One of the things I had in mind when this blog began many moons ago was to inform the curious and the like-minded in the ways, my ways of orchestrating image in film. I am embarking on a journey that will lead me into they year of 2008, which may be my biggest year, at least in the scope of my accomplishments.
Aside from the completion of Solid
, due (hopefully) in ’08, the new feature film, several short films (Water from the Mountain
, the final introduction of This Way and That
and two more short works on Super 8), and possible music from yours truly, 2008 also marks a small milestone for one of my earlier accomplishments.
Next year will mark the five-year anniversary of my first short film, Adam and Yvette
. This film was made for mere pennies, eleven hundred pennies, which covered the expense of 8mm videotape, and one red carnation. It was shot, with much gratitude, at a local coffee house, and it involved several wonderful people whom I call friends. I wrote the script in a about a month, in the corner of the place where it was filmed, and I wrote it on a laptop word processor over many a cup of Moroccan mint tea.
I really tried to have fun with the script, and I feel that translated in the actual shoot and post-production process. We shot the footage over the course of…three weekends, if I remember correctly, and it only cost the life of one angel! Derick Snow worked with me in late afternoon and early evening, for several weeks, as we cut and paste and maneuvered scene after scene. Tony Romanello donated the gift of his music. Jes Lenee’, Aaron Kruger and Jessika York bestowed upon this creation a wonderful cast.
The reaction I get from strangers and critics alike is, “I’m glad you got your friends to act in your film”, and various references to “horrible acting” and “bad editing, directing”…whatever! Why are people fed up with Hollywood? Why are people bored so easy? Why do people lack the ability to look at substance instead of aesthetics?
I do not nor have I ever believed that my film(s) is/are the greatest, but I do know it is a good film…a really good film! Why? And why the nasty remarks? I will tell you.
I don’t like to conform, and why should I? That is both boring, and lifeless…like critics. There are simple things that do not need to be polished, and by the very act of polishing you eliminate the character of…a scene, a performance or a moment. I knew two things when I made those first steps toward movie magic: I had to do the best with what I had and could afford, and I had a story! The story propels you, guides you and, in that magical moment, you find your way. I could not afford to shut down a place of business to shoot a film, nor did I have a crew. I had lights, tripod and camera – no microphone apparatus aside from the camera’s built in microphone. I had customers in the coffee house. What do you do?
The problem I still observe in Oklahoma’s film community is the lack of action. I see it elsewhere in the World, as well. We are programmed to think that a preexisting set of parameters must be set in order to attain your objective – not so! I could have squandered time and resources hunting a camera and proper sound equipment, all of which was beyond my financial means, or I could do what so many talk about, and make my first film. I chose the latter.
So what to do? I thought about it, and decided to change my perspective. I wanted this film to be one part fly-on-the-wall, one part home movie. The sound reflects that. The sound is being recorded in the same manner as family taking holiday footage of their kids and loved ones. The images are almost voyeuristic, in a sense. In between it all is a poetic story, one that is unique and relevant at the same time.
It is said that the public is so absorbed in technology, fashion and pop culture icons to see beyond the clichés of modern media. I drew a picture with character, and a story. I chose real people who add something different to this film, and the public wants star power. You could not have told this story with professional actors. You could not have carried this story with the usual equipment. It would be seriously lacking in content.
I am proud to have done something different. I am proud to have worked with great people. Most people talk, and do nothing more, yet they find the motivation to criticize and offer their negativity. Still they cannot do, nor could they do the same. If I were to hand this script over to them, or to Hollywood, it would be butchered until it was unrecognizable. Then the public would be bored with it, once again.