19 Jun What Kind of Film Is It?
A note on what this blog is and is not.
This blog will not be polished. I will not spell check, and I probably won’t be doing a lot of refining of ideas (and a lot of I’s won’t be capitalized because the shift keys on my mac both broke off). Instead this will be a way to get some of my ideas out of my head- and help me kick start the process of editing these ideas into a coherent film. I have a broad yet defined sense of how the film will play out. I can see it as shapes, as groupings of ideas, as footage stitched together. I have a lot of films like that in my head- and it’s kind of a stretch to turn that stew into a moving river.
I haven’t ever made a film like the one I want to make. I have played around a lot with images, words and sounds, but not in a film like this. Most of the filmmaking that I have done has been pretty straight forward. At the same time I see this film as an extension of the work that I have done with photos and writing. At the time that I was a sperm donor I was in a very creative state. One of the most powerful things about my second job was that it gave me so much more time to be creative and I took advantage of that time. I wrote copiously in journals, I painted, I photographed, I played music, I walked the streets to simply walk the streets, I stayed up all night just to see the day come, and I stayed up all night to enjoy that special hour between 5 am and 6 am when the night people had gone to bed and the morning people hadn’t yet risen, I listened to music, I read, I drank, and I lived simply. I needed very little and I had very few responsibilities. I did not think too deeply of the future and I forgot my past. It was a pretty fantastic time.
At that time I was doing a lot of documenting of a segment of the underground music scene in NY, and I almost never went anywhere without a camera. I took pictures all the time and used these photos in letters and other projects- and I thought of them as materials for some project that was to be determined.
In all of the films that I have worked on I have always remained behind the camera. I have had some sort of personal connection to most of them, yet the films have been only tangentially personal.
I used to take a lot of photos of myself- documenting that I existed at a fixed point in time in some ways- I knew that a lot of this work would need to age to have value. Very few photos resonate immediately- they need the patina of age to give them weight. By patina I don’t mean scratches and brown spots- I mean the details of a time past- sometimes it’s simply the way the color looks- the colors that are used- the shape of the letters on a sign. these small details date and image and give it a deeper meaning.
One way that I survived on little money and little sleep was by being incredibly cheap. I lived on the 1.95 breakfast special, rice and beans, found furniture, cheap rent, and cheap beer.
Things started to shift a little bit when I started to date my future wife. She didn’t always want to rush to breakfast by 10am in order to save a dollar on the breakfast special, and she sometimes wanted to eat at a real restauraunt. She also expected me to show up by noon if I told her I was coming by at 11.
Things shifted even more when we moved in together. I had to become a bit more domesticated. When I started to date my future wife I stopped going to the lab- and began to work a bit more often. Sometimes I did photo jobs, sometimes I did production assistant work.
My fw (future wife) and I made a film together, we toured with that, we fought, we worked things out, I toured with my band, I toured with other bands, and at some point I had to get a job.
Having a steady job crushed what was left of my creative spirit. I had to learn to think in a totally different way. I only lasted at the job for about a year and a half. Since that time- which was 10 years ago- i haven’t had the same power to think creatively- through this project I want to try to bring back some of that creativity-
When my fw and I toured with our film we formed an improvisational band to play before the film. We had screened it enough times to know that we would go crazy simply watching the film over and over again. Our mantra at that point was “daring to suck”. We knew that if we didn’t take chances then we would never come up with anything incredible. I would love to find a way to rekindle this mantra- to take some chances- try out ideas with this film.
The first part of the film will be about the birth of my first daughter and our experiences with that.
Now I have to run and pick up that 7 year old.
And that’s the way this blog will roll.