It is OK to say ‘I can’t do it now…’

12 Feb

Last week I had a great idea. As I was expecting to have a week off in two weeks time, I decided that I would use it efficiently and make a short film, as part of Mallywini Film School. After all, I was set to follow Sam Raimi’s advice who said: ‘Write a script during the week, film it during the weekend, do the sound and post the following weekend’ (see Mallywini Film School’s page)…

I got really excited. YES! I will do it! I will film one of the scripts I already have in development. So I spoke to a friend who usually DOP’s for me to check whether she was free and I started planning the film in my head…

Feeding my natural ADHD (my own diagnoses, but I’m ready to argue that it’s correct) I added this project to my schedule… next to my day job, a short film I was helping on, a music video I was preparing to shoot, ‘PolinArts (…)’ my documentary I’ve been working on and… a short theatre play I agreed to direct. I was happy… I was alive… I was mad!

The first few days it was all working well. Somehow everyone (including actors, musicians and other collaborators) was available on days I needed them, I had a clear vision how I wanted each project to look like… and everything maybe would go as planned…. if my body has not decided to say a profound “NO’! It got very, very tired.. It cried for sleep even though it just woke up… Then my brain joined the rebellion and backed the body up.. I found it very difficult to focus. Thoughts ran around my head like headless chickens.. But I still carried on and had as much productive weekend as I was able to have. A met the musician and discussed the music video. I spent the Sunday helping out on set taking on two jobs- a camera assistant and 1st AD. I managed it, of course I did…

However, during the day it dawned on me how impossible my plan was. Yes, maybe I could just about plan the film and maybe I could do it whilst I’d doing everything else BUT there was no way I’d be able to find a location, arrange equipment and sort out the cast and crew.. There was physically not enough time…

This, together with the anarchy that my brain and body already created, made me rethink my plans.. I had to give up…

Funny enough, I was relieved. I knew that I WILL DO IT, I just needed more time AND… help of other… It made me realise that I am so focus on making things happen that I forget that filmmaking is all about working with others, using each other strengths and skills. I realised that it was OK to delay a project. AND that it was not a failure, it just meant that I would be able to prepare better to make it a success.


Below are two pictures I managed to take from the set on Sunday, from filming of “SORRY”, a short film about family, death and forgiveness. Both photos show how much we cared for the equipment.. and the passion we had. Because to make an independent film, for no pay, on our days off, in constant rain- it has to be out of passion. We had plenty of it.

Sorry- Photo2 Ibby, the producer guarding the light from the rain

Sorry- Photo 1 Martyna, the DOP, on a wet lens case filming a car park scene. Jonti, the director, is holding the clapper board. I am running behind them amending the lights, checking time, schedule and changing lenses…

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