It’s been an intense and emotional week – Judy and I are now in full swing on a script, which we hope to announce soon. We have been spending mornings working on real world stuff, such as setting up courses, corporate work and the new Guerilla book. And from mid afternoon, until as late as we can manage, we are working on the new script.
For the first time in a long time I was glad it was Friday as we pulled three 14 hour shifts in a row this week, and I am very tired. Add to that the shock of both Blake Snyder and John Hughes’ deaths this week, and I was ready to chill out.
So I rented ‘Let The Right One In’ on BluRay, the Swedish vampire movie that has been collecting lots of awards – we watched on my home cinema setup, in HD, and I have to say, it really impacted on me. Sure it was slow, ponderous, ‘Europeanly oblique’ at times, but it was also charming, shocking, mesmerising, beautiful, magical, subtle, inventive, and it went to some very dark human places. I have never seen a blood drenched pre-teen vampire movie about first love before, and I suspect won’t for some time (unless of course some Americans decide to remake and remove all the subtle human emotions). Check it out, but on a big screen as its cinematic in both a visual sense but also an emotional sense, and I think that experience will be compromised on a small screen.
As the credits rolled, I could not help but reflect on what I want to do with my life, about my choice to tell stories that resonate with me (and hopefully others), the pressures we are all under (to ‘deliver the next one’, to make money, to ‘progress’. To get into ‘Hollywood’ etc.) and all framed by the untimely deaths of both Blake Snyder and John Hughes. I do wonder if it’s all a distraction from simply telling the best movie that you can? Of course everything has a time and place. I just wonder if this is my time and place right now? You know, I think it might be.
It’s clear we only get one shot in life. I am proud to say that with ‘Gone Fishing’, I followed my heart and made a movie I am proud of now, and will be proud of for the rest of my days. The question is, will I feel the same way about the next steps in my career? For me this thought will be my guiding light.
While writing this week, Judy and I have discussed some of the elements in our story, and how they will be a tough sell – but we made a choice to not compromise just now. Compromise may be forced on us in the future, and then we will have a choice – accept or fight. We may win, we may lose, it may fall apart, it may all work out amazingly.
So I am choosing to be guided by my instinct and intuition, my heart not my head.
And for that I thank both the film makers behind ‘Let The Right One In’ and especially Blake.
It’s a tragedy that it takes a catastrophe for one person to provide courage and illumination to another. But I guess that’s all part of being human. And you know, in an ironic way, if there is a next life, I am pretty sure Blake will be tickled that even now, he is sitting over all our shoulders and reminding us to get on with it, and to be the very best that we can. Blake really is a Jedi master, and as such, writing this blog has been, for me, ‘a meeting with the mentor’ while on my own hero’s journey… He may not be here in body, but he is still showing me the path right now…
Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author