Surprisingly, this actually worked. It turns out there are people in this world who actually want to talk to a complete stranger about writing and/or random stuff on a whim.
Conversation #1 was with Calum Chalmers.
Actually, technically #1 was Tim Clague who rang up on a whim just because … well, just because he can, I guess. I think it was meant to be a gag but it was foiled by technology – my phone correctly identified him before he could spring his dastardly trap. But hey, he rang, so let’s call him Conversation #0 and use that opportunity to slip in teaser trailer #2 for Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg?
But back to Calum Chalmers, the proper Conversation #1.
As often happens in these situations, although Calum and I have never met or spoken before, we do have a few mutual friends. It’s a small industry on a small island, be nice to people – everyone knows someone who knows you.
As the appointed time for the call approached, I remembered one key fact: I fucking hate talking on the phone. Especially to strangers. You might think it’s odd that I decided to try this experiment … and you’d be right.
Still, as it happens the conversation was easy and flowing and genuinely interesting, entertaining and fun. Or at least I thought it was, I’m not going to round putting words into Calum’s mouth.
We talked about a lot of industry stuff, films in general and about Calum’s career so far and his future plans.
I had no idea going into this how long the call might last and was quite surprised to find out it went on for about an hour and a half. Didn’t feel that long, but unless there was some kind of incredibly localised temporal anomaly … that’s how long it was.
Calum’s written and directed two shorts so far:
He was kind enough to send me a link for Graduation Afternoon and it’s very good. Here’s a trailer:
One of the things we talked about is something I think we all struggle with: what should I do next?
We have all these ideas, far more than anyone could possibly write in a lifetime and somehow we have to pick the one to focus on, the one we think has the best chance of moving our career forward.
The glib answer is ‘pick the one you care most about’.
But which one’s that? I know I have a good dozen ideas I’m equally as excited about … until I actually try to write them then I quickly discover how interesting things like bus time tables and bits of wall are.
So maybe we should be more mercenary?
Maybe we should focus on the one which is most likely to catapult us to fame and fortune and … something else beginning with ‘F’.
Um … Fridge? Foot spa? Falafel?
But which one is that? Which project is most likely to get us the falafel we so desperately crave? Is it the low budget thing we can make ourselves? Is it the sell out thing we’re pretty certain we can get funding for even though it’s bound to be terrible? Even if we can get the money, do we use it for a micro-budget feature or a big-budget short? Do we aim for commercial success? Or Internet notoriety? Or festival love?
Well, the answer’s simple:
I have no idea.
In pretty much the same I have no idea why anyone would want this:
All I do know is I enjoyed chatting with Calum and look forward to Conversation #2 on next week’s #PhonePhill.
If you want to be Conversation #3 then drop me an email and we’ll work it out.
If you’d like to chat with Calum yourself, you can find him on Twitter here.