The relativity of time

Those of you hoping for a seriously intelligent blog post about quantum physics will be bitterly disappointed. I simply wanted to make a few observations about how things are going. It hasn’t escaped my attention that it was just over two years ago that we were in Melbourne having filmed ‘Des & Mo’. So much has happened in those two years despite there being so little to show for it in my opinion. The documentary fiasco does not need to be revisited here, suffice to say we are still unpicking those events like a box of mixed cables.

By the time we come to shoot in Derry it will be approximately seventy months since the conversation with Conor Murphy in a Dublin pub. In light of this time-frame, this project seems hideously slow, but it has been a fantastically productive time. I am currently writing as much of my PhD as possible, full of case study data and literature reviews from 2009. I am nowhere remotely close to finishing, which will be another 18 months at least I imagine. It is worth pointing out that the stamina of making a project is nothing, the stamina of sticking with it is everything. As an example of this, I recently collected the updated CVs of John Bradburn, Andy Paton and Gareth Nolan, the other surviving members of this team who have made it to all the 72 projects; they are up for doing it all again.

I have little concrete news about the 72 that I am confident to share right now. It is the production limbo that often falls over a project in the early days. Neither negative nor positive, merely neutral. It’s the bit where you add up all the components and make a decision of whether it will come off. I’ve been sending details and Altman movies to Margo Harkin, who is taking the producer reins for this project. This is the part of filmmaking that rarely gets seen (oh my God! Why wasn’t it in the last documentary? It didn’t truly reflect the entire process!), largely because it is not very glamorous and/or interesting.

Watching the Olympics recently reminded me that lots goes on behind the scenes that we never see. All the training that they go through for four years all to end in a matter of minutes or seconds, and with little thanks for their trainers or families. It isn’t exclusive to sport and filmmaking by any means.

Keep calm and carry on, there will be news soon!

James

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