“It’s a mystery…”
The above quote is from “Shakespeare in Love” and it sums up the essence of any collaborative group artistic project I’ve ever been involved in, and there’s been quite a few. The actual quote goes like this:
“Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
So what do we do?
Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”
That particular exchange is about theatre but it can be applied to pretty much any place where a group of artists get together to create something and films are certainly no exception. But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Introductions are probably in order.
My name is Dan Forcey and I’m the VP of Development at Platinum Studios, the company responsible for the film this blog is about. I’m a 15 year veteran of the film industry and have seen it from many levels and perspectives. For this particular film, I’ve been involved with the development of the script for several years now and have been intimately connected to the production process for the last several months.
I started this blog partially [full disclosure] as a marketing tool but mostly as a way to show people in, hopefully, a unique way how the so-called “movie magic” gets done. You don’t just wake up one morning, call a bunch of friends and decide to make a multi-million dollar movie that day, movie magic or no movie magic. It’s a long, arduous and often frustrating road that sometimes makes your want to tear your hair out and other times makes you want to strangle the people you’re working with. But it all becomes worthwhile, the years of toil to make 2 hours worth of entertainment, the first time you see it on the big screen and you realize that decades from now, people are going to be watching your work and, even if they’re laughing at it the way my nephews recently laughed at the Ray Harryhausen effects in “7th Voyage of Sinbad”, they’ll remember it and somehow remember you. That’s the real movie magic: immortality.
There’s also the magic that makes the immortality. The “mystery” that Tom Stoppard writes about in the lines I quoted at the start of this. A short time ago, we started pre-production on this film after almost ten years of development. (I’ll get more into that in later posts.) Now, everyone is running around with that slightly panicked look on their face and the undertone to most of what people say is “Can we really do this?” That look of panic is nothing to panic about, either. I’ve seen it on almost every film set I’ve ever been on and usually felt it in my own eyes. I’ve seen Peter Weir hold his head and wonder aloud how he was going to finish the movie. I’ve seen Clint Eastwood hanging on to the side of a tank with a camera in one hand because it was the only way to get a shot. I’ve seen Bryan Singer throw a cup of coffee against a wall for no apparent reason and be back to joking ten seconds later. And yet, each one of those have worked out and some of them with the worst panic have turned out to be pretty good movies. In fact, I’ve been in this panic place so many times with so many truly accomplished and gifted filmmakers that I actually look forward to it. We all don’t know what’s going to happen, what wrinkles the universe will throw our way, who will end up hating whom, or how the heck we’re going to get to opening night, but we’re all taking the leap together and going on what I am confidant will be an incredible journey that will yield something we’ll all be very proud of.
I hope my part of this blog will let you come along with me on that journey. Others will be stopping by to join me from time to time, but I’ll probably be your main guide here. What insider scoops will we reveal here? What trials will we face together? What secrets or horrors will be revealed? What disasters or triumphs? It’s a mystery…
Development Exec/Stuntguy/WMWMA (Wandering Minstral Without Musical Ability)