Paul Hills’ weekly post production blog

Weekly Blog 17 (February 29th)

I am on my way to Devon and Cornwall to see the writer that I seem to be endlessly negotiating a contract with. It’s just another thing to wear me down and get on my nerves. The goal posts keep changing and we are currently on draft 10. Total amateur hour.

I’ve still not been able to see the first assembly of the film. This is again because of Caroline’s availability. Now I am scheduled to see it on Wednesday. I can’t wait. First assembly’s are routinely 3 hours long as they have everything in them. They include everyone walking into rooms, sitting down, all the pauses and dead time. They are what a film looks like before it takes shape, before it is moulded. They are quite depressing things as well, many things will seem to not work or are too long. It will also look like there are endless repetitions as bits of dialogue will not be needed as things are explained in other ways. But I’m surmising. I haven’t seen it.

On Tuesday, after my monthly poker tournament, Jonnie asked me if he would get to see the assembly. I had to tell him no. I don’t want anyone to see the film until it has some shape. That is my job, the directors job, to give it shape. Like a mother and a midwife in a delivery room why the relatives wait outside. Once Caroline has given her full input, and I have given my full input, then it will be time to show it to Jonnie. And after getting his input to other people and eventually to a whole load of them!

The problem is that everything has taken so long and people are anxious to see some results. After a super quick pre-production and shoot everything now is endless. Axle Cheeng texted me asking about the sound and when she could start work! I barely had the inclination to tell her we have barely moved forward since she left to Malaysia for a month. We are now where we should have been 4 weeks after the shoot. Instead it is 17 weeks after. We are 13 weeks behind schedule and counting. And counting! And Counting!!!

To make things more enjoyable, one of our creditors wanted to press the button on Thursday so we are trying to stop that from happening. It’s not in their best interests to press the button. The legal costs incurred would be equal to what we owe them. Of course they will try to pass that on to us. There’s absolutely no chance of me having an appetite to pay that. They can go to hell on that point!

We’re doing all we can to get more investment but I’m afraid we haven’t yet even received confirmation that our answers to HM customs and excise have fully satisfied them.

On top of this, other people owed money are texting me frequently now. What can I do? They say they have sent in receipts or invoices 4-5 months ago. Well, I got given them 2-3 weeks ago. But of course, how can they understand this concept, that someone employed by the film to deal with the finances should take 14 weeks to deliver the invoices to the person that hired them thus delaying the VAT reclaim by that amount of time. It’s un-understandable, even to me!

One strange occurrence, a beam of light in the darkness, is that out of the blue I got a call from Passing Clouds this week. Steve Norris’ DAT recorder turned up. It was in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box in a corner of one of the venue’s rooms. How it got there no-one knows. Steve was over the moon when I told him.

At least someone’s happy.

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