Ok, brace yourselves; this part is so awesome I considered breaking it down even more so that each month would have its own post. Are you ready? Here we go…
July: Oh dear July, what would my year have been like without you?! So many great things happened; I’ll try to only summarize the essential. At the beginning of the month, I flew to L.A. for the Viscera Film Festival/MOHA launch. I was finally reunited with Shannon Lark, Heidi Honeycutt and Lori Bowen in addition to meeting the rest of the fantabulous staff who has since become “my Viscera family”. Staying at Shannon’s place, I got a taste of the L.A. life: waking up, swimming, working, swimming again, working, hitting the town, etc. I also found a great friend in Jamie Jenkins with whom I immediately bonded (we were both staying at Shannon’s) and finally met some of the people I’d been communicating with for years, including fellow filmmaker Dave Reda. Of course, the Viscera Film Festival was nothing short of spectacular (YAY, red carpet!) and to say I had a blast is an understatement. Oh and I got to talk in front of 400 people at the legendary Egyptian theatre. Yes, I’m still pinching myself. During this event, I also (finally) met Theron Neel, a film writer I had been wanting to send Red to for review, but never got around to (I did send it when I got back home and he ended up writing an in-depth piece about all of my shorts!). We became fast friends and I found a kindred spirit in him.
And then, sadly I had to fly back home (I hate, hate, HATE leaving a place that feels more like home than home). Lucky for me, I got back to Montreal just in time for the Fantasia Film Festival where I met a slew of other amazing people (Derek from DedFest) and hung out with fellow film freaks (Matt Garrett, Heather Buckley I miss you both!), having philosophical discussions about horror on a bar terrace until the wee hours of the morning. Oh I also reviewed films for Planet Fury and was promoting my short T is for Toothpick which was playing as part of the fest. Then, Izzy who I had briefly met last year in Boston and during Fantasia, crashed at my place for a few days during the festival. Somehow, this magically led to a beautiful friendship that I cherish more than anything! She has since become my kickass partner in crime and it will take way more than the distance between Boston and Montreal to stop us! Looking back, July really was the magical month during which significant friendships formed and during which I got to spend most of my time with some of my favorite people in the world! And then came August.
August: Overall it was a pretty quiet month, which is good as I really needed time to focus and recuperate after the OMGawesomeness that was July! This included: enjoying the end of the Fantasia film festival, wrapping up a few Fantasia reviews for Planet Fury, beginning pre-production on Dys-, and beginning my first ever writing collaboration! Remember Theron Neel whom I met in L.A.? Well, we kept in touch and started writing each other frequently, mostly because he was working on a piece about me and my films.
Then, at some point during a phone conversation, I had a crazy idea: how about we try to write something together? I had never co-written something before, mostly because I never met anyone who was into the same kind of things I was into, but I figured why not give it a try. After all, it’s the first time I meet someone with whom I have so much in common! I pitched him a script idea I’ve wanted to develop for a while and he loved it! And so our collaboration began… There are no words to express how mind-blowing it is to be working with someone who seems to be anticipating your every thought and who always finds a way to complement your ideas! When I read the first scene he wrote (you know, that crucial “this is when I’ll find out whether this will work or not” sample scene?) I literally cried tears of happiness. He understood exactly what I wanted and helped bring that little something that was missing to the story. And really, I can’t begin to express how excited I am about the script we’re crafting together! This truly is a collaboration made in heaven! I won’t say anything more about the project except that this will be a dark comedy and this is one of my pet projects I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but for which I always felt there was a little something missing. It seems like I found it when I found the perfect writing partner!
September: In September, I drove down to Boston to attend the first ever Etheria FilmFestival on Viscera duty and got to hang out with Izzy (yay!), Kayley and André, as well as with my good friend Chris and Mike from All Things Horror. I also met up with Theron again who flew in all the way from Texas for the fest and for what ended up being the most intense/productive writing weekend of my life! The progress we made on the script is simply mind-blowing (this script/film is gonna kick ass!) On my way back home, I stopped by Salem (one of my favorite cities) with the girls (Izzy and Kayley) for a day of trekking through cemeteries and visiting cheap tourist traps. Really, the best way to experience Salem is with two fellow horror freaks! Unfortunately, because all good things have an end, I had to come back home, but at least, I was rejuvenated and more motivated than ever!