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The bombshell came in the form of a telephone call from one of the producers at 9.00 pm on the evening before we were due to meet the following day. He had received an email that in essence said that the project was thought to be too risky to finance for a variety of stated reasons. Needless to say I was devastated but financing films is a highly risky business. I was asked what I was going to do. I replied that if they sent me the email straight away I would read it, think it through, and come to the meeting the following day with an answer. I sat by the phone in shock. Friends in the film business had warned me that this happened all the time, but hearsay is one thing, reality is quite another. However, when the email came through I found it very interesting. It was well written and carefully thought out. As I read it I realised it offered a way through our dilemma. Our dilemma was that we were beginning to run out of time. A speech from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar kept reverberating in my head. There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves. It was a timely reminder because we had a location that offered us everything, including accommodation, but it was only available for the first three weeks of July and we had a first rate film crew that were also only available for those weeks. If I didn’t act fast and decisively all would be lost and I knew we would never regain the momentum we had built up. It involved a massive rethink and a very quick turn around. The main thrust of the email was the thought that I had taken on too big a project that would cost far more than was being budgeted but the email had gone on to say that the ‘film within the film’ could be made as a much smaller project and for a far smaller budget. It was a question of being pragmatic and sailing with the tide before we floundered. I sat up into the early hours of the morning devising the new outline. The #FrancisFilm was about to be born.

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