Saturday 14 May 2011


Making a film is a magical process. But, whether the film itself turns out magical, well, that is a whole other story.

We are busy with the edit of the Material film. All is on track, but it is too early to say whether we need to leave town or not. As Craig Freimond, our director and partner on the film, said to me last week "There is no reason to be alarmed, and also, no reason to celebrate." A very practical point of view. But he is spot on.

Material is not a comedy, in the same way that The Full Monty was not a comedy. Sure, The Full Monty made us laugh, but it was a dark story, dealing with complex characters, and touching on the most sensitive of subjects: baring of the human soul. It was not a movie about male strippers, but rather, about stripping away the layers that we all hide behind. Material is also a drama, hopefully, as moving as The Full Monty, with moments of comedy scattered throughout. And this is where our current challenge lies - the comedy.

We shot so much comedy footage that Craig and our editor, Megan Gill, are overwhelmed at the amount of content we have to get through. That is not a bad thing - better to have too much material, than too little. But, it does come a price : time.

And here is the thing. You can improvise comedy but not drama. If the drama is not written then the actors won't wing it. But actors, especially comedians, can ad-lib and add to a script when it comes to humour. Comedians can be funny on the fly, but there are no dramedians in the world - drama needs to be worked out - it can't be made up, not in a film, or in real life.

The challenge with making magic in the world is that so many tricks have already been done - you really got to get creative to come up with new magic. You have to dig deep to genuinely captures people's imaginations - not easy at all. It is easier just to make pizzas and feed people. Yes, to sustain life is a lot easier than it is to awaken the soul. Not to say one can't make a magical and inspired pizza, but that is a whole different discussion ...

Posted by Ronnie Apteker