We’re back! No wait… we’re furloughed…
It’s been a while and what a year it’s been so far. I can’t tell you how excited we were at the start of 2020. After an incredibly slow 2019 and a period of self reflection and getting into a good enough space to be able make films again, we started this year with two film scripts ready to find funding, client projects flowing in, and several music videos planned with different artists to move into production.
Then, as I am sure you are all aware by now, the entire planet went into lockdown.
This wasn’t going to stop us though. If anything, it provided us with a great opportunity to prepare for the future.
Last year we came to a halt. Around June we collectively burnt out trying to do too many things at once; wrap up old struggling projects, start new ones, write for the future, whilst also building a corporate video company that provides video services to others. It was really hard, and none of us made much money, nor did we have much money to fix any of the problems that faced us.
You may have noticed that, despite a range of films having been made over the years, getting them out to the public has taken us a little longer than we would have liked (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve apologised to those eagerly awaiting Ariella). But a little known fact about filmmaking is that it costs money. Like everything costs money. Even to a point where that £0 budget film shot on an iPhone that went to Sundance still had to pay £30 for an entry fee, and for a long time this was just something we literally weren’t able to do.
Either way, the truth is last year we hit a point where despite being in love with what we do, none of us liked what we were doing. Things needed to change. So sometime last year we went quiet across social media, and the five of us went our separate ways for a bit.
The space was good, and allowed us to reassess what we really want to do in our careers, the films we want to make and how we want to go about making them. One thing was clear; none of us really wanted to do corporate work anymore, and time needs to be spent following what we’re actually passionate about.
It also became clear that to move forward, Them Pesky Kids needs to be driven by a team of producers and during this time Jack Booth and Oliver Blair had realised that, although they will continue to write and direct films, for the time being had no interest in producing and therefore have decided to step back from Them Pesky Kids to concentrate on their industry roles of Cinematographer and 1st Assistant Director (respectively).
This doesn’t mean that we will not continue to work with them; we love those guys and will continue to collaborate with them both as creatives and crew, and we’re still planning on producing their next films. Their careers just need to take them on a different path to myself, Michael and JJ.
We’re now going to be concentrating on producing our next roster of shorts with a strong intention for them to lead to the features we already have in development. We currently have two shorts in which we are seeking funding for; The Walk and Life, Online, to be directed by Michael and myself (respectively), and we want to experiment AS MUCH AS WE CAN! Chasing corporate work really put us in a creative dry spell with the stresses of running a business and the demands of clients, and we want to make things with no pressure for the love and joy of filmmaking and storytelling for a while.
And look where we are now. A few months trapped inside. No work. No real pressure*.
*(besides the growing financial pressures of a freelance lifestyle and a crumbling economy)
So we’re taking the pressure off. Using the time to write, play and make what we can- because it’s all we can do.
Michael and JJ were working extremely hard towards a Megatrain music video to go alongside their release of Car Crashes, but since that got quarantined, Michael’s instead cut together a mini documentary about the recording of the single, which is full of the love, charm and the zany attitudes of Megatrain. I highly suggest checking it out.
We’re also going to be giving a huge update about Ariella and what’s taken so long, as well as finally sending what rewards we can out to those who backed us. I’ve actually started writing a song I promised to several backers during the campaign, so look forward to that. A number of our other previously-very-nearly-done projects have been wrapped up too and we just want them out to you guys as soon as we can.
And we’re going to be a bit more interactive in general! We really want to invite other people to work with us and will be actively seeking out creatives for development and production on a number of projects in the coming weeks so keep an eye out on ways you can get involved.
This is though, an absolutely insane time for everyone, so we hope that all our friends and colleagues are holding out okay. We’re doing our best to stay busy and positive in an incredibly confusing situation and we know that it’s not as easy for everyone to do so, so please reach out to us or someone you know if you are struggling.
If you’re in the Film and TV industry then you can always try the Film and TV Charity (catchy name right?). They’ve given me guidance and legal support, financial advice and even monthly counselling sessions in the past and I can not rate them enough; they are a wonderful organisation. They have also been working tirelessly since the start of the outbreak to help those affected and if you are one of them, I recommend giving them a call. I’ve left their number below:
Telephone: 0800 054 0000
With all that, keep an eye out for the Car Crashes Mini Doc from Megatrain this weekend, the single is out now with the link below. As a sneak peak I’m also giving you the loglines of The Walk and Life, Online; if they catch your eye and you want to be involved, drop us an email.
Thanks, and stay safe in the apocalypse.
'Car Crashes', the brand new single from Megatrain.
The Walk. Directed by Michael Jobling, written by Sophie Ellerby, produced by Ryan J Harvey.
After the village bus route is cut, out-of-work Tony must brave the weekly 24 mile walk to and from the nearest Job Centre to avoid his benefits being cut.
Life, Online. Written and Directed by Ryan J Harvey. Produced by Michael Jobling & Kat Brown
Missing a match made in the virtual heavens, Jake goes on a quest through the digital worlds of social media to find his “true love”, missing out on real love, life, and experiences in the process.