I'd like to thank the academy...

So, here's a strange new sentence. Hello, I'm Alex Secker, the award-winning writer/director of Follow the Crows. Okay, okay, so that's a little bit smug, I'm sorry, I'm feeling very proud of myself and my team right now. We've won an award, a well deserved one, I think, and I'd like to show off a little bit if I may.

I've been an award winning writer/director for a little while now, although oddly enough that was for the stage and not film, which is where I'd ideally like focus my attention (not that I don't like stage, you understand, it's just film is my passion). The Door won the People's Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival, which is super cool, especially considering it was my first piece of theatre, so that makes it doubly awesome.

And yeah, I won the Best Micro Short at the 2018 Swindon Film Festival, which is also super cool. But there's something about winning an award from a group of people with whom I have absolutely no affiliation, for a film that has, in truth, taken up around three years of my life.

From its initial inception through to its preview at the screening in Cineworld, Follow the Crows was basically the only thing I worked on for three years. Whether I was writing, storyboarding, planning, rehearsing, shooting, editing or going through ADR, it was a lengthy process and there were many times during those days, weeks, months and years that I would look at this thing we were making and wonder, "is this actually any good?"

It's an odd feeling to look at something you've created, something you were so certain in at one point, and begin to question it. You start to wonder if it looks okay, if the writing is acceptable, if the acting is good or the editing works. You worry about pacing, about style, about vision. It all sounds very pretentious, but it's true.

So to have a group of industry professionals from half-way around the globe look at it and go, "no, you know what, actually this is really good and we're going to award it as such" is so bizarrely validating that I fear I may be in danger of becoming a little big-headed. Try to drag me back down to Earth, if that's what starts happening, please.

Anyway, all of this is a very roundabout and drawn out way of getting to my point. Since the award ceremony was in LA and, well, I'm poor so I can't travel to LA, I didn't get to give a little thank you speech or make note of the people without whom the film wouldn't have been possible. So that's what I'm writing here today, my acceptance speech, if you like, and there are so many people I'd like to mention that if I forget you I'm truly sorry.

First off, I'd like to thank Marc Starr, without who none of this would be possible. In fact, without Marc I probably wouldn't even have set-up this blog (maybe that would have been a good thing), because I wouldn't have made as much stuff as I have and I wouldn't have been as focused as I've become. His belief in me and the work we were doing has been utterly incredible, and he deserves more credit than anyone for getting Follow the Crows off the ground. It's his film, I just wrote and directed the thing.

Secondly, there's the wonderful cast and crew, who I honestly cannot praise enough. All of them were absolutely brilliant, they put up with extreme weather conditions, late nights, early mornings, tight shooting schedules and a port-a-loo in the back of a van, so well done to all of you. You know who are. Your work and commitment to the project is the only reason it won this award and you all absolutely deserve it!

Last, and from my point of view at least, the most important person, my wonderful partner Danielle. Her encouragement and belief in me, even through the difficult times and the times when I've been an utter tit, have made me who I am today. Without her not only wouldn't I have made Follow the Crows, I probably wouldn't be making films full stop. She is the the single most important person to getting me here and I am eternally grateful to her for all of her love and support. Also, she'll hate how mushy this is and that makes me laugh.

I realise that it may seem a little bit like overkill to write all of this out, but film-making has been my passion since I was a little kid. I honestly can't remember every wanting to do anything else with my life and so being here at this moment, even though there's still a long way to go, is so incredible it's like a dream come true.

Also, thank you to all the people who support me in any other way. From those of you who came to the preview to those who watch my stuff online. Those of you who read my blog, follow my social media accounts or listen to my podcast. All of you are helping me get that little bit closer to success with each passing day, and I wouldn't be able to do it without you. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

If you really enjoy it all, we're looking for investors in my next film, Onus, and that would be swell... nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

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© Alex Secker 2018