Being a filmmaker scars you. For instance I'm unable to hear the name Bale without thinking Christian, which made the announcement of PFA Player Of The Year quite a surprise. No wonder Spurs have done well this season, they're able to call on the talents of actual Batman. However right now confusion over the meaning of sports reports is the least of my problems.
My brother and I are currently shooting our debut feature film "Nina Forever". It's about a man called Rob whose dead girlfriend Nina is magically, impossibly, brought back into some semblance of being but only when he is making love with his new girlfriend, Holly. Obviously it's largely autobiographical.
This is the tricky thing about art, the truly compelling stuff is exhilarating, amazing but it has to bite - a bit like Luis Suarez.
Years ago my brother and I were invited to take part in a scheme to make a short film. We ended up needing to write this short film on the train home after the first session. For lack of anything else, I wrote out the events of the previous weekend which had ended up with me sort of dropping a suicidal woman off a roof. Because it was a first draft I failed to invent a name for the main character, so when the rest of the directors on the scheme got to give their feedback, I had to spend the whole day with people saying things like "I dunno, I just think this Ben guy is a bit of a cold hearted bastard..." which I still think is unfair as I did go and visit her in hospital and she never actually knew that my first thought on her landing had been that she was still holding my favourite fountain pen.
Obviously we've learnt a lot since those days and so when we wrote Nina Forever we definitely invented names for all the characters.
However there still comes the point where you have to stand up for your story. There is a wild, messy, terrifying ball of explicit shameful and tragic emotion that feels like a compelling piece of art and if I was Lucien Freud I'd just get on and paint it in my drip splattered studio and then take my lovely whippet for a walk. But I'm not Lucien Freud and I don't have a whippet so instead I have to explain to a lot of sensible people who wear clothes why one of my main characters is completely naked and covered in blood and why she only appears in the story when the other characters are having sex.
The point of all this is that life is built upon shared experiences. In adverts that evoke the spirit of football this always comes down to the joy of doing goals but anyone whose ever actually enjoyed the game knows that you also share the shameful but delicious fury of biting someone like a dog. People still criticise Christian Bale for his sweary rant on the set of Terminator 4 but if I'd been making that film I'd have been in a foul mood too. The things we share as people are not always the things we want to admit we share but I hope my messy, crazy, beautiful film shares some sense of the truth of love and grief with you.
For more information about Nina Forever and to support us in finishing this unique and impossible film please visit our Kickstarter page.Suggest a correction