I have this belief that my New Year starts on my birthday, so as I spend the day celebrating with family by watching far too many movies and eating too much cake, I like to set a few resolutions to keep me moving forward, and one I make - let's be honest - pretty much every year is to keep a diary so I can note down some of those interesting moments, events, characters and incidents that create the year... then I never seem to get the time. So this year, I thought I would write a monthly blog instead. This is the first one and it's already three months late - but, to be fair, they have been some months!
Don't let that picture deceive you, February was an absolute blur. After we had almost given up on ever buying our own home, we managed to find, make an offer and be accepted in the dying hours of December 2021 and it was time for a sea change.
The 31st of January was our settlement day. So February was filled with packing, cleaning and the moving of hundreds of books and thousands of DVDs and blu rays, mainly in green bags, up many flights of stairs. We also found out we had secured a limited season of APPARITIONS, off the back of the sell-out world premiere at Monster Fest, at Cinema Nova scheduled for mid-March. So we hit March with a panicked meeting with our Social Media manager to talk through a plan to get the word out, then raced back home for a writing session on a new witchy comedy series with the brilliantly talented Eva Torkkola and Shanon Kulupach.
Saturday the 5th was an on-stage appearance at the pop culture convention Supanova, which was hilarious, as we led a panel in a virtually empty room, but also super fun. Stefan Dennis joined us at the last minute and I had to keep telling his fans "no I'm not his wife, I'm his sister", and we had the amazing Kristina Benton and Shanon Kulupach in the audience cheering us on. It might not have been the massive publicity opportunity we hoped for, but it was a big honour to be asked and we had a huge giggle of a day.
I had to leave Supanova to get to my day job, and to be honest, it was a painful crash to earth. My arts admin job had been getting tougher and tougher during the many Melbourne lockdowns; a handful of us had kept the ticketing department running with a skeleton crew that kept getting smaller, with no breaks, and it just got worse when we got back on site. A mixture of constant change and lack of planning, made it feel like the organisation was lurching from disaster to disaster. I had been in the job for many years and seen many changes, but I was about to hit the burn out wall - and it would soon be time to finally plot my escape. But for now, I was still stuck, working hard to keep the box office running while also running a social media and PR campaign to get a cinema-shy, post-lockdown audience back in the cinema to see a no-budget little indie horror.
In many ways, it was a grindingly busy and sometimes frustratingly challenging month and writing, very much, fell by the way. There were some dinners, welcoming our friends to the new place, a lovely birthday and a glorious trip to Bathurst to see my daughter's new life, properly meet her beautiful fiancee and soak up all the puppy pats. Not to mention a surprise trip by one of our most cherished friends, where much talk, food and art were consumed, including wandering through the amazing Flinders Street Ballroom that has been closed for decades, to find the weird and wonderful creatures created by Patricia Piccinini.
There was tiredness and many tears over the month; I underestimated the impact moving away from the home where my girls turned into strong independent women, and my relationship with my incredible partner grew in love and creativity as we began, more and more working together, would hit me. The dinners, Christmases, rehearsals, laughs, tears, films watched and shot, love and laughter that made that place seemed gone for good. It brought into stark relief how my life is changing, and the harsh reality of ageing hit me hard.
But I have to remember that life is not done yet, and even through we are older in years, we are still young as filmmakers and still have a lot to make and do... and the month closed out proving all the hard work was well and truly worth it, with two fabulously full Cinema Nova screenings, the news that we would screen at the Horrific Hope Film Festival in Virginia and had been nominated for two awards at the Septimius Awards in Amsterdam - our bags were already packed.