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The Modern Toss Diary: Entry 1

Posted on by sam

Entry 1: The Background

At Happy Fingers Productions, we make indie films, we use our own equipment and we are actually quite good. That said, as of yet, there’s nowhere near enough work coming in to self-finance, so we both work crappy jobs in crappy supermarkets, fitting our films around the our free time/holidays. We always said we’d self-finance our first feature, partly as a way of learning how to actually do them, partly to prove to the world we can do them, partly in the hopes of profit/recognition, and partly because we’re complete and utter morons.

This is the diary of that feature, Modern Toss. Hopefully it will be interesting to read, but more importantly, it’s going to be honest, I’ll detail every mistake we make and I’ll point out the many many many gaps in our knowledge, and what we learnt, and then maybe someone reading this will learn too, without having to go through the crap we’re going through. We’re generous like that. So read on, for the first entry in The Modern Toss Diary, that successful debut feature from Happy Fingers Productions/That disastrous first attempt at a feature by Happy Fingers Productions/A film you’ve never heard of/That film where that guy went crazy and murdered those ducks……………. Delete as appropriate.

I’ll begin with the background and other boring stuff. I’m not out-lining Modern Toss’s plot, so don’t ask, but I will say it’s a film I’ve carried around for about 5 years. Originally I just wanted to make a cheap, simple homage to a house some friends of mine rented. Knowing even less than I do now, the first draft was an incredibly poorly formatted, three hundred page, mess. A mess that armour piercing bullets couldn’t penetrate. It was also very very shit and we were nowhere near ready to make it. Some short films later and I tried a second draft. A friend reviewed it and hated it, even my father struggled to find a tactful way to tell me he didn’t like it.

Originally, Toss was going to be made in 2010, we held off to help Josh Fowler with Sunset in a Beretta’s eye. It’s a good thing we did, because it would have been absolutely atrocious and though we’re finished with Sunset now, it was an incredible learning experience. Personal recommendation, if you want to make an independent feature, find someone who’s making one and help them out for a week, you’ll learn more than any DVD extra, commentary or poorly punctuated dairy will ever teach you.

Last year, we set a couple of weeks aside to film Toss, and then, rather arrogantly did no preparation work at all. I didn’t even bother to have a draft I liked, eventually the writing on the wall reached biblical proportions and it became clear that this indie film lark needed a proper attempt. Abandoning Toss, we opted for a two way approach, first, to set a date that we could realistically get things together for (OCT 2012), second to make a bunch of shorts between now and then to practice, develop, grow and maybe get a bit more of a following. Hence the season of Modern Toss, a series of films linked by their aim to contribute to the final product of Modern Toss, the first of which, The Curse of Professor Erno Rubik can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE2W7fNGe6g&context=C3d58e1bADOEgsToPDskKiz4_GNNT5WO584kJzW3Eq

That’s the background out of the way, the rest of these diary entries will detail the experience we went through making Toss.

Written By Sam ‘One particular draft of Modern Toss actually got reviewed as Vindictive’ McKinstrie