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The Modern Toss Diary: Entry 3

Posted on by sam

Entry 3 A Producer an Email and Concourt

‘Abs, you don’t know anyone interested in producing a no budget feature do you?’


‘Didn’t think so………………..you’re not interested in producing a no budget feature are you?’

‘What do I have to do?’

‘No idea, organise and stuff’

‘Yeah, why not’

‘You sure, cause I’ve been waking up worrying that I don’t have a producer!?’

‘Yeah, long as you give me an idea of what you want’

‘Ok, first job, read the screenplay’

And so it came to pass, Abdal-Kareem Wright earned a special place in my imaginary heart. Abdal is another of the crappy supermarket crowd, (Amazing how much talent stacks shelves these days). Before he decided to get a university degree and a career that actually pays he helped us out on our music video for The Last Standing, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ugarB17Gg). One of my favourite outtakes to date involves a roaming camera, Helen Dodds dressed as a rabbit, a red telephone box and a shrieking Abs running for his life to get out of shot………………………..good times.

He also liked the screenplay, describing it as ‘Shameless meets Scott Pilgrim’ (Which I will now use in all pitches ever), and wants to help me make it. We now get to call him our ‘semi’ producer, which seems to mean I include his email address whenever I email Tom a question.

Speaking of which, received an email from a nice woman named Helen asking me if our film had anything to do with a channel 4 television show, because she wanted to warn her husband. She seemed genuinely excited and I felt bad explaining we’re a separate independent production, with no money. Then I got worried that there’s a television show with the name Modern Toss, and we might have to change our film title, emailed Tom and Abs about it, so far it looks like it’s not a legal question, which is a nice change to every other fucking thing about making a film. I’ve carried the name Modern Toss in my head so long, (Inspired by The Charlie Chaplain film Modern Times) I don’t really want to change it if I can help it. Maybe if my hand’s forced I’ll be self-indulgent and call it something like ‘Not the television show Modern Toss’, or the rest of the crew will kick my ass and we’ll just go with ‘Toss’ or something.

These days, we’ve started ending our shorts with tracks from local artists; i.e. The Stoops (Just played Carling Academy, congrats), Ryan J Finnigan (Just made a short everyone should look out for called Same River Twice) and my old school friends The Last Standing, (sadly split, but will be back in some form) who have kindly given permission for us to use one of their singles for ‘Present’. For Modern Toss, we’d like to go one better, and get a whole soundtrack of local artists together.

Knowing bands like to be paid, but being equally aware that we have no room in the budget to pay, we’ve come up with a system where we’ll offer a cut rate music video and free promotion to any artist that donates a track. Not sure if that’s enough, but met a member of the band Concourt came into crappy supermarket to discuss the offer, he seemed interested. Even if it’s not enough, the ‘meeting’ itself was worth it, just to see a fine example of a handlebar moustache. Nothing’s agreed but into crappy supermarket he did come, so here’s the link to their facebook page…………………………………… http://www.facebook.com/ConcourtUK?ref=ts&sk=app_178091127385

We’ve also started turning an eye towards casting. Most of our actors have been found through friends, a couple have been casting websites and one due to their choice of employment at crappy supermarket. The problem is, whenever we’ve done casting calls, we’ve always ended up with an unmanageable amount of applicants, and it takes ages to reply to everyone, which I’ve always felt is a must if I want to continue giving others a healthy dose of sanctimonious ‘don’t burn those bridges’ speech. Wanting to avoid staying up till 3 in the morning every day for a week replying to applicants, we’re being a bit more pro-active this time and approaching actors directly. Sent feelers out to five so far, two have come back, and ones at the point where they’re now reading the screenplay, slow progress so far but hopefully it’ll pick up.

Written By Sam ‘two roles in a short that never ended up being made got over a hundred applicants once…………………..it’s all in the phrasing’ McKinstrie

Unnecessarily on twitter as McKinstHFP

See HFP’s videos at www.youtube.com/MrHFProductions

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