’s Jug-band Christmas
Every now and then it hits me that I’m living my dream. And I have been able to do it my way (coming right out of grad school as a producer, not an assistant), working only on projects I choose, not beholden to anyone. And ideally those are projects that I love.
And for the most part, those are projects that I write myself. Not to slight any of my other little darlings, but my favorite is Chasing Rabbits. And now that the book is really underway, I get artwork in and it literally makes me tear up. Like a complete pansy. Because my goal is to please myself. I believe that if I can please myself, my bar of quality is high enough that I can please a huge audience. I’m limited, or I have been, by budget so far – but I have been consistently producing things that far exceed their budget. And then I get pages like this, which may not seem like much right now – just pencils – with very little context. But it makes me rejoice that I get to do what I love, and I get to work with someone like Zsombor who somehow nails these things that I thought were only in my head.
(I should also post script this: it’s not so much that I am gifted, but that I am able to work with people who are gifted)
When Zsombor sent me these I was floored. These two (my favorite is Gotham Waltz) are stunning. Most of the people who stopped by the table at New York Comic-con agreed. It got me fired up for R.E.M., which he penciled/inked… and even more excited for Chasing Rabbits, which Zsombor just started this month. Seeing his work come to life in color is spectacular.
Yesterday I completed a draft of a script I’ve been working on in relative obscurity. Not that the government or anyone else is keeping tabs on my activity, but I do work with a lot of people and almost none of them know about this project. It was borne out of discussions with my financier and my desire to literally pick up a camera and make a movie. Some people call under a million ‘micro-budget’. I find that a bit out of touch with reality and call something under $100,000 micro-budget, with a ‘get it in the can’ number of under $40,000. That is where this would fall. I’m really happy with how it came out. More importantly, so is the financier.
The project is called S.O.B. – which is an acronym for the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway on Long Island (which runs north-south in Nassau County), as well as ‘Son of a bitch.’ It is comparable to the original Pusher trilogy by Nicolas Winding Refn, except set on Long Island. I loved the simplicity of those movies – particularly the first one. But also the amount of style he brought to each film. The world just sort of sucked you in, and his gritty style kept you there. The film is packed with plenty of strippers, dealers and cretins.
I now find myself in a really odd position. It looks likely that Lunatic is going to get the greenlight in the next week or two for a Spring shoot (much more coming on this – I promise). The same company will be financing another project I’m producing which would shoot right after that in Sweden. Now I have a project I can just go shoot, the financier with the pocketbook (and desire) to do it – but I don’t think I will have the time to shoot it before I need to really dive into pre-production on Lunatic (and this other project).
What worries me is the casting and locations for S.O.B. Even though it is micro-budget, if I can’t find someone for the lead that I think can carry the movie, then I just have to wait. If I had everyone ready we would be a full go for a January shoot. The more likely scenario is that we start casting now for an August or September shoot.
We’re not even a month in and Zsombor has penciled up to page 32. Below is one of the pages. On this page, Alice walks in a driving rain to a brothel in the Queen’s territory, the Fyerz Rouge, to gather information on a Jane Doe that showed up floating in the Wonderland River without a head.
I would bet large sums of money the inked version will take this to a whole new level. Chasing Rabbits, my dream project, finally coming to life.