Eibon Films Horror, Fantasy and SciFi writer / filmmaker and friend of the weird


Sickness is a time to reflect and learn

I had just penned a new short film script, one designed to be predominantly shot in one location for ease of production and shared it - and after very positive feedback from my good friend and creative partner Darwin - I was super keen on shooting the film and working out some of the gear we might need to be able to capture it, including some audio gear.... and then disaster struck. We had a death in the family; a very tragic and sudden death. And everything obviously went to sh*t...

...A while after this, when my mind was slowly turning back to creative things, and the days were slightly less preoccupied by grieving, and I was gearing up to let Darwin know that we would soon be back on to film, and then I got the flu - and even threw my back out again while coughing violently.

I have an atrocious immune system and I rapidly succumbed to filling up baskets with tissue, coughing up buckets of green slime and bemoaning anything that involved physical activity or concentration. But despite the illness, I find these things go through phases of creativity, from the random and less focussed to full blown acts of inspiration - where you can even forget your suffering, for a while.

First, it's watching films and shows that you've never had time to get around to watching from your sick bed. And reading the books that have been neglected when you're restive and can't decide on anything else to watch. Because you're too headachey and sick to do anything more challenging. And sometimes those inspire you to watch other things and they get your brain all fired up; and enjoying such visions can stimulate new or cause other dormant ideas to resurface...

Then when you're pumped full of cold medication, you start to contemplate what's lacking. For me it was thinking of camera and audio gear, thinking of problems with the structure of a feature script, worrying over how to bring my creative vision to life...

Until you start to heal, and some semblance of the former energy returns...

Having that time to think and a lack of energy to do anything else was invaluable. The dreams stimulated by the cold meds were a useful catalyst also.

I noticed a Martin Scorses Masterclass and the Shore Scripts Screenwriting course and signed up for both, taking advantage of the early sign-up pricing (after all I was too sick to go out partying and spend the money in real life, why not put it to use, right?) and even diving into the first lectures and doing the pre-reading. After lurking online in the web store, I eventually made it outside and went to the actual camera store (after heading to the pharmacy) and checked out the audio gear I've been drooling over and figured out what I needed.

I'm not entirely mended yet. But I am itching to get at it.

For now, I am enjoying the build up to my favourite holiday, Halloween. And taking part in a film a day challenge - 31 days of horror - #halloweenFest. And I'm working my way through the lectures and tasks... and I'm playing with the new toys and learning how to capture the sounds I think that I will need.... while revelling in the classic visions from master filmmakers. And I'm glad that even when I couldn't stand my own infected shell, and the fluids it kept emitting, I could still make use of the time.

I just need to shake this damn fever... and get back at it when I'm ready.

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