My flight to Dublin, Ireland was booked months in advance.
The screenplay was coming along and the cast and crew, including locations, were all locked for a May 22, 2020 start date. So what happened? COVID-19 happened. I know that in the grander scheme of things, such an artistic endeavor cannot compete with the death, sickness, economical mess, and the psychological toll this pandemic has affected the world. But it affected my world and those connected to the project.
Usually, a production is halted or postponed because of budgetary concerns, actor’s availability, even the sudden loss of a location, but how do you prepare for a film shoot that involves ten countries around the world? My first concern was the health and well being of my friends in the countries I have already shot in, Germany and Australia, as well as the two countries, Ireland and the Czech Republic, I was scheduled to shoot in this spring and summer. As far as my mission of accomplishing this monumental task of filmmaking, I am surprised to say, I’m okay about the delay. If anything, it has afforded me the chance to tighten the scripts, outlines, characters and overall storyline because of the delay. It would be wonderful to imagine that the delay will help with raising money for this project, but the reality is that the last thing any potential investor is thinking about is funding a crazy idea like this. I am prepared to fund this in any manner I can devise and that includes breaking that old song, “Never use your money to make a movie.”
So what happens now. As of this writing, I am still holding out hope for a delay of a few months. I realize that I may be a bit too optimistic, but isn’t making any film, a leap of faith? Another unexpected aspect to this quarantine is the fact that I may very well reconsider some road bumps I have stumbled on to in the pursuit of writing the scripts as well as the whole outline for the ten films. I am afforded the commodity of time. My biggest complaint in the before times was, I didn’t have enough time to work on these scripts. A deadline was looming and I didn’t feel I had large chunks of time to devote myself to writing the story. Now I have time, so what’s my excuse? The thing is that when I was working here and there, making money, that seemed to take precedent over my writing and filmmaking. I was a full-time earner and a part-time writer and director. The truth is now, I can’t work or even leave the house. I am a full-time writer who can no longer work. I do have the time. I have always had the time. For me, it is a mindset. My art is first and foremost and then I do whatever I need to do to buy food and keep a roof over my head. The best lesson I have learned from this pandemic is to be present and be and do what you love.