It’s been a few years since my last blog entry What I learned from Papadopoulos & Sons.
I caused a small ripple in the silver lake of independent film making when I self distributed Papadopoulos & Sons in 2013. The story of which is best summarised in a piece I wrote for the Guardian.
Making a movie can be exhausting but self distributing one was so all consuming that I decided to put everything down and take 2014 off from any creative ventures. I found myself doing school drop offs and waiting for school busses and buying Match Attack cards for my kids and playing FIFA with them and then just hogging the Playstation to myself and playing FIFA online – sometimes till very late at night. I am quite good now. I discovered the world of Youtubers – KSI, Chris MD etc. These are the kids that command millions of subscribers between them. They are the future… but now. I wish I was younger! I could have been a Youtuber!
In 2015 I started working on a new screenplay called Crazy Blue. The logline goes…
A forgotten boy band star suffering a midlife crisis decides to end it all but is interrupted by a rap-loving thief and discovers the rag tag family he never knew he was missing.
I spent early 2016 on rewrites and attaching a cast. These things take time. In April, I approached Edward Norton via social media and a donation to a charity he was raising money for – the full nuts story of which is captured here. He read the screenplay and passed on taking the part but with a twist, he would still like to be involved. We are working on confirming an exciting cast. This could take days, weeks or months. But I am working with a great casting director called Sarah Trevis.
Sophie, who was someone that helped me with the development of Crazy Blue is now working at Double M Films as a script exec and helping me develop a slate of new projects – which have materialised (from the ether at times) since her arrival in September. You can read more about her here.
Sophie comes with many years' experience but she also brings biscuits and a love of confectionary. I had my first Wispa (it’s a chocolate bar) since I was a teenager. No production company can call itself one without a script development ethos at its heart and Sophie is that.
The slate includes a new screenplay with a working title called “Bucharest Bluff” – a screwball comedy about a Brit and American businessman in Bucharest. It’s partly inspired by my love of Peter Bogdanovitch’s What’s Up Doc – a film that saved my childhood. The 9-year old boy in me still thinks this is one of the funniest films ever made.
We are also working with Greek Producer Giannis Exintaris – more about him here – on producing a Greek detective TV series. We have struck an exciting agreement and we are in the process of optioning a series of books.
I am also working with a fantastic writer called Stephen Laughton. I saw his play Screens at Theatre 503 and tracked him down. The working title is “Tumble”. It involves time travel, inter-dimensional travel and a launderette. We are at the development stage and the process is great fun.
More news as it comes!
P.S) Sophie insisted this blog needed a photo.