When Most People See a Film

When most people see a documentary film, they don’t realize that the 90 minutes that they are watching is usually culled from literally hundreds of hours of film. That hundreds of hours of film means that thousands upon thousands of decisions had to be made about what went into the film and in what order.

I’ve been looking through some of my family footage to get a handle on how to move forward and I now feel like I have a huge weight on my chest. I’m feeling incredibly emotional and I’m not sure if it’s because of the loss of my father, seeing my children change, or the pressure to figure out how to move forward on this project.

I think it’s all of them, but right now I am feeling overwhelmed by not only the possibilities but also the responsibilities of the project. I’m also struggling with how to use myself. I don’t like being on camera, and I don’t really like the sound of my own voice- yet I feel like it needs voice-over to pull together all of the desperate ideas that I want to tie together. So, I am diving in and throwing things at the wall.

The footage that I was just looking at was when my mother, brother, sister, and I put my father’s ashes in the ocean a year and a half after his death. It was a really emotional moment (which is probably why I am feeling so emotional) – one thing I remembered that probably won’t find a way in to the film is what happened the following day.

We were loading up the car at the hotel to go back to my mom’s house. My wife, Suki, was bringing some things to the car when she noticed a sheet of paper scooting along the parking lot, blown about by the wind. She put a few things in the car and then noticed that it had landed near her foot. She picked it up and found that it was my father’s cremation certificate. We had thrown out the box of ashes in a trashcan on the beach the night before.

Back to work.

1 Comment
  • alana
    Posted at 17:52h, 08 August Reply


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