Thursday, August 13, 2009

Talking It Up

Last night one of my friends confessed that she loves talking about the fact that I am making a movie. She says that she gets to live vicariously through me, which seems laughable that anyone would want to do such a thing. I loved her candor and smile as she told me that she seems cooler by association because I'm working on a film. Who knew?!

I share this in order to say that her excitement freed me to completely unleash my own enthusiasm about our project. I found myself dominating the conversation with details about the film and our schedule for finishing it. What would happen after we finished it: distribution, entry into film festivals, screening events. The list of volunteers who are helping me, and how talented they all are. Suddenly, we were all excited and laughing about the possibilities of the future. It was one of those moments, where you know that years from now you'll look back and smile when you remember being younger and surrounded by friends and unashamed laughter.

It has been so exciting to see the anticipation of others for the film. Every day I carry this anxiousness--wanting and needing to finish this film immediately so that we can share it with the world. I feel that it is important for so many reasons, and the sooner it is released, the sooner it can bring awareness to the Montagnards and how closely this history relates to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan today. It's a weight that I carry every moment of every day: looking at the bigger picture of producing the film, and how to tell this story so that it does justice to those that lived it.

When I see the excitement of others, like my friends last night, it rejuvenates and recharges me. That weight of responsibility is quiet for just a moment, and the light of what is happening shines on me for just a moment. And it is then that I have to pinch myself again to realize that all of this is real. That dreams actually do come true. That there is a place in the world where you can do what you love, and by doing what you love, you actually bring happiness to others in the world. And it is at that moment that you simultaneously realize how lucky you are, how fragile it all is, and how small you really are in the world.

Hollywood is an ongoing, never-ending roller coaster ride. It's filled with dips and dives. Twists and turns. And like every great roller coaster ride, it's chock full of things that might occassionally make you want to vomit. But all in all, if you can hold on to the feeling you have at the end when you're unbuckling the seat belt and heading to the cotton candy stand, you'll discover that it's a ride well worth taking. And one that will never disappoint. So, suit up fellow warriors, it's game time.
--Fran Harris, Crashing Hollywood

Monday, August 10, 2009

The First Rough Cut

A few weeks ago, I showed Surry the first few minutes of our edited film. It's a very rough cut: nothing but the interviewed edited together. What a delight it was to have something to show him! While he watched it, I got goosebumps. The powerful statements made by our cast carry such weight. I can only imagine the excitement I'll feel when I see the finished film!

Now, I know this project is close to me, but I have to tell you that it is going to be great. Just those first few minutes of edited footage proove to me, once again, that what we have on our hands is going to be amazing. It's relative to today, and an important subject matter.

Matt keeps coming over to edit. Surry keeps me motivated. And the rest of our volunteers stand waiting and ready to work when we get the director's cut finalized. We're moving along slowly, but steadily. Every day that passes, I grow more and more anxious to wrap the project so that we can share it with the world!