One thing is for sure, I didn't give the project the respect it deserved in regards to just how elephantine the task ahead of me was and I also took a crew with me which was probably about four people less than the minimum it should have been but somehow, I, we, pulled it off.
The best description I could give you would be a film about me making a film but you get to see the film at the same time, sounds like gibberish doesn't it? It probably is, let me try again, imagine you can watch a film and the "making of" at the same time, it's just that this time the film is about an ordinary bloke getting closer to the world's biggest Bull Sharks than anybody barring a tiny elite, has ever done before and finally tells the full story of one of the world's greatest conservation successes ever. It's a hearts and minds piece, a human story about sharks and people, with tonnes of sharks, amazing, never before seen footage of incredible natural behaviour, a range of emotions, some terrible weather and my determined efforts to get a tan (that's only a small part though...)
I also wanted to challenge myself and to challenge and respect my audience. I could have just got the crazy shark footage, filled in the blanks and put together a thirty minute vanity piece but that would not be doing the effort it took to get there in the first place justice, let alone the people involved. It sounds a bit wanky but I want this film to have artistic merit and originality, drawing from my many influences which are as far removed from shark related film-making as you can get. It's a risk, maybe nobody will like it but I can at least guarantee the finished version will be the best I could do at the time and will be the film I want to make.
Back in the Nerve Engine days I used to write songs as though they were stories, layering building melodies on ever changing rhythms and arrangements to try to take the listener on a journey and to the climax of a song, a release of emotion, much like a good story will do and the way I wrote was to construct the song in full, including vocal lines, harmonies and drum patterns, in my head so I could listen to it in its entirety, changing bits at will, whenever I wanted and wherever I was. When I thought I had the full idea, I would then teach myself the song. That approach is exactly how I work on films now, I picture in my head the images, the edit, the colours and the flow of a piece then try to capture that and the problem with this recent creative block was, despite knowing exactly what I wanted to say, I just couldn't picture it in a way which made sense but was aesthetically pleasing and creative and which would bridge into the following section which was much less metaphoric and included a shift in time. All very complex and it was driving me insane.
All this will of course take time but a barrier has been knocked down so things are picking up a pace, as soon as I decide the time is right, I will start releasing trailers but before then you may just get to see some footage. I have put together two short pieces featuring footage from "Of Shark and Man" which do exist and are online but are currently private, whether you see them or not is dependent upon something out of my control but if the time comes for them to go public then you will of course be the first to know.