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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 19:42 GMT
Big Break Diary: The film director
Jan Dunn
BBC News Online's Big Break Diaries break in the arts and entertainment world.

Would-be film director Jan Dunn makes good progress with both her short and full-length feature films after using her powers of persuasion.

5 January

Stole my niece and nephew and went to see The Lord of the Rings, my 10-year-old nephew and I were a bit confused as we hadn't read either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. Excellent cinematic piece but give me Thomas Hardy or Dickens storywise any day.

6 January

Saw Mullholland Drive today, which I followed far more clearly than the above. Brilliant. Interesting thing about Lynch as a film-maker is how he drops little red herrings in every now and again which seem to completely disregard the story narrative. A bit cheeky really, brave though.

8 January

Had my re-arranged meeting with Jeremy Howe at the BBC today. The first thing he said to me after hello was that he hated Don Juan (short film I submitted to him for their revenge season), a good start to a meeting and made me feel about the size of my little toe.

Jan Dunn
Jan Dunn: Making good progress

When I told him the budget he was surprised, when I told him who is playing our Don Juan he was even more surprised.

When I then told him we already have half the budget and are looking for top-up money, he seemed a little bit less dismissive of it.

Then when I told him I have pre-sales, a sales agent and at least two cinema chains who have already showed interest in screening it due to the success of the last two shorts and the strength of the fantastic script, he seemed to be a little less negative about me/it.

Good end to the meeting, he wants me to offer up some ideas for the next season of shorts. So I shall work on that immediately.

9 January

Met up with my old mate, actor-turned-writer Sean Wilton. I called him last night to see if he wanted to come up with some ideas for Jeremy Howe at the BBC. Spent a couple of hours mulling over some ideas he's going to work up.

10 January

Really good meeting with the funders of Don Juan who are really positive about the brilliant script and our star support. They want to attach one of my features to it and approach the Film Council with a package. This is good for me at last, having money behind me and good producers, Skyline up in Scotland.

11 January

Met up with my friend Philip Euling who has just directed his first short which stars David Hyde Pierce who plays Niles in Frasier.

It's a good short, very funny and looks great. I've passed it onto Dawn at The Short Film Bureau because I think she'll like it and it would be great for Philip to have them behind it. Fingers crossed.

Philip and I tried to get his short, The Blue Spitfire, off the ground last year. It's a period short which Philip would direct and I'd produce but it was just too hard to get the whole money together and it's quite a big budget. Just the spitfire plane was going to cost 10,000 for a day's hire.

14 January

Saw Shrek at last. Excellent fun. Writer Sean Wilton has worked up the ideas he came up for to submit to Jeremy Howe at the BBC, there's about six we've narrowed down, of which two are brilliant and very funny now that they've been worked on a bit more. Fingers crossed.

24 January

Popped into the Swedish Chamber of Commerce today, collected their directory which has some good contacts for potential sponsors for Nosferatu with it's Swedish connection (one musician and the composer are coming from Sweden).

Also had a meeting with Katy McPhee about the costume designs for Don Juan, which are fabulous.

25 January

Saw Monsoon Wedding again. It was so good when I saw it at the London Film Festival, decided to go again. Getting some good feedback for some kind of support for Nosferatu tour from the Swedish/Danish & Norwegian embassies.

28 January

Had a meeting with Tracey Godding today who has done a fantastic job on the spotty dog website, although it's still a work in progress at the moment.

30 January

Met with Dora Holzhandler for lunch today to return her old photographs that I was hoping to use in the documentary about her that I shot for DKTV.

They still haven't paid me and that's been over three months now. Fortunately it's not too hairy because the Nosferatu money has started to come through now from the Arts Council. So I'm a professional artist of sorts at the moment.

32 January

Went to the women in film and TV screening of Ocean's Eleven. Nicely directed.

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