Skip to main content

Post Bootleg: Next.

The comedown after a week like Toronto is never simple. This has been one helluva complicated year, in a life that I seem determined to keep complex.

From cheering in the new year with beautiful friends in New York City, to partying in Vegas and sleeping in a car in San Francisco, witnessing my long-gestating film project painfully fall apart and then vanishing to Paris, through to landing in Toronto for the Bootleg Film Festival, its certainly not been a quiet five months. And now that's its all done, I'm left wondering - now what?

The day after Bootleg finished, I found myself feeling out of sorts, out of time. Surrounded by so many fantastic people is easy until you take stock of it. Suddenly, as I stood looking out at the city skyline, late night in twinkle-dotted view of apartment buildings and street lamps, I was struck with a sense that, right now, I could be anywhere I wanted. I didn't have to go back to the UK, not just yet at least. Lifted up by the masses of love and goodwill I'd experienced by being in TO with the gang from Bootleg, it felt like we had achieved something pretty damn special.

But I knew that, after this, I was going to be rolling alone again. That I would be back to having to formulate a new plan, a new scheme for something else to distract me from an ordinary life.

I've uttered this a few times already, but I simply don't have the vocabulary to explain how amazing it was to be at Bootleg in Toronto, working with such a great team of individuals and meeting so many fantastic filmmakers, all there because four years or so earlier, you had a seed of an idea. If you think about anything for too long, shit'll make you dizzy. But Bootleg was the antidote that I needed to the painful collapse of Nina Nobody, just a few weeks earlier.

Watching the film I'd been fighting for a long time to make, be pulled away, affected near everybody involved. Being at the centre of it, that was really hard. I'll be honest, it's not easy to do this. It's not easy to be that guy. The one who has to be held accountable at all times by everybody he works with. I'm like everybody else, I'd love to hide away when the shit hits the fan. I'd like my life to be easy. To be without responsibility. But, for whatever reason, I feel compelled to strive, and sometimes, when I push harder or further than maybe others think I should, it can go very, very wrong. But on the flip, it can go very, very right. And to have the twin opposites of that, Nina Nobody stalling so hard that everybody got whiplashed, and then Bootleg, which soared far beyond anyone's expectations, it's all a little crazy, really. It's funny, when it goes wrong, you feel like you're wholly responsible. The drama has to land somewhere, right? But when it goes right, it's easy to recognise that it is the people around you that really made it work - you just happen to be the guy who shares the name of the inspiration.

So now, five months into 2012, I'm trying to work out what comes next. Right now, I live in a hotel. It's not great, it's actually more a roach-tel. But it's freedom. I have a bag of clothes and my iPad, and that's about it. I'm 33 years old. In a few months I'll be almost 34. I have to decide what I want to do next, both in terms of where I live, and what big project I decide to throw myself at. And I have to do these knowing that I stand as equal a chance at succeeding as I do failing, but whatever it is, I know that going at it, I have to have a team that 100% commit. And that's a lot to ask. Not many people can really do it, and why should they? Nobody owes me a thing.

But whatever I decide, I won't be working at half-speed, or small measures. I really hope to get Nina Nobody shot this year, but I know I demand a lot of the world around me, and sometimes, that's more than it's prepared to give.