I love small towns. I drive through them without blinking, I live in one, and I always seem to write about them: My comedy Drilled, which Jason Priestley is set to direct later this year, is about a Welsh dentist and a dental groupie in a small Canadian town. My upcoming short War Diary is about a small town in a parallel reality in southwest England. And The Macaron Conspiracy is a rom-com that unfolds in a French village whose lifeblood is cookies of meringuey fluffy goodness.
So when we started looking for the best place to shoot The Wasting, and somebody said “Upton-upon-Severn” I didn’t bat an eye. I expected it to be great. How could a town called Anything-Upon-Any River not be filled with awesomeness? What I didn’t count on, was just how much awesome was there.
Upton has been nothing short of spectacular in its support of the film, its outstanding locations, its friendliness, and its excellent pubs. I want to move here.
It started with Holdfast Manor. Spectacularly full of hundreds of years worth of character and history and different looks, surrounded by woods and outbuildings that can be as spooky as we need them to be. A stunning location that’s better than anything you could build in a studio. For those who care about such things, as I do, it also has a really nice, warm vibe.
The owners are graciously allowing us to shoot the majority of our film there. For so many reasons, this is the perfect location in which to anchor The Wasting;
I’m going to leave you with the most cheesily delicious of all those reasons. The name.
When I was a kid, people hung annoying inspirational posters on their bedroom walls instead of posting them incessantly on Facebook. The one that I remember has a big happy bird soaring over this:
Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
Hold fast. Holdfast. Get it?
This film is a dream I have held fast to for years. I have never let go. And now it is happening. How absolutely perfect that it will happen at Holdfast.
I’m not ignoring you. I haven’t blogged in awhile because this film has consumed me. Since we last spoke, we’ve found our location and set a start date. Now I’m spending every waking minute doing all the things that need doing to get us there. And, since I only sleep about five hours a night, that’s a lot of waking minutes.
Today I’m ensconced on a coffee shop couch in London, because there’s no interwebs where I’m staying. I like this place. So far I’ve scored six hours of internet for the price of a medium latte and the baristas have not made me feel guilty. I’ve spoken to actors, tweaked the script, and reviewed CVs from people who want to come work with us. I’ve done a little edit on our Indiegogo video (more on that tomorrow), put out a couple of fires, and had a Spiderman baseball cap land in my lap, courtesy of the really cute little boy across the room.
This is what it means to do a low-budget film. To be writer and director (willingly) and a producer (reluctantly). Lucky for me there are two other producers who are working just as hard as I am to birth this baby. Lucky for me we are a kickass team.
Because this is filmmaking.
I'm the writer-director and more or less the mother of this film.