Some days my mind is filled with ideas for our next project. Too many ideas, in fact. They cease to keep coming while I'm trying to focus on the project at hand. It gets annoying because I want to focus on finishing this project, but new ideas keep coming out of nowhere until the day comes when I want to sift through those ideas to find the good ones. Then they have all mysteriously evaporated. It's beyond frustrating.
Thankfully, a certain tip from one of our friends, Doc, whom you might remember from the digitizing of mini-DV tapes at the beginning of this adventure, has stuck with me. He's been doing this a lot longer than I have, and always seems to give great advice when I need it most.
When we first got started, Doc told me that the project would send me on an emotional roller coaster ride. There would be highs, lows and some points at which you might want to vomit. (True, true, and true.) He also told me that ideas will come while you're in the middle of working on the project. He recommended that I not indulge them, but write them all down as fast as possible, and then get back to the task at hand. It is this advice that replays in my mind each time a new idea comes while I'm working on Abandoned Allies. I have a list of very unorganized ideas, but they are at least captured on paper.
Recently, Surry and I had some time to sit and talk about this project and what might happen next. (He, too, always provides sage advice when I need it most. I'm a lucky woman to be surrounded by such smart people.) We talked at great length about the work left on Abandoned Allies, the process for completion, and what will happen after post-production wraps. We also talked about the next film(s), and developed a list of criteria for selecting an idea. He helped me feel that it's not too soon to start going down the list of ideas to find one that I could live with for a long time, something that would be a great second film. I've started thinking about it in greater detail, but will have nothing to report for quite some time.
In other conversations, a few people have been curious to know if I would tackle another film. A family member asked if this project had scared me away from filmmaking. Ha! Hardly. These are thoughts that never crossed my mind. I believe filmmaking is something I am meant to do and I hope there are many more films for me after this one is completed.
There are at least two or three documentary ideas I'd like to tackle immediately, and I keep finding old screenplay ideas I'd like to further develop and produce. That might seem a bit lofty, knowing how long I've spent on this one project; however, with some creative financing and having a team in place from the get-go, I think I could move much faster on the next one. I think with some of those things in place, the experience would be a much more balanced, healthier one. That could mean I would improve my skills as a leader, therefore enabling my team to be happier, more fruitful and possibly even paid.
Interesting, too, are the ideas that others are pitching to me. I'm always grateful when someone takes the time to share an idea with me, because it's obviously something they found interesting. It's typically an idea they've carried with them for a while, and they want to see it come to life on screen. They are usually knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter, too, so I end up learning something new. Having ideas pitched to me is such a delight! It further develops my love for the business/production end of filmmaking.
In the meantime, I keep reading about filmmaking, festivals, and distribution so we can figure out our next steps. Blogger Eric Sherman posted a two-part article about "The Sophomore Jinx" on filmmakers. I'm so grateful to have read his thoughts on the matter because it gave me things to think about before we finish Abandoned Allies. You can read Part I and Part II online if you want to read them, too. I'm finding a balance between reading about filmmaking, business and the subject matter of our film.
While we've not found the one idea for our next project just yet, I know it must be right around the corner. I now recognize how lucky I was to have the idea for Abandoned Allies take shape so easily.