Sunday, November 2, 2008

Things happening in my filmmaker's world....

So, I'm sitting here at the second and last day of HD Expo, where Filmmakers Alliance has a booth and where things have slowed down dramatically. So, I have a little time on my hands to catch up on my stuff. But why do that when I can write a blog and catch YOU GUYS up on my stuff?

Surrounded by so much amazing technology, I can never help but think about how little all of it means if it isn't servicing amazing creativity. I went to the first HD Expo many years ago and it really has evolved nicely....and professionally. It's a really nice trade show, especially for tech heads. But I'm not a tech head. Although I'm deeply impressed by all of this cool stuff, I'm not at all interested in the details of how they work. Can this stuff dependably create the images I'd like to create without causing a post-production nightmare? If yes, great. I'm satisfied. Don't need to know anymore than that. If I didn't have sponsors to chat up, I'd be long gone. But it is indeed a nice show for tech heads.


However, it is a welcome break from the mental intensity I created for myself over the last several weeks. I had to give a HUGE presentation to a HUGE foundation as the last step in receiving support from them for the global launch of Filmmakers Alliance. In relation to what was at stake, it was by far the hugest presentation of my (or FA's) life. And, unfortunately, I held that awareness in my head for a month straight. Luckily, it motivated me to prepare obsessively. I created the presentation, revised it, combed through details, revised some more, researched ideas, revised it more, showed it to people, revised more, wrote a script for it, rehearsed it 5,193 times (generating just as many versions of the script) and fretted that I should have done it 6,000 times. With a lot of great feedback from people, I arrived in front of the Board of Trustees YESTERDAY with all of it locked inside of me....and, finally, it had to come out.

Did I choke? No. Actually, I think I kinda nailed it. Doesn't mean the money is in our hands, but I did my part, I believe. Of course it is only their opinion that matters in terms of receiving the grant, but my opinion matters in terms of me not feeling like an abject failure. And today, I feel quite the opposite. I wasn't aware how much I'd twisted up my insides about this thing until it was over. And now that they are untwisting, I feel like I'm taking my first breaths in almost a month. And everything smells and tastes good.

And what if I sucked? I have before. I've met with sponsors and investors and other people who could significantly impact my life and/or our organization. And, at times, I sucked badly. I was emotionally distracted or unprepared or ate something that didn't agree with me....or all of the above. Did it make me less of a person? Did it destroy my confidence? No. Actually, those moments always tend to make me more determined.

So why did I have such a reaction to this presentation? Well, partially, it was indeed the size of what's at stake. Also, the reputation/prestige of the foundation. Also, the person who set up the presentation was counting on me to prove I belonged in the room. Well, she never actually conveyed that energy to me - she is very sweet, smart and considerate. I created that thought myself - but it kinda makes sense, doesn't it? This was a big opportunity that the foundation simply doesn't have the time to just hand out like candy. But we were given the opportunity and we were given it mostly on a her faith in me and what we're doing. Well, true or not, I used that thought to put a lot of pressure on myself to be equal to her faith. I'm certain there are probably deeper psychological issues at play that allowed me to torture myself about it for month, but I'm not inclined to investigate that in this particular forum. It is important, however, for us filmmakers to privately check in with ourselves in regard to how we behave when key connections and/or opportunities are presented to us.

Finally, the timing of the presentation added to the intensity of things. There's been lots of change, both for FA and for me personally, over the last couple of years and this support would provide a dynamic sense of focus...and purpose. It really is time for both me and FA to move to the next level in the work we do together and I'm eager to make that happen.

But it's out of my hands, now. And I'm fine with that. In the meantime, I will busy myself with other projects, such as writing my new feature "Hurricane Jane", helping finish up Kerry Prior's "The Revenant", continuing to self-distribute "The Dogwalker" and support the myriad of other projects with which I'm involved to one degree or another.

But one really cool project I'm excited about is Lauren Bon's "Silver and Water" - which enters its second phase of shooting in a little over a week. I'm the producer, of this unique, amazing and ambitious project...well, sort of. The project doesn't follow traditional filmmaking paradigms. It is very fluid and organic and I'm enjoying that. Lauren is an extremely intelligent, talented and accomplished artist who works in many different mediums and has now turned her attention to an art form, or course. Her work tends to be related to cultural, environmental or social impact issues. Naturally, this pleases me immensely. Through her, the project is a marriage of aesthetic ambition and social impact. I've committed myself recently to only being involved with films that aspire to at least one or the other. A project that aspires to both in one film couldn't make me happier.

Anyway, I'm on a post-presentation high, so I can't write anymore. I'm going to go work out....or work on my other stuff...or fix my roof....or wash my car....or re-landscape my backyard.....or just lay in it and smell the flowers.....

1 comment: