Monthly Archives: February 2012

Steps

For about the four hundred and fifth time, I am finally moving forward. It began before I attended the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (This is the final weekend.) However, the festival, its workshops and parties and mostly the films have inspired me to know that the leap my partner and I made several months back (rather, years back), was the right one. We are not ever going to fit into the corporate world and climb that mysterious ladder told in big-paycheck-fairytales. I am just trying to figure out why fear always seems to slide in and take the seat next to me and how do I tell him to shut up.

Ignoring him, I consider the  TO DO list,  what must be done, in what order, and by what date. At this stage the process is about how to get by with a zero budget until we have enough of a film product or script that we feel confident to start pushing for funds. I wish it were comforting, but it is not: developing a clear story line, a clear explanation to the question “What’s your story about?” is the cheapest thing to establish, but more difficult than coming up with funds to buy equipment and airline tickets.

I have more ideas than are worth pursuing I am sure — but our goal is to self produce both documentaries and narrative features (fiction).  I will produce three of the documentaries as shorts, all done locally, and made with relatively little money. (I am not flying to Africa anytime soon, or Iceland, which is where I would really like to go.)  A fourth documentary entails three cities and several subjects, venues and institutions we need to gain access to. As I ponder my plans and consider some of the things other filmmakers at the festival said about their subjects, the whys about how they came to make certain films with particular themes — I realize that I like to focus on the extraordinary in an ordinary person. This is my focus, always. I suspect because I am hoping to find that within myself.

Then there are my babies: my narrative feature-length scripts — still not where they need should be  – finished and polished. Contest deadlines loom and I will be out of my mind angry with myself if I don’t fulfill the promises I made. One of those promises is to find funding & investors then direct and produce the film within the year. (Can you hear the inflection of doubt? It sounds like a question mark.)  All hinges on the script.

Tonight the festival offers three films I do not want to miss, but this time I am bringing my  kids — a very risky decision. Most of the films show and discuss opinions and thoughts I doubt my kids are ready for, but I want them to see anyway. I want them to see the “event” of it all. The festival is a different world, a place where the watchers celebrate their curious, obsessive nature. If I do not become the quality of filmmaker I strive to be, perhaps one or more of my children will because I opened the door and bought them popcorn. Another possibility is that they will find a place in a corporate job that offers both money and personal satisfaction. Either way, or other ways I’ve not considered, they will be the “right” person as they answer their own question about what is extraordinary within.

Some of us are vagabonds by nature. Kicking Fear in the ass is the hard part.


Mingling Sucks

I am just not good at this mingling, networking, talking, socializing crap.  It’s hard.  I end up talking too much as an attempt to cover the long awkward silent moments.  Which, of course, makes it all the worse.

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I’m just getting started…

2-16-12

I slogged through my morning, worked my way to my computer and to the files of stories I must write before my self-imposed deadline arrives, and then, made the stupid mistake of answering a phone call from a number I did not recognize.

Disclaimer:  if the person (or persons related to the person) I am about to discuss happens to read this post, all I can say is — please forgive me.   You (or that woman) can talk about yesterday’s news like no one else I know.    Though tedious, (she) is so genuine with her concerns, worries, and alternating compliments, I defy anyone on the planet to just try shutting her down without feeling like a bad, bad dog.   She’s that sweet.

Sweetheart or not, it was two hours of my writing time gone like the proverbial wind.   After said phone call I felt the need to recover.   I very seriously considered taking a nap — even laid down on the futon briefly.  But then I remembered I had less than two hours remaining before I had to pick up my two youngest from school, which then made me remember last night’s mishap combining a broken bottle of maple syrup and my long-haired cat.  I had a few floors to wash, some bureaus to clean and sheets to launder.  The cat, however, was on her own.

I did my motherly duty of cleaning up as much of the stickiness that I could find.  I cleaned up other things too that I’d neglected for a while, and soon my time to write was completely kaput.  I felt worthless.  Like a bum.  I’ve got three separate books on film production started that I must finish reading,  several periodicals, and a stack of film scripts and accompanying films I’ve been trying to catch up on — and here it was, time to pick up kids, cook dinner and be the homework harpy.

But then I remembered the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival begins tomorrow.  I have time to buy a pass,  view several films this week, and squeeze in as many panel discussions as I am able.  The thought of it excites me and somehow redeems my loss of progress today. I have so much to learn and very little time to learn it.  I say this with a great big gulp:  I am determined to follow through with my plan to produce a short documentary before September.   Attending this event seems like a necessary step.

I did learn a few things today, though.  Let the answering machine do its job and as soon as it is possible, hire a maid.