My extended absence from johnaugust.com can now be explained: I’ve just finished shooting a movie, an honest-to-God feature film. A tiny film, to be certain, more likely to be seen at festivals than fourteen-plexes, but a movie nonetheless.

Officially, it’s my directing debut, but it hasn’t really felt like it.

As screenwriters go, I’ve always been pretty involved in production. (For instance, I directed second unit on Go.) And in television, the creator of a show ends up playing a huge role on set; my two pilots have been like directing with a seasoned pro to spot me. So even though I couldn’t necessarily say which light is working as key and which one as fill, I felt confident pointing with two fingers in a V to indicate “camera goes here.”

So what’s the movie about?

Well, here’s where I slink back into secrecy a bit. Trust me: My silence is only to protect you from fatigue and boredom. Even in the fastest timeline, we’re editing through the end of the year, then playing festivals in 2007. If a distributor buys the film, then maybe, maybe we would show up in theaters at the end of 2007, but 2008 is probably more likely.

I have trouble staying interested in a movie for 80 minutes, much less 18 months. So I’ll save the details until we’re much, much closer.

Suffice to say it’s a drama — hopefully funny in places, but unlikely to be slotted in the “Comedy” section of Blockbuster. (Assuming Blockbuster still exists in 2008.) It’s currently untitled (or, Untitled John August Project on IMDb). But it’s not the Untitled John August Project from several years ago at Sony, which I can tell you now was sort of like King Kong but scarier. And never got written.

The Movie (which is how I’ll refer to it from now on) is broken into three parts, like Go, but that’s pretty much the only similarity to Go. The Movie both is and isn’t a sequel to an earlier work, which I mean as cryptically as possible.

We shot 22 days in Los Angeles, with two days in New York City (where I am as I type this). We had a terrific cast, and an extremely hard-working crew — pretty much all union, which is rare for such a tiny movie. We shot a combination of film and video, with everything being posted in HD.

In coming weeks and months, I’ll write more about the process. But for now, I’ll be getting ready for the helicopter unit.

Yes, we’re a tiny movie with helicopter shots. Who wrote this shit?