It’s been 270 days since picking up and leaving San Francisco with my wife and our 3-year-old daughter to start our new life in Stockholm. Granted she’s from here, but moving over 5300 miles (8600 km) with only what we could fit in our luggage, a few months worth of survival money (we initially thought it would last half a year), and starting over from scratch was the most preposterous thing we could have done. But that’s exactly what we did!
There are so many different aspects regarding emigration to another country, but for the purposes of this blog entry I will focus on the filmmaking aspects of my new adventure. Of course I’ll share all the anecdotes of settling in a new country as a lone filmmaker in future entries, but for now I’m focusing on this very moment and where I’m headed. Long story short, I’ve landed a dream job as VFX Asst. Editor at one of the prestigious VFX studios in Stockholm starting in April. To say I’m stoked is an understatement! Nevertheless, the indie-filmmaker inside of me is itching to pursue some creative side projects just because… does a filmmaker actually need a reason? Do you know any filmmaker who isn’t working on their next film? Come on!
One of my projects already has its own page on this blog, The $0 Budget Software Blog. This is an up-to-date list of open-source/free software that I feel is useful to low/zero-budget filmmakers. There is everything ranging from preproduction to postproduction software. Now that it’s completed, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and starting a new project that will be worked on entirely with the open-source or free software mentioned. I start my new job 51 days from now and by that time I expect to have a ready to shoot short film script with as much preproduction as possible.
My first task is starting with the script research, as we all know that a movie is only as strong as its story. I’ll share my process of writing and compare the screenwriting apps KIT Scenarist and DramaQueen Free to the industry standard Final Draft. Additionally, I’m going to use WonderUnit’s Characterizer as a character development tool to fully understand who my characters are, get inside their heads, and grasp their emotional makeup to strengthen my script writing. Finally, I’ll share my experience with using Studio Binder and any phone apps I may use for my location scouting, and Airtable as my preproduction database.
I look forward to sharing my open-source, independent filmmaking endeavours with you. And come back daily for those little anecdotes of being an expat filmmaker.