… End of Line.

Another year. Or two. Or five. It’s hard to keep track when you’re “restricted”.

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Impersonal.

Movies which most stuck with me this year: Hamilton. Nobody. Pig. Free Guy. Halloween Kills. Spider-Man No way home.

And the biggest disappoints for flicks for me: No time to die. Mortal Kombat. Spiral. Army of the Dead. Black Widow. Reminiscence. Candyman. Venom Let there be Carnage. Matrix Re-erections.

I must recommend everyone who digs on good music investigates my latest auditory crush: David Maxim Micic – you can find his work on YouTube, iTunes, BandCamp, Spotify, etc. Amazing.

Also, watch the Witcher man. Need another season. Don’t want a Dirk Gently situation on my hands again!

AND:  Movie Madness Season three will be coming out toward the end of Jan/Early Feb. So keep on the look out.

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Business.

Worked with a lot of good people this year and saw my dream of working a Studio come true. Not that this doesn’t come with a big ole but. With the uncertainty, restrictions, lockdowns, etc. We’ve seen a fraction of the action we’d expected.

However, everyone we did work with has been very supportive and appreciative of our space and services. Also met some wonderful people who I’d go out of my way to help on their journeys. And while there have been troubling times which have on occasion made it feel like me and my partners are less friends and associates and more distant acquaintances; we have and continue to power through as best we can to keep things going and in the right direction. When things come back to normal – we are still going to be here to support the Northern Community and its creative ventures.

And we did win several awards for our Writing, short filmmaking and music video creation. So this was very big deal stuff for us!

No one man could do so much and Supporting and being supported by my partner Wayne Thompson further solidifies that he’s not just a colleague or friend – but my brother and we’re in this together til the end.

Further we couldn’t be where we are and still pushing forward without the tireless support of co-director and studio manager Wayne Madden.

Our trustees and collaborators Glenn Ellis – who gives more of himself than we could ever ask for and Dawn Crute – who continually pushes herself and the company to a better place every time she’s here. I couldn’t be happier to be involved with a team I care so much about and respect and feel respected by.

A few things New Enterprise Studios has been working on over the last several months are going to be coming to the public eye over the next several months as well – so as always keep an eye out on this space. And more news coming from our sister company Dead Reel Films soon too.

I want to mention a few people that I’ve worked with over the last year whom I only wish the best for in everything they do.

Scott Ampleford. An incredibly talented guy who is also a good friend.

Matt Shaw. Great guy who writes and creates dark shit.

Kerry Ward. Someone who pushes herself to be the best.

Mark Spayne. He is constantly evolving and does not give up.

Addison Keen. A young man with a very bright future.

Paul Doherty. A talented filmmaker and part of our Dead Reel family – he’s also gracious enough to help us paint and plan!

Les Brewster. He got in the game late – but he is a dedicated and supportive person whom we’d do anything for.

James Thompson. While he can rarely work the flicks these days – as he is in demand worldwide for his services – we wouldn’t have the studio where it is without you and we can’t wait for you to find the time to get back behind the camera with us.

I’d also like to single out some of our supporters who we can call fans: His Worship Mayor Henry Harry Trueman and Mayoress Dorothy Trueman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Sarah Webster, Jonny Sloan, William Wolf, Phil Scratchill, Andrew Yates, Michelle Booth, Lee McShane, Neil Clasper, Anthony McDermott, Kevin Marquis, John Fox and Lee Kyle and all at Felt Nowt, Vic, Chris and Conrad of AXLS, Lee Allcock of NE Volume, Daniel Birkett, James Holloway, Jodie Gillespie, Jamie Pell, Bev and Lucy at Penshaw View, Steve Misik, Terry Blades, Northumbria University, Lisa from NEIFF, Atlas Theatre Group, Victoria at Sunderland Bid, Jacqueline, Lisa, John at NE Autism, Derek and Mary at Youth Employment Services, Sarah at Sunderland Magazine, the crew of Spark Sunderland, David and Julie at Nexus, the staff at the North East Film Archive, Julie Elliot MP and her staff, Geoff Woodward at Tyne and Wear Archives and the National Lottery service.

Thank you everyone and let’s make next year something special.

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Personal.

Yeah, there is many positives. Many negatives too. And I can’t count the amount of times I’ve felt like giving up this year and stopping where I am.

Between my PTSD, Depression, CFS, Insomnia and narcolepsy (yeah, I know right?) and possible ulcer (goodluck getting seen by this NHS) It’s not always been easy to paint that smile on my face I’m known for. And while I pride myself on the strength to keep going regardless of anything else. This bitter path is infinitely easier to walk because of the support of my beautiful girlfriend Danielle who is my rock at my lowest moments and I hope and believe she feels the same about me. Of course I always have to put a brave face on for our pup Penny who has an uncanny ability to see the pain and try to fix it with every fiber of his little doggy soul. We as humans honestly don’t deserve dogs. They are selflessly committed to those they love in a way everyone should learn from.

And while the lockdowns, restrictions, sickness and uncertainty of the pandemic has been unhealthy for just about everyone – I see the way people react and form into their factions and watching how the world divides continually instead of coming together is something of an additional existential sadness I can’t help but feel. One thing I’m very proud of this year is how many people we’ve brought together and supported through our work. But out there in the world in the personal sphere everyone is us and them and as if there wasn’t enough division in the world everyone is set on sub-dividing as much as possible.

It drives me further and further to what many consider the hated right. Even that is an unfair categorizing of how I view the world. Labels, everywhere, labels. But whatever. I still feel facts shouldn’t care about my or anyone else’s feelings.

Small moments of note this year include spending several hours one night trying to help a random person I know through Facebook not go ahead with suicide. Just being a shoulder and ear to a fellow human being regardless of what we share or don’t as people. Without any benefit or comeback for myself. Karma. I like to feel at my lowest if I had no support some stranger would offer me the same.

For a long time I’ve wanted to offer my support more openly (Through a Personal Podcast) as I find – on a personal level – that I both find purpose is helping others and it gives me a feeling of strength and clarity to work through my mental health issues in a public forum as I can’t help but hope it gives others the strength to be more open with their own struggles and support themselves through familiarity and understanding they are not alone. No one should ever feel truly alone. But at the same time, as much as my heart would be in the right place – I’m a bastard objectivist/Solipsist and I don’t subscribe to the modern feelings over action approach. The modern view that the hand is stacked against you for whatever reason. And I’m the wrong skin color and gender for open debate about anything other than how much it sucks to suffer from all my privilege. Every individual has the power to help themselves and begin to heal – while we’re never cured. Scars are better than open wounds.

When did “free thinking” become “radical thinking”?

When did agree to disagree become no you’re cancelled?

And when did science become theory and feeling fact?

Yes, I know. I should stop while I’m still more or less ahead.

 

I’ll be gone soon to watch Strange Days timed so it turns 2000 at the same time we enter 2022 – Danielle and mine’s tradition for several years now.

Before I go, going forward what do I want?

I want to remind myself I’m friends with my co-workers as my work/personal life balance is so off I work 7 days a week and rarely devote time to them socially anymore.

I want to go see more movies in the flicks this year. Hey Andy. Emma. Wayne. Danielle. You guys in for a few?

I want to find time to finish my 3 half finished novels.

I want to help the Northern film scene get more recognition.

I want to always be available mentally to see past my own feelings and pain to support others.

I want to smile again.

I want to buy a house.

I want to go home to Florida.

I want the ghosts to be quiet.

I want to make Danielle feel she is the luckiest girl in the world.

I want my family and friends to believe in me.

I want to feel whole.

I want to wish you all a happy New Year and hope for 2022.

Yours,

– Hank.

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