Look at that kid on the right of the picture trying to look all visionary and full of self-confidence!
This was taken on the set of my very first short film, The Fare. The other two folks are producer Tracey Boulton and director of photography Tony Mirza both of whom have gone on to have very successful careers in their chosen disciplines.
Back in 1998 we were all looking for that big break that would launch us into the stratosphere and we all thought The Fare would be our ticket. Well, I did... I was still riding the wave of wild enthusiasm and didn't know any better. I'd graduated film school, I'd worked on many different sets as a camera assistant and my little script for The Fare had won the prestigious N.S.I. "Drama Prize" Award - Professional validation! Dreams on the verge of coming true! Fame and fortune beckoning! Oh, and completely unrealistic expectations...
Here's the film:
I've gone through many different emotions over the years regarding the film. The absolute elation of actually getting it made. The downer of reality hitting home when it wasn't universally embraced and lauded. The disappointment of having made a deeply flawed film... You see, as a filmmaker, one will only ever have one first film and like all firstborns, we place massive expectations on them and on ourselves as we try oh so hard to be the perfect "parent".
Back in 1998 there was no facebook, no youtube or vimeo. Sharing a film meant applying to festivals and pounding the pavement hawking promotional postcards and doling out VHS copies here there and everywhere. Despite all of that hard work The Fare hasn't been seen by that many people. It's great to be able to put it out there again for a potentially new audience.
The flaws of The Fare are my flaws and I take full responsibility for them but I've also come to accept them and recognize that they co-exist with the many things that make this little film-that-could so special to me. Acceptance is a good place to finally reach. Its a place where hard lessons learned can live side by side with the pride of getting an ambitious film made.
Just as I've grown up, so too has The Fare and now the film gets to make its own way free of parental expectations!
Please feel free to comment, ask questions and share the link with others. If you were one of the many people who helped make the film possible, I'd love to hear your perspective 13yrs on.