Guidance meeting October 30
Had a productive guidance meeting to touch base with Carolyn and Caroline.
I gave them an overview of the current status of the project. The bulk of my attention is immediately on structuring the step outline, preparing for scripting, with main beat/story points and a bit of dialogue.
The key thing that we discussed was The surprising but logical connection I have made between this film project and my current academic work on the horror genre.
Re making organic connections between my academic/theoretical work and this practical project:
With my horror book with Palgrave now in the index stage, I have come to see the importance of horror for this project: Generic conventions of the project, allowing the mixing both elements that might be more difficult for viewers to understand with the transparency and redundancy of conventions associated with genre. The genre output that most intrigues me is also very connected to the project in that they are works in which a central character is questioning the nature of their experience of reality, often as the viewer is invited into experience of character with signs of mental illness.
When not writing, I have been reviewing a great deal of contemporary horror output, including work by the extremely successful production house Blumhouse, who cut their teeth on the phenomenally successful Paranormal Activity (made for something like $15K and has grossed to date I believe well over $200 mill), getting a very good sense of the way the genre is articulated in 2016.
One genre film that I have come across in this process (though not with Blumhouse) is the film by Perry Blackshear 'They Look Like People' -- a very effective and elegant piece done very simply and relatively inexpensively (although I have not been able to get exact budget figures).
Through the auspices of Review of Disability Studies RDS--where I am Associate Editor (Multimedia and Creative Work), I have arranged an interview with the director next week as part of an article on use of mental illness in horror. In addition to looking at this, a key reason for the discussion is to pump the director with practical questions about logistics.
He was able to complete the project under very tight practical constraints. The director filmed all of it in one location flying in some acting friends. I am considering doing something similar, renting a house cheaply and trying to assemble actors. I have one possible candidate for the good doctor, and another possible candidate for the lead actor, drawn from another resident (Who lives quite far away.)
While my attention now stays focused on the structuring of the step outline and script, I bracket off these casting and production thoughts for later.