For me, I have just finished one short term contract and I'm about to get head long into another one. So the Christmas break has been a brilliant time to consider what I've achieved this year and what projects I want to line up for next year.
Being an old sales hand, I call it pipelining. The industry calls it having a slate. It's the same thing, and serves the same end purpose of having a number of projects in various stages of development ready to go when the money should appear.
So I have three shorts on slate as writer/director. Cancer Hair is almost finished and I'm looking to follow it up with at least another film next year.
I have a 20/25 minute hard hitting drama, another 10 minute shades of light and dark comedy drama and a historical adaptation of something that I CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE has not been adapted. All shorts.
Feature wise I have a couple of ideas I need to sit down and actually fucking storyline. I know there are big schemes like ifeatures and Microwave coming up and I want to have something ready to go out to them.
But, and here is the rub - all this planning is great but the shorts need money, and the features need producers standing over me yelling at me...on top of all of this, I need to go out and earn money to pay the bills.
The life of an independent filmmaker - eh? Half the time your head is in the clouds, half the time your feet are firmly anchored to the ground - no wonder you feel a little stretched.