Friday, 22 December 2017

2017

God I love a summing up. We're hurtling towards 2018 and I'm getting all reflective about this year, and by hell I've decided to focus on the positives. I promised my friend Adam I'd be positive so my hands are tied.

This year I:

  • Made 2 films
  • Got into 5 film festivals so far with them
  • Made London my home more than ever before
  • Actually now feel like a professional voice over artist
  • Added to the list of memories I never want to forget
  • Ran 10k in a time I'm ridiculously proud of
  • Done what's made me happy
I'm really proud of myself. Partly just because I'm still in London. It's another year and I'm still living there and (somehow) affording to live and work there. It's been the toughest year so far (on the edge of positivity now...) but I've survived and my postcode still remains N7.

The films. I won't say much about them because I've already blogged about it but the happiest I may have ever been was during the week of filming The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper with my best friends in Devon. It was a feeling of huge pride and happiness to know the people who helped me make it. The support of the Mighty Colour Films guys is solely responsible for me making films in the first place. I owe them so much. I can't wait to show the films to everyone next year. They're doing really well in film festivals which unfortunately means we have to wait until Summer to release them but I plan on doing a big premiere in Bournemouth when the time comes and show a few Mighty Colour Films films past and present.

I want to thank my flatmates too. This is the most settled I've ever been in my life and it's down to 7 amazing flatmates and my amazing neighbour (yes it's a big house (yes we actually know our neighbour)). They're some of the most important people in my life now and I know I wouldn't be this happy without them. They've been so supportive of the films and I know I can rely on them if I've had a shit day which has happened on a few occasions this year.

10k. My run surprised me with how happy it made me. There aren't many things that I can say with confidence but with incredibly determined pride I can say I'm fast. Very fast. That sprint finish at the end of it all was worth all the training and the previous 39 minutes of complete pain and a devastatingly strong desire to stop at all times past 5 minutes. It meant a lot more to me than I realised and it's a moment I'll never forget.

I'm very aware I haven't written about acting at all. To be honest this year hasn't been much to write home about in the way of acting. My agent is putting me forward for all the right stuff but opportunities and auditions just haven't come up as often as they have in the past. There's been no shift in desire. If opportunities don't come up I'm more than happy to spend my time earning from promo work and writing and continuing to make my dear short films. It continues to be a waiting game which I'm more than happy to be patient about. I'm close to securing great regular flexible promo work so I can stick around. This year my faith has wavered a lot in what I'm doing. But it's almost a new year and my faith is as strong as ever. One last thing that this year has brought is a mini motto I've had to remind myself of at times. Everything's going to be ok. It's simple but I love it. It reminds me that things aren't going to stand still for me or my problems. Things are going to keep progressing and time will keep ticking by, and no matter how bad things get, it'll pass. Everything's going to be ok.

And that's it. I'm out for another year. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank YOU too for reading this, keeping up with everything, despite the odd depressing bit, and being here. You're the best. Lots of love. Sam x

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Backburner

It's been a while. Last time I blogged was in April and it wasn't all too positive feels. Since then I've finished 2 short films and kept on keeping on.

Firstly these 2 short films. The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper, after about 6 long months of working itself out, is finished and out on the film festival circuit. If it made it to a few film festivals I'll be the happiest man around. At times it was a labour of love but I couldn't be prouder of everyone involved and that here we are. It's finished and I'm happy. Then there's Eat Jeremy. My second short film of the year which I wasn't sure was going to happen but, after a day of shooting and roughly a week or so of editing it's finished and joining the lighthouse film on the film festival circuit. I feel more a writer and filmmaker than I do an actor at the moment. I've had time to focus on filmmaking which has been great and films wouldn't have been made if it weren't for my dry spells but acting has slipped down the line. I'm a filmmaker first, voice over artist second, actor third.

So, this acting thing. It's been a tough old year, the toughest so far, and I think a change is needed. I've been very methodical and thoughtful with it and I feel as time has gone on my shift of what I enjoy has changed slightly. I love acting. It's the best feeling in the world to be someone else and change who you are completely. Having said that this year my most proud moments have been writing, directing, and creating my own projects. The most passionate I'll ever be is for my own short films and creations and that can be done and will continue to be done no matter where I end up at the end of all this. I feel I'm coming slowly closer to this conclusion that I need to put acting on the backburner for a while to still afford London. Many times this year I've kept myself free out of hope and faith that something will come up and it hasn't. I haven't been sensible. I need to change my priorities and that's not a bad thing that I'm not sad to do so. That's what I'd like to reiterate. If, in a years time, I'm still in London but doing less acting then that's ok. That's what path I've been led to. I know in my heart I will continue to make films and will always want to act, but I shouldn't be depressed if I have to grow up and realise I can't keep going the way I'm going financially. I need to do what I can to stay in London and if that means less acting then so be it. It's been an incredible adventure and maybe hasn't gone the way I'd hoped so far. Of course I wish I was further along than I am right now at my age and after 5 years of London. I think instead about how far I've come. How many films I've made and how proud I am of everything that I've achieved, and how I haven't let the negative things get me down. It sounds a bit like I'm saying goodbye to acting but that's not the case. I just feel like I've been living a bit of a dream that had an expiry date. I've never felt closer to the end of things and need to buy myself some more time. I need to grow up. If priorities need to change then that's what we have to do to keep the adventure going. It's not a sad thing or a goodbye. It's just a new direction that I need to take things in.

I said to my neighbour the other day, I'd love to get framed the words 'everything's going to be ok' on my wall. I love it. It's a brilliant reminder that whatever happens to anyone, the world isn't going to wait. Should anything happen to me that means I have to give up acting or move out of London the worlds going to keep on going. All I can do is my best. The rest is up to the universe to be kind and help a guy from Christchurch continue to live his dream. Everything's going to be ok. I am so grateful for every great thing that has happened in the last 5 ridiculous years. I hope for another 5.

Friday, 31 March 2017

March 2017

I'm glad to see the back of March which I will claim to be one of the hardest months I've had since moving to London.

I love doing these blogs. It's really therapeutic and I feel like I get everything on my mind off my chest. I've always been proud of how honest I am with them and I'll say exactly what's going on and how I'm feeling. If you read back on all of the posts of this blog I realise probably most, if not all of them, are either 'I'm feeling a bit down about things' or 'I'm determined to stop feeling down about things' which could potentially be a bit boring and repetitive. So to not break tradition I'm going to tell it straight and it may be a bit of a downer but know that it's all ok.

For the first time over the last month and a half I've been questioning how long I can be an actor for. I still want to do it of course but for the first time I started to think responsibly about how much money I can spend on staying in London and hoping things will work out. Acting is unpredictable and it can happen for anyone just like good actors can go their whole lives without anything happening to them. After what can only be described as a shit-tonne of tax to pay, a short film made over budget and no notably moneymaking acting jobs to speak of I started to think how realistic this is. I'm back to the Sam who first moved to London, unsure if I'll be here in a years time, but with less optimism. I'm tired. I get so tired of trying to constantly look for jobs and be positive and keep my head up and have faith that something will come up. The truth is I feel more pessimistic than ever about it. The faith and hope aren't there. I've felt quite depressed most of this month and just haven't been myself. I'd rather be alone in the evenings than see anyone and just didn't have the passion to make an effort to see people. I found out that a job I'd done last year was extending the usage which meant a bit more money which was great but didn't change how I felt. It's all starting to feel like I'm using small amounts of money that I'll get from jobs to plug a leak for the time being and not looking at the bigger problem of how I can achieve more and not have to rely on these little jobs to squeeze rent out of each month. I'm starting to look at the bigger picture. I feel very grown up. It's horrible.

God that was depressing. I feel like I should apologise for being such a down clown. Basically I'm feeling a lot better now. I went home last week and feel a lot better for it. I talked to my family about it and had a lot of thinking time. I also remembered that this is how I've felt the last 2 years at this point in the year and I got out of the slump. I don't know how many people read this when I post but I'm glad when people do. And totally get that I can be a Moany Mcdownerson with it sometimes. It's my therapy and I like to get it off my chest. It's my window to say how it's really going without sugarcoating things.

So to sum up:

  • Actings hard
  • Had a bit of a wobble
  • Stopped wobbling
And that was March. April will be better.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper

Well January wasn't written about at all and it's mid February now but it's for a good reason. Last July I was on a date and I don't know what brought it up but I talked about a list I had of 3 things that were pretty farfetched ideas that may never happen one day and one of them was to live in a lighthouse for a year. We'd gone to a park close by to mine with a couple of gin and tonic cans (because I'm a classy romantic kind of guy) and as I walked home in the full moon I had this image in my head of this guy in a 'meeting' with his parents saying he doesn't want to do what they want him to do anymore. He wants to follow his childhood dream instead. He wants to be a lighthouse keeper. I got home and went to the roof and wrote for an hour and a half the beginnings of what was going to be a film I would crowd fund and make 6 months later.

It was the busiest week of my life but one of the best. We were a skeleton crew for the magnitude of what we needed to get done but I am proud of everyone involved. I want to thank my parents too for going above and beyond and then some. They came down to help and feed us so stayed in a cottage down the road...which we ended up using as our main location. They were so tolerant of my stress and occasional idiocy and I wouldn't have been able to get through it without them. This is the most complete film we've made so far. I couldn't have done it with out Adam and Sam, the other Mighty Colours of Mighty Colour Films. I learnt so much during the week including how well we work together. There were definitely moments of stress but we were always on the same page and completely understood each other when there were disagreements. There is such an understanding between us that it proved to me that we will make amazing films in the future. There is a really strong bond between us and I consider them brothers. At the end of the week my heart was full. I had a moment on the morning of leaving, looking out over the village of Beer, of complete gratitude for what had happened. I loved every moment of it. The first day was rained off and we had to reschedule but I remember standing in the rain on that beach looking around and yelling 'I LOVE FILMMAKING' just because despite any stress that came with it I wouldn't rather be doing anything else. Writing and directing has become such a big passion and I loved directing this. I was really proud of myself when there were moments that weren't working or someone wasn't comfortable doing something and I had to find another way of doing it that would work. I think a lot about acting as an unpredictable luck driven career and think if I could make more films and get better and maybe even pick up some awards that would do the world of good for contacts and career. Whatever happens with acting I will never stop making films. I've found my home with it. It's one of the best things in the world doing something that makes yourself proud and I can't wait to show you the finished film.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

December and all of 2016

We're at the end of the year already and I think for a lot of people we will think about this year not about the things we've done personally but the big political decisions of the year. I think it's important to take out the stuff you can't control and focus on yourself when looking at this year. I'm not going to say it's been a bad year for me because of Brexit and Trump but focus on the things that are important to me.

It's been an up and down year. I've had probably the quietest summer I've had so far and haven't had any auditions towards tv or film yet. I don't feel like I've progressed too much but I feel like I'm learning each year. Maybe the biggest thing I've learnt has been patience. I've got a great agent and am in a strong position to start being seen for minor tv roles. Now I just need to be patient and wait for the infamous 'break'. Really I can't have too many complaints when I look at all the things I've achieved. For now I'll focus on the positive things.

  • This year I was on billboards on tube stations, trains and buses all around London and was shown on TV to millions of people.
  • I got a great agent.
  • I went to Colombia for 2 months with my best friends and had some of the best moments of my life.
  • I raised £200 towards cancer and ran a fast 10k time.
  • I wrote a film I love and raised money for it.

I'm a big believer on luck in this industry but I have worked hard for this. I don't want this to come across as boastful in any way. I just don't want my year governed by things that are out of my control like politics and just think about the good things that have happened. I'm not going to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders when I look at 2016. I just want to focus on what's important to me like writing and acting and how proud I am of myself. I am so pleased about the things I have achieved and want to keep bettering myself each year. Hopefully by the end of 2017 I'll be writing about even bigger things...but I am patient and will continue to wait patiently until it happens. Be positive, be happy, be proud of the things you are achieving. You're doing great. It's hard to remember sometimes but I want to keep those thoughts in my mind always. Here's to a better 2017.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

November 2016

Lighthouse Lighthouse Lighthouse. Lighthouse. November has given Mighty Colour Films a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mightycolourfilms) and our first crowd funding campaign which is going brilliantly. We've talked for so long about spreading our social media wings and raising our profile. I've spoken a lot before about the faith I have in what we can achieve as a trio and I really hope people like the work we do and if we do end up getting a lot of likes and attention for it I want it to be deserved. It is hard work to continually post to keep our presence strong but it doesn't feel like work because it's what we love doing. I want to thank you too so much for liking the page and being a part of what we're trying to achieve. I hope we can make films that will make you proud of us and keep getting bigger and stronger.

Since we're talking about thanks I can't be more appreciative for the people who have donated and shared my project. The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper is not a film I can afford to do with my own money. As great as the last few months have been with jobs I am still a regularly unemployed actor living in London. I had no idea what to expect when we started this. I was really happy with the video we'd made with a little bit of comedy in to show our personality and after a day of no donations when it started I realised I was going to have to reach out for support. I posted more and started messaging people who were in the creative industry in one way or another and people who I felt could understand what I was trying to do. I had little goals of reaching a certain amount by the end of the week and that pushed me to reach out more and more and go down a lot of avenues to find the money. It's been really hard. I've had to push the link and find new ways of selling it and posting it. I wanted to keep it fresh too so tried to cast by a certain time so I could update new things to interest more people and secure locations for the perfect stagger of posting and timings for when the majority of people are on Facebook. This is how much I think about it. I think about it every day and generally it's all I will want to talk about. I've met a lot of people who have their own little projects and ideas and I feel like, as much as this needs to be a success for my short film, I want this to be a success for others too. I want to be an example of how if you want something do everything you can to get it done. I haven't taken a film making or script writing course. I am arguably not qualified to be doing what I'm doing. I don't have the experience or know enough about film making. But what I do have is the passion for it and I personally think that's more than enough to get it done. I'm doing this because I love it and think I'd be good at it. I've not been to drama school so not even qualified to be an actor. I'm here because it's my passion and I will do anything I can to do it. If there's an opportunity to do something you love then work out how to do it and get it done. Make it happen. It's so achievable if you put your mind to it and the rewards for it are immense pride and happiness. I'm speaking from experience and with The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse I know if I can make it look like it is in my head it will be one of the proudest moments of my life showing it to the world.

We are currently £235 away from reaching our target. I am so driven to get to 100% and yes I am about to ask (yet again) for a donation if possible. I need your help to reach our goal. Just £10 gets your name in the credits and therefore part of the film. Thank you so much for the support already. I am unbelievably grateful for it. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for that support. Thank you.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

October 2016

October's been great. Firstly the 10k I did on the 1st went well. My aim was 45 minutes and I got 46:55. I was pleased with how I ran but disappointed to not get 45 despite being proud of the time I did get. It's really comforting to have these side interests I think like running and even though I didn't entirely enjoy the training and occasionally wondered why the hell I was doing this it was worth it for that final 200 metres of people cheering you on and, of course, the beer afterwards.

This month has been a hell of a success. A much needed one. There are some actors I've met along the way who seem to always have things going on and I am so envious always of their busy lifestyle. I consider it a successful year if I get one big job but October has been kind and has given me 2. I did some modelling and hand modelling (yes this means I can say I'm officially a hand model) for Visa and a TV advert for Lotteries.com. Those were the big jobs and with them came lots of little brilliant voice over and corporate jobs. It's weird to say 'I'm on a roll' when all of this is down to luck. Momentum is all mental if it's felt with these jobs I think. I'm a lucky boy to have these things work out and I do genuinely feel stronger for it, as odd as that may sound. I'm really happy at the moment.

I've somewhat drowned in a passionate love affair with my lighthouse film. I think about it every day and any time I'm free I work towards making it more of a reality. I'm currently casting for it and working on an Indiegogo crowdfunding pitch that will be up and running hopefully within the next week. It's slowly coming together and that feeling of miniature progress every time I do something small towards it fuels the passion more. At this moment in time I probably wouldn't mind if I lived off adverts and used them to fun my short film ideas. It really is on par with my love of acting. Being creative is my favourite thing in the whole world and I want to work hard to make the lighthouse film something people can watch and see why I was so keen to make it. I want to make people fall in love and cry and laugh and The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper can do just that. I couldn't recommend sodding everything off and doing what you love any more. It's a complete happiness I'm feeling and it's because I'm only doing what I love and nothing else.