Krull To Be Kind

Posted Thursday, July 24, 2014, 5:00 AM


After the VCR and video rental boom, and during the sell-through affordable video cassette era of the 90s, I decided that I wanted to have my very own collection of ten Fantasy Films that I had enjoyed during my teenage years. These were, in chronological order of release, Dragonslayer, The Dark Crystal, Krull, The Neverending Story, Ladyhawke, Legend, Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, Willow, and Dragonheart. Most of them were cheesy as all get-out, but I didn't know that at the time. For each one I was the perfect age to fall for them, hook line and sinker. Dragonheart, a 90s movie, was added in to round it up to ten, and a couple of years later I decided it probably shouldn't have been included in that list, I never really felt great love for it.

When DVD came along, I was very excited as one by one each of these movies were released in high(ish) quality widescreen, with copious extras included. By 2005 I had amassed the entire collection I'd dreamed of, and more.

I hadn't seen Krull since it had last been on TV, fifteen years at least, and I eagerly lapped it up. Did it hold up? Holy crap, no it did not. And I've rewatched it again now for this, a more formal review made at the suggestion of and alongside my mate JetSimian, and also in association with his mate Jamas Enright.

It's high fantasy. It has Kings and Princesses and fantastical beasts, in a classic plot carefully following the hero's journey. It has a bombastic score by the appropriately named James Horner (he loves his brass) introduced in a scene with a giant misshapen thing flying towards the planet Krull. This is the Black Fortress, in which lives the Beast. That's about as creative as this movie gets for names.

Prince Colwyn and Princess Lyssa. Not pictured: Lyssa's real voice.

Meanwhile a marriage is to take place between Prince Colwyn and Princess Lyssa. That's a lot of Ys, maybe they're Welsh. Lyssa is played by Lysette Anthony, who I had a little crush on when she was on a British sitcom, but here has been cruelly dubbed with a horrible American accent that is incredibly distracting. Colwyn is played by Ken Marshall, a blandly attractive and charisma-free actor who has done nothing of particular note either before or since.

The Prince and Princess go through a marriage ritual that involves fire on their hands. This is IMPORTANT, though it kind of feels like it was jammed into the final draft of the script a week before shooting.

Slayers. Their single-shot weapons are like muskets with bayonets.

The Beast has sent out his soldiers, Slayers, suitably creepy creatures with an exo-skeletal carapace. They attack the wedding and kill everyone in the castle, and kidnap the princess. Why? It's never really made clear. That's just what baddies do.

But one man survived the slaughter, and no prizes for guessing it's Prince Colwyn. He is discovered by the sage Ynyr (yeah, definitely Welsh) played by Freddie Jones, who plays the role of "wise old man who provides exposition".

Remember to hold it the right way round, to avoid owies.

Colwyn must retrieve the Glaive, the fabled weapon that is in all the promotional materials, the five bladed frisbee star thingamajig, which I very much would like to have a replica of my own one day. Colwyn has to reach into the lava to get it. Why is it there? Don't know. Just is. Because. Cue slow motion, soft focus sparkles, and choral chants.

Alun Armstrong acts circles around everyone else in the movie.

As they travel they pick up a cavalcade of actors, known, unknown, and future stars, including David Battley as Ergo the Magnificent, a wizard who can turn himself into various animals and has a penchant for gooseberries; Robbie Coltrane, Alun Armstrong, Todd Carty, and most famously Liam Neeson, as a band of escaped prisoners; and Rel the Cyclops, played quite brilliantly by tall Carry On actor Bernard Bresslaw and who has more character development than almost anyone else in the whole film. It's a Wizard of Oz kind of enlistment of tag-alongs and cannon fodder.

Bernard Bresslaw couldn't see very well, yet ran full tilt through forests, swamps, and rock strewn deserts.

Because the Black Fortress appears in a different location every day (quite a cool concept, I think), they need to find someone who can tell them where it will be the next morning, so they enlist the help of a blind Seer and his young boy assistant, who take them to the murky Soundstage Swamp.

In quite an impressively spectacular battle, the Slayers attack, and here's where some of the more memorable images, which held 13 year old me transfixed, occur. The Slayers' deaths, with their carapaces cracking open and the squids inside escaping underground, are really cool! The Changeling taking over the Seer and fooling them, only for Rel to race along and save the day, was a really thrilling sequence! By far the scenes in the swamp are the most effective of all.

Not what it looks like. Depending on what you think it looks like.

After the death of the Seer everyone is very sad for about three seconds, then they shake that off and head out of the swamp, happy and laughing.

Let's pause here to count how many women have been in the movie so far: One. And she's held captive, alone, for the majority of the film, with barely any dialogue. Princess Lyssa, with her shock of Nicole Kidman curls, is having a boring time of it living inside something resembling a conch shell, with nowhere comfortable to sit down.

There are only two women of note in this movie. The damsel in distress who needs rescuing...

The Beast, meanwhile, sounds a bit bored by it all, waiting for her to capitulate to his demands that she love him. Not very seductive. Though maybe he's hampered by the fact that he seems to live in a different aspect ratio to everyone else.

"Fear me, for I live in the 4:3 anamorphic dimension!"

Without the Seer they're buggered. Or are they? Conveniently there's another way to find where the Black Fortress will be. A fancy lady, played by Francesca Annis, lives in the middle of a spiderweb, where a giant stop-motion spider guards her. So the second female character with dialogue is also imprisoned, and in her scene they mostly talk about how tragically beautiful she is. Or was. Or something. This movie fails the Bechdel Test quite badly.

...and the self-exiled Nun.

The Widow of the Web sequence has always been the scene I've disliked the most; it's too laboured, the pacing is horrible, it's far too melodramatic (which is really saying something for this film), and it has a big poorly-animated spider in it. This was also about the time I started to get annoyed at stop-motion as being too distracting and outdated (I deliberately didn't watch the original Clash of the Titans because of my attitude towards stop-motion).

The only tension in this sequence is in the threads of the web. (rimshot)

After some overwrought nonsense dialogue, Freddie Jones's character also dies, just after providing the location of the Black Fortress in his last moments. The hero must now go on alone, to the Iron Desert. This leads to the best piece of music in the whole movie: The Ride of the Fire Mares. This is the other key moment in the movie that stood out in my memory, and it is still quite fun indeed, though it also has very poor bluescreen effects.

The Fire Mare sequence probably goes on too long, but it is quite beautiful.

They reach the Black Fortress with moments to spare, where Rel the cyclops dies while holding the door open. Well, of course. Noble sacrifices seem to be two-a-penny in this tale. Robbie Coltrane's character dies in this scene, and then Liam Neeson gets an ignominious death soon after. Most of the deaths in this movie are random, motivated by bad luck. None of the characters have any discernible personality, and their only roles seem to be to fill out the crowd scenes, and be sacrificial lambs during the adventure. Not to mention the numerous anonymous red-shirts who get knocked off in each battle. This movie is very poorly written, on every level. It's one of those films where I'd think "I can write something better than this" and I'd be right, I really could.

In this magical kingdom, all spells are cast with a constipated grimace.

Finally they reach the cell where Princess Lyssa is being held, and Colwyn has a reason to use his Glaive weapon at last. Remember that? The bladed thing he got at the very start, is in all the promotional material, and was seemingly so very important? And do you know how he uses it? As a glorified circular saw, to open the prison cell door.

This is how a hero saves a Princess - with power tools.

He does then use it against the Beast, but that's a double bluff because it doesn't kill him, only wounds. The actual successful way to get him is with the fire. What fire? You remember, the flame, that was part of the marriage ritual! I told you it was important! Colwyn uses that to finally destroy the Beast!

Only a true king can set his hands on fire and not be harmed. I think that's the point of the whole movie.

Wait, Lyssa had that the whole time? She had the means to defeat the Beast, literally in the palm of her hand, and yet she did nothing? What?

The Beast defeated, they race out of the Fortress. Surviving member count: Alun Armstrong, Todd Carty, Ergo the Magnificent, the Seer's boy, the Prince and Princess. Not much to rebuild a kingdom with. But they do all live happily ever after! Probably.

Note how each actor is looking in a different direction.

In a world with no villages or towns, with people who wander about and join any travelling band of wanderers that happen along, where nothing important happens for hundreds of years until the whole planet hangs in the balance over one incident involving an ugly beast who kidnapped a Princess for no clear purpose, and loads of people die quite randomly... I don't think I'd want to live there.

This script needed another couple of drafts. We needed to see some of the Prince and Princess together before the wedding so we cared about them. We needed a better motivation for the Beast to exist and to want to kidnap the Princess. We needed some proper motivation for why the gang of misfits join the quest. Every character had to have clear personalities that motivated their actions and made them lovable so we were affected by their deaths, which needed to be for more than just convenient plot reasons. And we needed a Princess worth fighting for, someone with spunk, intelligence, resourcefulness, and a prettier accent, and she and the Prince needed to defeat the Beast together.

As cheesy fantasy movies go, this is the cheesiest in my list of ten. It does not hold up too well. I once had the idea of getting a hold of all the original footage, including alternative takes, and re-editing it to modern sensibilities, updating the visual effects, adjusting some of the scenes to be more dynamic or improve the storytelling. But it may be that this movie is beyond help. They tried, just not very hard. It's a clumsy, melodramatic, poorly acted, poorly written little adventure of no consequence.

But it's fun, and sometimes that's enough.

Safe At Last. In A Prison. Surrounded By Zombies

Posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 11:17 AM


In order to dig myself free of this hole I've found myself in, compromises have had to be made. I am in a temporary living arrangement of a boarding house. Only it's not really one at all.

The term "Boarding House" may conjure up images of a large facility with multiple bedrooms and a communal area filled with couches and armchairs and a ping pong table. Or perhaps a multi-storey house with a shared kitchen and big yard. But instead what I'm in is a crappy house, which would ordinarily be listed as "condemned", where the doors don't close properly, the windows don't open properly, the washing machine shakes the building off its foundations, the kitchen is so small it can only fit three people, an outside toilet, and a bathroom with poor drainage.

This is a three bedroom home which has had its living room artificially divided up into two bedrooms, so there is no communal area at all, and its an overcrowded space at the best of times. Each of the residents are equally as damaged and broken as I find myself to be, but in different and more unpredictable ways, which leads to constant confrontation. Nobody here is a listener, they all just talk over each other, and never seem to get anything done. Though I am a listener, I have to count myself just as guilty in the non-achievement ranks, so it's quite a mess here most of the time, both figuratively and literally.

But the part that worries me the most is that every time I step out of my room I see a new stranger, some new visitor or friend or even enemy of one of the other residents. Are they friendly? Are they trustworthy? Are they just as broken as the rest of us? Are they staying for a few days? Will they be wandering around the house randomly while I'm trying to make my lunch? It is utterly horrible, I feel unsafe and insecure, and I want out of this arrangement as quickly as I can.

I have to be here. I am trapped here by my own circumstance. Attempts to get money from Social Welfare (Centrelink) have been a ridiculous rigmarole, horribly stressful, and, because of one single obstacle of not having a particular ID card, so far completely fruitless. Centrelink won't give me any money until I have "100 points of ID" which they arbitrarily assign to various things. Being the person that I am, I only have a few kinds of ID. I don't drive, my name is not on the Rental Agreement of this crappy place nor do I pay any of its utility bills, etc. I do have my Passport, and I do have a Bank Card, but the last sticking point is my Medicare Card. Due to random bad luck, it had expired and I hadn't updated the address, so it got lost in the mail. Now I have had to order a new one, and it should have arrived in the mail last week, but it's now a whole week late and in the meantime I have no money to live on. In fact I have had no money for the past two months; if it wasn't for my family donating funds I would have starved.

It's not entirely doom and gloom. The rent here is really cheap, and I don't have to pay any other bills. I do have internet, though it's borrowed and, due to the age of the wiring, very slow. I am close to public transport and have multiple locations nearby, like parks or walking paths, I can escape to to be alone.

But those are small comfort.

It is ironic that, at a time when safety, security, peace of mind, and reliability is what I need the most in order for me to cope, I have none of them. I've found a safe haven, except it's a prison, and it's surrounded by zombies.

Muddling On Through

Posted Friday, November 15, 2013, 11:51 AM

An update for those that want to know.

I've found a temporary place to stay, and am working through some of my problems, both financial and personal, with the support of my mate Rob and my Mum who flew over to visit.

I'm past the darkest feelings, but my points of view and feelings about the world are still the same. I'm not happy (and never have been) about anything that's going on around me.

Anyway, I'll sort more stuff out, and then find a more permanent place to live, over the next few weeks. If any of you were still worried, you can relax a bit now.

I'm Okay

Posted Sunday, November 3, 2013, 1:06 PM


Rumours of my demise have been somewhat exaggerated. Mostly by me. I can't even manage to do that properly. What a loser.

I'm sorry if anybody panicked and were worried (if you even were - I've been out of communication), but I'm fine for now. I'm safe in emergency accommodation, and with luck have found some people who can guide me through everything I need to get myself back on track.But then again, I've thought that before.

Still don't have email or a phone, and won't for a while. Until then, know I'm working things out.

Sorry. Again.

Admitting Defeat

Posted Saturday, November 2, 2013, 12:00 AM


I don't fit in. I never have.

From my earliest memory as a child in PlayCentre where I often sat quietly alone in the corner doing my own thing, through Primary School where I was constantly bullied and treated differently because I was good at reading and maths, to High School where I was the funny-looking weird kid who wrote stories and drew cartoons, to adulthood where I have struggled to find a job and where women have never found me even slightly interesting. This world just doesn't seem to have a space for me.

Life just keeps changing its rules, tripping me up with its shifting expectations, and, just when I think I've got a handle on it, pulling the rug out from under me again and again.

I've always been one who thought he knew what he wanted out of life, but didn't know how to get it. I wasn't in the right part of the world, or didn't know the right people, or didn't know how to ingratiate myself in amongst the right crowd. I had humble expectations and simple dreams, really, things that everybody else seemed to be able to achieve without too much problem. Things like having a family, or getting a job, or buying a home. Most people manage those things without too much trouble. Sure they often came with pitfalls and hassles, but they at least got to experience them, work out those issues, and then settle into a reasonably comfortable, if compromised, groove. But I didn't even get that. I occasionally sat back smugly when I saw somebody's life go wrong, thinking I was well out of it, but really I think I was missing out on what makes life worth living. I had nothing to be smug about.

And what does make life worth living? If you were to list the things that make most people happy and that give their lives meaning, I'd say most people would regularly experience seven out of the top ten throughout their lives. Whereas I'd be lucky to experience even three. Things like love, sex, sport, health, family, friends, food and drink, pets, I don't get any pleasure out of those. My happiness only comes from entertainment like TV and movies, a couple of niche nerdy hobbies, and my own solitude. And what sort of life is that?

I don't like socialising, it makes me uncomfortable, be it with strangers, colleagues, or acquaintances. I have had very few friends at any one time, and none have been very close. The only family I have are siblings and my Mother, but I moved away from them long ago and barely communicate except for the very occasional phone call. I have never been in a real relationship, serious or otherwise, apart from a fling so brief it doesn't count (she never cared about me, and subsequently I didn't care much about her - though to be fair we knew that going in).

It's not that people dislike me (I hope), but that I have no charisma, a very quiet demeanour, a sense of humour that's haphazard and quirky at best, and contribute very little to social interaction. I have no discernible personality worth speaking of.

And I have low self-esteem, everything that has happened in my life has only reinforced that. The occasional hints of something potentially working out as a good direction to head, that would ordinarily encourage me to continue down the path to, hopefully, success, fizzles out disappointingly, and I just get more depressed and lost.

I am not clinically diagnosed with any kind of disorder, there's nothing chemically wrong, I just have no self-motivation. I'm someone who needs support and advice and guidance, but yet I choose to live a solitary lonely life. These two things contradict each other, to my eternal detriment, so it's no wonder I am such a mess.

I think I have talent. I think I have skills that make me decent enough to make a mark, however insignificant that mark may be in the grand scheme of things. But my life doesn't seem to reflect that. I don't seem to be quite good enough to get noticed, to be employed, to be taken seriously, so perhaps I'm wrong and I'm just not good enough after all. That's a heavy blow to my self-confidence, and lately it's just been blow after blow after blow.

And the Entertainment Industry has changed a lot in the last couple of years. Job opportunities are drying up at an alarming rate, money is spread thin, and projects are shutting down. The branch that I have always wanted to get involved in, post-production and visual effects, is in the worst state it has ever been. Entire companies are closing permanently, which means there are more very talented people and yet fewer jobs available. Amateurs like myself have no hope.

For a while it seemed like amateur productions would be the new Media, with cheap equipment and software giving everyone opportunities to create high quality entertainment, and the Internet providing a new form of distribution. But almost immediately the lack of funding opportunities has halted its progress. Crowdfunding sounds like a good idea, but unless you have a tangible product to sell, you'll have very little chance of success. Low profile film productions are not succeeding. If you don't have years of professional experience, name-recognised celebrity talent involved, and the luck of high-profile visibility, give up now. The money is all going to projects that can already afford it.

It is thoroughly depressing to see my only hope for having an enjoyable life dry up right before my eyes. People more experienced and talented than I am are struggling to pay their mortgages and feed their families. Their only alternatives are to find non-Industry jobs, but those are few and far between at the best of times. It's a disaster, and I find myself right in the midst of it, with nowhere to turn.

It doesn't help that my ability to find and keep a job seems to be based on luck rather than skill or talent, and even when I am employed I tend to be taken advantage of, by being exploited or marginalised. While others leap up the totem pole of success, I am always at the bottom getting nowhere, and then am eventually forgotten about.

Most often my problems, such as they are, come down to lack of finances. In fact I'm very good with handling money when I actually have any, I tend to use it carefully and frugally, and am quite happy to do so. I have no desire to be wealthy (as nice as that would be) I only wish I could have a reliable source of income, something that would lead to financial security. But that's a daydream at the best of times.

Most people can find a job very easily - they figure out the career they want, make some key decisions about how to gain skills or ingratiate themselves amongst the right people, then things start to tip their way, they find a decent employer, work their way up the ladder, establishing a reliable source of income, allowing them to plan their lives for years ahead, and, barring a few unexpected bumps, they manage to negotiate their lives with relative ease.

While I, on the other hand, struggle to find any employer who will take me seriously, who will pay me what I'm worth, or who will treat me with any respect. Instead I trudge along on the cusp of unemployment at every turn, make poor decisions that haunt me forever, and constantly find myself scraping the bottom of life's barrel, eking out a pathetic existence. Eventually random luck falls in my lap again and something keeps me going for a little while longer, but I can't rely on that.

And now luck has finally run out.

Why not try the Unemployment Benefit? Because I have been down that route twice before, and it is a horrible way to live. Both times I was stuck in a deep rut that required luck rather than effort to get out of, and now we have a new Government who are even less sympathetic to those in my position, making things even more difficult for those with low incomes. And I am sick of it.

It strips you of your dignity, it keeps you below the poverty level, it forces you to do things that are not in your best interests but instead what others insist are where you ought to be, putting you in your place. I do not want to be in that soul destroying position again. That is no life.

I seem to be without any capability of sorting my life out. Too many chances have been repeatedly squandered, and I have achieved nothing. Now I'm too old, apparently lack the talent that employers are looking for, and am too easily exploited. I am wasting my time, the world has no place for me.

I was feeling quite depressed as this crisis solidified. I froze, my brain clouded over, and I couldn't seem to get up and fix things. I had never felt so alone. Then my Mum visited and I started to feel a bit better. One of my close friends got out of his own funk and we had a good chat, and I cheered up and felt a bit more optimistic again. I started to think I could get myself out of this mess I had found myself in.

But now that a few more days have passed, and I can see things a bit clearer, I feel like I am looking at things somewhat more objectively. And when I assess my life, at what it could've been, what it actually was, and what it might be, I see no improvement in store. All I see is struggle and unhappiness.

The world is not a very pleasant place to be at the moment. It's full of hatred, abuse, greed, selfishness, and misery. I can't change it. I'm no better than anyone else in coping with it. I may even be part of the problem, with my lack of motivation. A horrible future is laid out ahead of me. It frightens and worries me.

So here I am, out of money, out of time, out of energy. And I just don't care anymore. I can't see that life has anything for me if all it will be is a constant struggle to keep my head above water. And what would I gain? A low paying job I'd hate? A lonely empty life of no reward? And then one day I'll die, alone and unloved? What sort of future is that?

So I can't afford to keep what I'm doing. But I can't afford to fix things either.

I'm sorry for all the promises unfulfilled and plans unfinished. I'm sorry for anything I've done that hurt or hindered anybody. I'm sorry I wasn't a better organised, more productive person.

Returning Doctors

Posted Saturday, August 24, 2013, 11:10 PM


It's the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who this year, it originally screened its first episode in 1963, and there are many celebrations planned. Two of particular note are a dramatic recreation of the origins of the show, called An Adventure in Space and Time, starring David Bradley in the role of William Hartnell, the First Doctor; and a special episode of the regular series with the Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant, returning to dash around with the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith.

A few years back there was an episode specially created for Comic Relief, where the Fifth Doctor encounters the Tenth Doctor. It was called Time Crash, and also served as a mini-prequel to the Christmas episode, Voyage of the Damned. Peter Davison still had enough youth in him to get away with it, though they were pushing it. But it made me wonder what you would do if you wanted any of the original seven incarnations to return to the modern series.

You can't use the original actors anymore, some are deceased, and the rest are just too old for it to be convincing. The earliest Doctor you can get away with is possibly Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh, but I'd limit it to Paul McGann as the Eighth. That means if you did want to bring any of the earlier Doctors back you'd have to recast.

And that made me wonder just who could portray each of them convincingly. They'd have to resemble them physically, be approximately the same age as the original actors were during their run, and also have a touch of their personality, or at least be good enough actors to do a decent impression. Their voices may also have to be dubbed by impressionists (or by their original actors), though perhaps that's something that doesn't really matter in the end.


David Bradley seems to be ideally suited as William Hartnell. I look forward to seeing his performance in the Special. I am not too familiar with the First Doctor, though, so really you could play fast and loose and I wouldn't notice.


Jason Isaacs may seem an unusual choice for the Second Doctor, but his resemblance to a younger Patrick Troughton is undeniable, so I think if he pretended to be shorter and had a bowl-cut wig, he'd do a fantastic job.


Jon Pertwee is a hard actor to find a double for. The best I could find was Geoffrey Rush, and it's a bit tenuous, but I figure if he had the shock of white hair and frilly sleeved velvet jacket the resemblance would be enough. He has certainly established himself as a great mimic, so can portray Pertwee's mannerisms with aplomb.

Update: My friend Jet Simian suggested versatile Australian actor, and contemporary of Mr Rush, Richard Roxburgh as the Third Doctor, and, by the powers, he's right!


Now this is a very strange choice. Our memory of the Fourth Doctor is of a tall hulking man, with a rictus grin and crazy eyes, a huge fright wig of curly hair, a brimmed hat, and a long scarf. But Tom Baker was not as fat a man as he later became. Frank Woodley is quite a thin lanky man, but is equally tall, has a manic look, and something of a resemblance to Tom Baker. If he put on weight, or at least a muscle suit, the other accoutrements would be enough to paint a convincing similarity.


A youthful blonde cricketer is just about all you need to get a decent resemblance to the Fifth Doctor. All Dan Stevens needs is the floppy hair and I think it'd be a successful transformation.


I struggled with the Sixth Doctor. Colin Baker has a very square head, dominated by his curly blond locks and his garish costume, and there aren't too many actors around that have that face shape. Mark Gatiss, creator of the aforementioned 50th Anniversary Special, and also co-creator and actor in Sherlock, and a regular writer for the current series of Doctor Who itself, is I think a close enough match to work just fine.


Sylvester McCoy got his start as a Music Hall performer, a comedian first and an actor second, and it's still deeply a part of his real world character even now, so what you need is someone with a similar sense of self but with a bird-like face and mannerisms. Milton Jones has a reasonable physical resemblance, but more importantly has a similar character in his comedy performances which makes him a good choice.

In the only instance where recasting occurred (in the story The Five Doctors where Richard Hurndall played the First Doctor), they got away with that because most viewers had no familiarity with the First Doctor, he was from before their time. Despite ubiquitous access to early episodes on DVD, the current audience, especially non-UK and the under 20s, are also not very familiar with the early incarnations of the Doctor. I think that means maybe, just maybe, recasting might work after all.

Eleanor Xandler, Crowdfunded Detective

Posted Friday, August 9, 2013, 9:16 AM


I have been beavering away on Eleanor Xandler for almost a year, which is way longer than I had anticipated. But then, that's also typical of a personal project - we really can't estimate how long these things take when we don't apply a strict deadline, and we're experimenting with new ideas at every turn.

What I had not realised was how long it would take to render certain shots, and how long it would be before the work started to lose its lustre and be a chore. To be honest, it's not a chore yet, but I do wish it was over already.

Couple that with the fact that I am out of work, and have run short of money, I am a bit worried and stressed, which isn't the best environment to achieve high quality work. I spend my nights sleeplessly worrying about the next day and what my immediate future will bring.

So I have decided to experiment with crowdfunding. One of the biggest problems that my filmmaking mates and I face when we have an idea for a project is where the money will come from. Each one we do is more ambitious and expensive than the last, and we haven't found even one single source of outside money in all that time. We're trapped into the lowest of budgets, and we need to find a way out if we're going to get anywhere with this.

There are two main sites for crowdfunding that most people know about. Kickstarter is mostly American, and has some restrictions for international projects, but it is by far the more well known and more successful, in itself and for the projects it showcases, which include such diverse projects as manufacturing and charities. Whereas IndieGogo is international-friendly, and has a more of a small-time feel to it, with a particular emphasis on art projects like films.

I figure it's worth a try. If it succeeds, and I'm only starting relatively small at $5000, then not only will it encourage us for future projects, but it's a good one to hold up and say "look what we did, look what we want to do" and bring any funders from one along to our others. It could potentially be huge. More likely it will be mediocre. Fingers are crossed for either.