During the past few weeks I have found myself willing to share much less of my life online, for one reason or another. This means you've heard less from me about the progress of the film, and for that I am sorry. These past few weeks have come with some adjustments and delightful adventures in my personal life. They make for some great stories, many of which I will refrain from sharing here because a lady needs a certain level of privacy in her life, don'tcha think?
Once upon a time, I might have considered myself a social media evangelist. That hasn't changed too much, but I have retreated from so much of my social media activities. I rather miss it, but also feel quite lucky to have people like Alena Koch to manage the Abandoned Allies Twitter and Facebook accounts. It is a great help in keeping me focused on finishing the film.
Progress with the film continues to move forward, if ever so slowly. It is a test of patience, for sure. I find myself ready to sprint, when a slow and steady pace is required. A zero-dollar budget will make you a creative producer-director, but it doesn't allow you to move too quickly. As they say, "Money talks."
Nevertheless, we are moving forward and that's a great feeling. I've been putting the Super 8 film in place, and can hardly begin to describe how enamored I am with the footage because (a) it is free, (b) it was shot in Vietnam during the war, and (c) the subject matter is almost directly on target with what we need. More footage would be truly helpful, and I'll work in that direction once some other matters are put to rest.
Surry shot the Super 8 film in Vietnam while he served as a Green Beret. He handed it over to me in our first year of production, which started a grand (two-year long) adventure in getting it digitized. I'll forever be grateful to Skip Elsheimer of A/V Tech Geeks for helping us convert the film. It is one huge task to check off of the to do list.
Always seeking help with video editing, I am also grateful to Todd Tinkham for showing me a few tricks in FCP recently. I am getting the film in as good a shape as possible before Todd takes another look at it in the coming weeks. Having meetings like this one scheduled helps keep me motivated and moving forward. I'm a girl who likes deadlines. There are a few other private screening events to schedule with the team, and that will also keep me motivated while editing.
Some of my self-imposed deadlines have been missed, though, and this is incredibly painful for me. Some of these missed deadlines have been out of my own control. Some of them were fairly unreasonable, too. Don't read anything into these statements, though. This is all a learning process for me, and I simply want to document it so that the next attempt will be much better.
One of the things that attracts me to filmmaking is the team effort that's involved. You and your teammates learn to dance with one another over time. This is why, I think, filmmakers work on so many projects together. They've learned to communicate efficiently. They know and understand each other's personality quirks, unspoken expectations, and creative minds. They learn to work well together, and so they keep working together. In the end, they can say a lot with very little which helps them move faster or even take bigger risks because they trust each other. This is true in improvisation. This is likely to be true in the military. The experiences lead to trust, which leads to acts of collaboration, which can likely lead to big and fascinating results.
Filmmaking is a collaborative art form unlike any other, in my own opinion. I'm working with some of the most talented, passionate people I've ever met and that's absolutely wonderful; simultaneously, I recognize that people are motivated by financial rewards. I do hope that we can raise money for the next film in order to help it move along a bit faster.
I find myself very anxious at this point, ready to sprint toward the finish line so I can share the film with you. Patience. Patience. Sprinting through peanut butter will get you nowhere. It's better to take your time, do it right, and end up with a piece of work you're proud to share. Of course, the end is in sight. And I look forward to crossing the finish line.
More to come...