Leo X. Robertson

News of my latest publications, events, and episodes of the Losing the Plot podcast!

New Festival Selection!

Excited to announce that London Lift-Off Film Festival has selected Face Boy!

Made this feature film with Sam Crichton, Robert Crichton, Juan Rojas and Jeremaya Abraham John last summer—in standard Leo-challenge style, it’s essentially a one-man show for Sam, to hold the audience’s attention across the length of a feature film.

All his family members (except for Archie the dog) make an appearance.

It’s something of a self-portrait for me also—so a deeply personal thing, ideal for indie filmmaking ❤️

So glad this can soon get watched and hope it leads to cool new connections as always!

The TrutherNet Apocalypse now live!!

TrutherNet, our first feature film is now live!!

There have been many “lockdown” films since this one—but this was a true lockdown film! We couldn’t meet one another physically so we had weekly Discord meetings to discuss the plot and how to film.

I met with each actor individually and recorded their pieces separately using OBS, screen-grabbing software, then edited them all together.

Congrats to Ragnhild, Sam, Ash, Patrick, Aakanksha, Fernando!

Many thanks to Ferdinand for the great poster and Tom for the music!

Dad’s Birthday

It was my dad’s birthday on the 11th. So I thought a wee bit about it and here are this year’s reflections 🙂

Can’t remember if I mentioned this before, at least here, but I started my filmmaking club in my dad’s honour. I’d started writing after losing my mum, and it seemed to work—funneling the energy of her loss into a creative outlet that she enjoyed. And my dad loved films. It made sense. And once again, it seemed to work.

Now I frequently get told about someone who got a sum of cash to make some film or other. I think there’s supposed to be an implication of, “fingers crossed, Leo, it could happen to you!” Or perhaps, kindly, “Your work deserves that kind of recognition/support!”

I’m totally guessing though. I’ve consumed a lot of scripts but I cannot read the ones running in everyone else’s heads. There are forever serious miscommunications, and big disputes about the character I’m supposed to be playing, what he’s supposed to be doing.

I would know best of all of us, and still I have serious doubts sometimes. Though when I do, I can remember the core tenets of what it means to be a Robertson, as learned from my dad.

At his memorial someone said to me, “We were just asking ourselves why Charlie never ended up a millionaire. He was just too generous!”

I realised while writing this (just curiously, no judgment): I have never wondered why anyone I know isn’t a millionaire. I’m willing to bet my dad spent no time asking himself that same question either.

He was too busy sneaking wine gums or enjoying fry-up breakfasts just like his mum used to make for him. Too busy browsing local shops for the perfect cheese, cool new glasses, a book that would fit in the pocket of his new favourite jacket. Too busy browsing the internet, clicking from article to article, in his dressing gown, chilled glass of white wine beside him—looking up to say, “I could do this all day!”

He loved his wife dearly, and was bereft when she passed. His favourite people were his own kids.

He remains a shining guide on how to extract the most value out of life for yourself and others. We Robertsons, for better or worse, are oriented towards gratitude for the ordinary, optimism and romance more than anything.

I’m so very pleased to hear from people that I have inspired them. Truly. Already more than I could hope to help out personally. But you don’t need my help, nor anyone’s permission. That’s always been my message.

I know you’re scared. Do you think I’m not? What even is life? What are we all doing? No time to ask, gotta fill out a tax return or something. It’s so weird.

And hey, you think I’m inspiring? You should have met my dad. Seriously, I’m what you’re stuck with. I am not by nature a people/party person like he was. My energy has to get into the world in its own spikier, more awkward way. But I do it in his honour, and I’m so glad it’s paying off.

And to those of you who have learned I’m a writer/filmmaker and love to tell me about what you will make one day–who enjoy the feeling of a potential story rattling around in their heads—perhaps so much that you delay getting it out of there and taking a look at it—you are in good company. My dad was the same. He told me about this hilarious radio play idea he had, about angels, heaven and hell.

Several times he told me that. Never more than that. Over years. Can’t tell you more about it.

Because like you, he was going to get around to it one day.


In “Searching for Veslemøy”, an inept and narcissistic reporter attempts to capitalise on a local cold case to launch his career. He soon finds himself alienating a community of colourful and bizarre characters and failing to find any clues—even when they’re handed to him.

We’ve been working on this thing since Xmas, when we all came up with the concept 🙂
Watch this space for where it ends up!

(Thumbnail photo by the incredibly talented @pixelyoursoulphotography <3)

Today’s Rules for Writing

I’ve seen this article doing the rounds again!

Having written for a while, I thought I’d come up with my own rules. They will of course change given what kind of day you catch me on, but here they are today 😛 And I promise I’m probably just writing this to myself, rather than to anyone specific. If it feels otherwise, maybe it’s good writing 😛

  1. Get out the house and hang out with people. This addresses many of the needs you might be trying to fulfill through writing. It also solves many different problems that your brain tells you are are very important and tailored to your unique fingerprint of shame, to your unique importance. Which is bullshit. The more you reveal this to yourself, the easier it will be to see through.
  2. Chill out. Lots of writing exists and will exist without you. It’s not that you’re not needed, but you don’t matter as much as it can sometimes feel like you do. Feeling very important, from my experience, doesn’t result in good material anyway.
  3. Go to a therapist. The art, of anyone who suffered for it, also suffered.
  4. Follow what interests you and what gives you energy. Express yourself.
  5. Listen to bad music while writing, to tune out the part of you that wants to criticise what you put on the page. I like 90s techno 🙂
  6. If a perfectionist offers to collaborate with you, send them to your therapist.
  7. I don’t want to talk to you while you’re drunk, high or on any kind of drugs. What makes you think I want to read your writing about it?
  8. Writing has nothing to do with “assuming the identity of a writer.” If anything, it might be contrary to assuming that identity.
  9. I know the story feels amazing in your head but it’s not doing anyone any good in there. Get it out, where it is less amazing but at least actually exists.
  10. Remember: you don’t have to do this.

Discord premiere of Burnt Portraits!

The Horrific Hope Film Festival has picked “Burnt Portraits” for a Discord premiere!

This works out great since there are people all over the world that I’d like to see it 😀

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet:

An insanely ambitious project, Burnt Portraits is a 99-min psychological horror film starring Sam Crichton and me.

Filmed over 10 days in one location, we recite like 17,000 words of dialogue. I sure don’t do things in halves hahaha…

What’s really cool is that Horrific Hope is a horror festival focusing on mental health, and I wrote/acted in this film to deal with my grief. Seems like there might be a Q&A also, so I’d be interested to discuss that further 😀

I’m coordinating a Saturday afternoon/evening (depending where you are in the world) in March, so I’ll keep you updated!

Latest Stavanger Filmmakers presentation: submitting creative work to publishers/festivals!

Here’s the latest presentation I gave at the Stavanger Filmmakers club!

I’d be interested to know what my fellow creatives think of this!

Too often, I think the process is lonely and filled with unnecessary self-blame and resentment.

By giving my perspective on this, I hope we can get on with our work with a little more confidence, I guess 🙂

Brand new Stavanger Filmmakers Club presentation!

Tom Montgomery, our resident soundtrack artist takes us through some of his favourite examples 🙂

Really interesting one! I particularly liked the off-the-cuff discussion of motivations behind making music at the end 🙂

What do you think? Please do subscribe if you haven’t already!

Thoughts on National Coming Out Day!

It was National Coming Out Day yesterday when I posted about Mental Health Day ahaha 😅

What the fuck, is it National Leo Themes Month or some shit? I can only type so fast!

And believe it or not, I’ve been reading loads about gay shame lately. And again, this is the kind of thing you mention and I know anyone reading this would be like, “That’s terrible! There should be no such thing”, but it might even be the natural outcome of living life in a society not set up to benefit you—or one in which the majority without even noticing imply that the way they live life is the best way simply because most people do it that way. Even without the epic weights of gay-targeting pandemics, criminalisation and stigma.

But anyway, before I get into it, I once saw in a review of a James Baldwin book, “Imagine what amazing things he could have written if he hadn’t had to dedicate so much time to the analysis of racism.” So that’s really what I struggle with: adequately voicing my dissent against homophobia while at the same time wanting to spend my time and energy on stuff that isn’t bullshit. I just can’t spend too much time on other people’s hatred. And a little wariness at sounding militant and putting people off spending any time with me at all—I don’t know if this is a real concern, but if it is, it certainly wouldn’t indicate that I live in an equal society if I was being judged on separate criteria from straight people, right? Maybe you’ve hardly thought about it. I know I try not to.

So anyway, quick-fire round (no pun intended): I should never have been in sex education classes where the teacher mentions that some pupils think all gay people should be shot. I should not have had that said to my face by someone else: “You know I used to think all gay people should just get shot. But I see now you can still have fun!” I mean, what the fuck? Would you like a list of types of people I would like to see shot? That list is empty. And I hardly like anyone!!

I should not have had people use the word “gay” to mean “broken” or “lame” used around me. When I came out, I shouldn’t have had it questioned? It was difficult enough bringing it up, and I hadn’t gotten it wrong, but what would it have mattered if I had? You think I would have been like, “Are you telling me I kissed all those boys for NOTHING?!” Hahaha… Except I didn’t even kiss any boys until I was like 17!! All that shame about my nature combined with stupid homophobia probably keeping others around me from coming out. Do you realise how much kissing I could have done otherwise? Shame on YOU!!

It’s easy to feel grateful to those who historically have fought for my rights, but nobody could feel thankful that they had to. Adults loving one another is beautiful and should only ever be promoted and celebrated in all its forms. As far as I can be bothered working out, I think it was okay for huge swathes of history before crusaders decided Christianity was the answer for everyone. Jesus is a major cock block, just sayin’…

Kiss men, women, non-binary and trans people—and just focus on the kissing while you’re doing it, right? Don’t be all like, “What does this mean about me? What shall I now call myself? What will others think?” Nobody should fucking care. From my experience, most people talk about the stakes of their life as if they’re much higher than they are. Nobody is watching, and if they are, they shouldn’t be. There has been far too little kissing going on. Worry about that!!

Oh and for all the time it took those around me to grow and accept gay people, I’d just like to point out that from the moment I met my cat, she didn’t care. She likes to sleep on Juan because he’s cosier. That’s her only observation. I don’t know what to make of this but it seemed relevant ☺️

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