If a book is good, or at least popular, chances are that someone will make a film based on it. But how often does the reverse happen?
Under the Black Sand wasn’t meant to be a novel. It started as a short film. I wrote the screenplay in the Netherlands, where I live, but the film would have to be set in Iceland. Being an optimist, I placed a message on a website where actors hang out. I found a male and a female. I met him and liked him. I had never met her before we started shooting. She had done some stage work and appeared in a TV series. Should be good enough, I thought. And it was. They were both perfect.
The film would need music. I was heavily into Mark Knopfler at the time. His keyboard player, Guy Fletcher, was dabbling in film music and I sent him a message through his website. Would he write music for my film? A stupid questions if you realise that I was totally unknown (still am) and he was the man behind classics such as Brothers in Arms. Strange things happen though. He saw the rough cut and sent a short message. “This film needs music.”
He spent his Christmas holiday writing music for my film. The tour was finished and he had worked on Mark’s live album. They would then go back to the studio in January. And still he found the time to write music for my short.
The moral of the story is that we should never give up before we try. The reasonable thing would have been to never contact him in the first place. Why would he even reply to my message, let alone spend time composing music for my Icelandic language no-budget film? That’s crazy talk! The man played on Money for Nothing and Calling Elvis. He worked with Tina Turner and God knows who else!
But he did reply and he did write music and and the results were beautiful. I can’t really describe the feeling when I play the album he released shortly afterwards and I hear the closing song. Black Sand Theme.
If you have an idea, try it out. Don’t give up. Never give up. Everything is possible.