Monday, October 4, 2010

The Roller Coaster of Filmmaking

This is going to be a good week.  I know it.

Last week was a tough one.  I struggled a lot, which is not something I usually admit publicly.  We're human, though, and the struggle is part of the story.  I feel like these struggles I have are so minor, and that it's poor form to admit that you're struggling instead of just shutting up and carrying on.  Keep a stiff upper lip, you know?  Whining about stuff rarely changes your situation.

While last week was a tough one in some regards, it was also really fun.  I got to see friends, enjoyed some delightful improv, watched Restrepo, and even spent the day at Kings Dominion with people I adore.  Saturday was especially therapeutic.

At Kings Dominion, we rode roller coasters all day.

At Kings Dominion, we rode roller coasters all day!  I love roller coasters!  The thrill, nervousness, and terror that comes with riding a roller coaster is relatively insane when you think about it.  Why are we intoxicated by such safe and scary adventures?  I'm probably addicted to the adrenaline rush. 

It's one of the things mentioned in Restrepo, actually.  One of the guys says something like, "Once you've been shot at, there's no high like it."  Now, I've never had anyone shoot at me (thankfully), but this year has taught me a bit about the psyche of a soldier returning from combat.  I can't fully understand it, but I can empathize with it. 

Our cast members talked about it a lot, both on camera and in the books they published.  A soldier's priorities--during combat--is the mission at hand, protecting your fellow soldiers, and keeping yourself alive so you can come home safely. 

The intensity of being in combat becomes standard.  The heightened awareness, intense danger, and consistent adrenaline rush becomes the way of life.  The peace of being at home presents few things close to the intensity of combat (even though they're grateful to have arrived home safely).  I think that's a bit of what Hurt Locker explored, too.  Soldiers start to feel like they're better at being in combat than being home.

There are so many tangential things like this that I feel compelled to explore, but our film isn't about that specifically.  It's about the U.S. Special Forces soldiers and their relationship to the Montagnard people, and how all of that relates to today. 

There are so many extras that we could include on a DVD.  I look forward to finishing the film and, hopefully, still sharing those extras because they are important parts of diving deeper into this story.  First things first, though.  Finishing the film.  Speaking of which...I've got work to do.  Talk atcha later, friends.

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