I had my lawyer and her engineer husband come over for a screening. Both of them enjoyed the movie. At this point, I’ve got a very broad spectrum of viewers. I’ve screened it for an uber-geek and a guy who lives in the woods. I’ve screened it for an artist and an engineer (though, I’d actually classify the engineer as simply a different kind of artist, but that’s beside the point).
And all of them… every single person loves it! I knew I had something good when people loved the script. But, I never really even hoped that it would have nearly this broad of an appeal. I’m in awe.
Of course, I’ll really find out what people think when we start selling it. Money isn’t the best definition of quality, but it can work as a guideline.
What I do know for certain is that I’ve done what I set out to do. I’ve been faithful to my vision of the movie, which was occasionally at odds with the vision of the producers, but usually they agree too. It feels arrogant to say it, and I suppose if I felt like I had done all the work it would be, but I feel like I have made something great, a movie that means something and that will last.
And then, there’s the soundtrack.
Zoe said she couldn’t compose specifically for the movie because she just doesn’t have the time. I totally understand that. Generally, artists of her caliber are booked months in advance and she’s no exception.
However, I’ve always had a backup plan, for just this possibility. I purchased Zoe’s music off iTunes and listened to it. I thought, if she can’t compose, there’s a chance she’ll let me license her music.
But, before I could do that, I had to mix it in to see if I could get it to work. It works. It works amazingly well. I mean, it’s perfect. The last several screenings I did had her music in it and… it absolutely works.
I just sent Zoe an email asking if she’s willing to license the music for no upfront money, because I don’t have any, but for a back-end percentage. I don’t know if she’ll say yes. I don’t know how much she’ll want. I’m still worried about this. Not, crying-in-the-bath-to-Blue-In-Green worried, but it’s definitely on my mind.
* * *
My brother James, who I’ve mentioned in a previous entry, owns an ad agency. One time he and I were going to lunch and on the way there he said, “My job is risk management.” He’s right. As CEO of his company, that is his job. And, he’s very good at it.
My job, as writer/producer/director/editor is risk taking.
So much of making ALGORITHM is like stepping off a cliff and hoping that there’s a flying platform I can’t see. So far there has been. There hasn’t been a moment where there isn’t that kind of risk involved. It’s like each choice I make could destroy the entire project.
Waiting this long for Zoe’s response leaves me in a position where I won’t be able to implement a backup plan in time for a festival, assuming it even gets in. It’s scary. It’s nerve-racking. It’s crazy. It’s been this way for the past 2 years, at every single junction. And, it looks like it’s going to continue to be this way as long as I’m working on this project.
And, probably the next project too. It’s not easy to live this kind of life. But, it’s definitely not boring!