As some of you will know, we are working on translating the Blind Fisherman (The prelude to Hopeless, Maine) to film. Towards this end, I’ve started sketching settings that will appear in the film to help me visualise the settings so that I can move on to storyboarding. Once the script is finalised, we’ll storyboard and go on from there. In order to help make all of this possible, I’ve begun studying producing and other aspects of filmmaking. We have a studio, cinematographer, production design and an art director. Our plan is to make this the first in a series of Hopeless, Maine set films.
In the words of our cinematographer, Gregg McNeil ” We’re making a strong statement with this first chapter of the Hopeless Maine Anthology and we hope to continue this with other filmmakers, directors and storytellers each weaving their own visual tale.”
We will keep you up to date on our progress!
Hoping this finds you well, inspired and thriving.
The Blind Fisherman is, unshockingly, an essential character in the film called The Blind Fisherman. For a long time, we had no idea who was going to play him. As a small outfit with whatever budget we can cobble together, we could hardly go the normal recruiting route. We were going to have to use our network of people to find someone who might be suitable.
There was a collective wracking of brains amongst existing team members.
We started thinking about the qualities our actor would need – that he would have to be a younger man with a light build, and that he would need a physical skills set. To fight the sea monster plausibly he would have to be athletic. As we have a team member who can choreograph fight scenes, we didn’t necessarily need someone with a fighting background, but someone who could easily learn how to do the right things with their body. That opened up dance, gymnastics and circus as potential backgrounds alongside someone with a background in a martial arts or other combat disciplines.
So I asked our friend Ruby, who does a lot of circus stuff and is young and therefore could be expected to know other youthful personages. She asked if we knew Edwin, and we admitted that we did not. She told us he is lovely – which is an important qualifier for being involved with this project. Given how we’re all investing time and effort, with no one knowing how any of it will work out financially, we cannot afford to bring anyone in who might make any of us miserable. Being able to work easily together and enjoy that process is non-negotiable.
Edwin Forster is turns out, is not only lovely, but entirely perfect. After we got into lockdown, we started asking our actors if they could do photos for us to share, and this is his, alongside the cover image for the original project this is all based on. Got to love anyone prepared to go that extra distance!
Readers, we have a delectably crazy project on the go and have got to the point where it feels like talking about it may not jinx it!
We’re going to make a Hopeless Maine film.
At time of writing this is a project with no funding. It does however have a script, and most of the team in place to make it happen. We have some ideas about funding. However, if you have a magic money tree and were wondering how best to deploy it, we’re here to help you!
From here on in, I’m going to be blogging regularly about how this all goes. There’s quite a lot of backstory to tell, so I’ll be working my way from the beginnings of this idea forward. It’s not been a smooth path at this point, and all things considered, it’s not likely to be smooth in the future either.
While all of the team members are experienced professionals, only some of us are experienced professionals when it comes to film making. Tom and I are the least experienced in all of this. There is a great deal to come where we’ll be depending on the knowledge, skills and cunning of the rest of the team. Beautiful people that they are, they have enough faith in us and enough enthusiasm for Hopeless Maine to give this a go. I’ll be talking more about who does what as we go along – my fondness for telling a story means I want to introduce the key characters as they enter the plot. That said, if anyone wants to ‘out’ themselves that’s fine by me!
So, if that wasn’t quite bonkers enough, here’s what we’re planning. We want to make a silent movie, on a period camera, with a soundtrack. There will be puppets and actors. It will be based on The Blind Fisherman (the series of poems and images at the start of The Gathering). If you’ve read The Blind Fisherman, you will know that it doesn’t really suggest a smooth translation into film, which is part of the fun of it. We don’t want to make a film version of something we’ve already done in the comics. We want to go somewhere new.
Thank you for joining us on our latest madcap adventure, and watch this space for the story as it unfolds…