Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Trials and tribulations: an afternoon in Muskogee.

So I took a day off from work, actually planned time off, for my films. That's what it is all about...not figures or orders or meetings - it's about life, and dismissing the things that try to get in the way of art and breath and the kiss of mischievous faeries! I drive...

I acquire tools needed and I drive to the aesthetically challenged town of Muskogee, where casting agencies like to photograph naked young women rather than cast them into movies. This is where Bret, my editor and friend, resides. I arrive at his domicile late, of course, and I find the garage open and the computer asleep. We try to acquaint ourselves as the computer opens its digital eyes and awaits our commands.

The reason we are here? My second film, "The Lightswitch Fades" needs to be copied. I also need master copies for future duplication requirements. Then there is the alternate version of the film, which will be revealed at a later time. The first film, "Adam and Yvette", has yet to see the light of day in DVD format. A master of this film must be made as well, in addition to multiple copies.

Our morning goes well. "Lightswitch" has been copied successfully and we are ready to move on. At a future point in time, I will explain in greater detail the hardships and the learning experience of this film, and the first; for now, I will explain a different aspect of the filmmaking process.

Many will tell you that everything has to be a certain way, or that there is only one way to do this certain thing. There are those who adhere to the ideals of others and not their own. And then there are those who plunder through without aim or a care. I like to be somewhere in the middle with a focus on my own footing!

I believe that there should be research or foreknowledge, and at the same time, it should be disregarded. Point in case is the editing of my films. The experience gained is immeasurable and I believe that diving straight into the fire was the best choice. Some amount of experience was there; we are, after all, passionate about our work!

They say you should not edit your own work, or you should try to waste time on crappy films that you can watch yourself...or you can waste even more time and money on schools that lead you nowhere or, worse yet, seminars that scam the not so wise out of their hard-earned money. Why not make a film?

If it is crap, then so it must be! On the other hand, we find my other point...patience! If you are in a hurry to make a film, then your work will probably display your haste. I think we waste too much time on what others think that we should do...make the bloody film already!

It has taken several months of frustration, conflicting schedules and late nights to complete the editing of my second film. We find so many glitches and snags that it is a test to our dedication. Still, we survive. Today, the master is on DVD, and copies are in mailers bound for festivals across the world.

"Adam and Yvette" will receive the same treatment. It was a rocky afternoon, as we discovered defects in the video capture and the tape itself. Bret's skill as an editor saved the footage, and we now have a finished avi that awaits the burning process. As I type, a newly rendered copy will be in the drive with a dashing and colorful 1930's visual style! After my approval, the copies will be complete.

All it takes is patience, commitment and a deaf ear to everyone that wants to tell you how to do it. We are all different and there is more than one way to do anything! Many people talk about things they have not done, and those with accomplishments often forget the humility involved in the task. Be true to your eye!

If any of this fails to make a proper and cohesive thought, then just remember that I am tired, it is late, and it is not my fault. Good night.

Onto the next adventure!


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