Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The 8mm Projector

About a week ago, Surry shared his 8mm footage and projector with me. I brought them both home, terribly excited to have my hands on some footage from Vietnam to use in our film about the Montagnards. But I was also incredibly nervous that I would do something clumsy and cause something to stop working (like make the brittle film break, for example).

Tuesday of last week, I sat down with the projector and carefully took it apart like an archaeologist not knowing how to operate it properly. I figured out how to finally get the cover off, get the plug out, and turn it on. Success! The light came on, and that familiar sound of a film projector was music to my ears.

Until the light went out. I tried turning it on again, but had no luck. The bulb was gone. Here's a really terrible picture I took with my Blackberry so I can find another one.

Since the bulb went out, I have been trying to figure out how to view the footage (short of looking at it by hand, but I'm nervous about messing it up). Several people within my communities have kindly offered advice, and are helping me figure it out. Yesterday I even found a company that will do the conversion to DVD for you. I'm bound and determined to view this footage without paying an arm and a leg to have it converted, though. The past few interviews required travel, and my credit cards are pretty hot right now.

It's quite easy to let something like this distract me from getting things completed. It's important to stay on track when you only have nights and weekends to work on a project like this, and especially since I'm easily distracted by challenges like this one. Thankfully, my full time job has helped me become an expert time manager. I can recognize when I'm focused on something that should not be such a high priority so I can get other things marked off my to do list. And at the top of that list is finishing the script.

The script!

Right now, for the upcoming month, I am trying to focus on the script. I want to use the transcripts of our 30+ hours of footage to create a script. Surry and I both think this will help us create a blueprint for our small army of volunteers because we have so much footage. That way, when we all sit down to work, we know that we're creating the same film. And it will also save us from creating one film, viewing it, and then deciding we want to do something totally different later. Yes, in order to make the best use of our volunteers' time, we are creating a script to use as a guideline for everyone involved on the project.

So, while I am focusing on that every day (reading, writing, taking notes, rewriting, editing, etc.), this little nagging thought about the 8mm film keeps floating to the surface. I am thinking that once the script is completed, and once the editors start working, I can then focus on it again.

Regardless, if anyone knows anything about this (how to find a new bulb, someone willing to convert it in exchange for film credits, etc.), I would be most grateful! My Twitter community is already sharing such great information with me, and I feel most thankful to have their help!