Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Being Grateful

Earlier this week I scanned some photos taken in Vietnam by one of our cast members in the 1970s.  After I scanned the image, I spent some time on digital imaging to make it look a little better.  Within an hour, I had about 20 images scanned, cropped and edited.  As I closed Photoshop, I smiled and thought to myself, "Wow, I am so glad I studied graphic design and photography.  This could have taken a lot longer to accomplish otherwise."

There are moments like that throughout each week, where I do something quickly and almost effortlessly.  It has become such a wonderful feeling to be in familiar territory!  After the task is complete, I pause with gratitude and delight in actually knowing how to do something well.  It's a private moment, but one I relish because I've lived in such chaotic space for so long trying to figure out new things for Abandoned Allies.

Oh, how jealous I am of students studying film in school!  The lessons I'm learning daily while making Abandoned Allies are priceless, but it certainly would have been grand to know how to swim before jumping in the deep end as I did so willingly in 2008.

That's the thing, though.  You don't know how to swim without getting in the water, right?  (Surely there's a country song about that, or I'm quoting some piece of literature without realizing it.) 

The truth is, quite honestly, that making this film is one of the most challenging, rewarding and frustrating things I've ever tried to do in my entire life.  But if I can finish this one, then I can make the next one better.  And the next one better.  And the next one better.

This week, alone, has been incredibly productive.  For that I am also grateful.  Perhaps I'll save the rest of the list for a Thanksgiving blog post.  After all, it's right around the corner!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Script Writing

Writing this narrative script is one of the most difficult things I've had to do for Abandoned Allies. Words that typically flow easily for me just are not coming.  The words that do make it to the page feel contrived and questionable.  Why has writing this script been so challenging?

Currently I'm taking a break from it because I've been at it alllllll day long, for two days now, (no, make that months, and probably a whole year that I've been working on it).  I'm ready to pull my hair out.

Writing for this blog is a welcomed relief from the script.  But I'm desperate for sleep tonight so I have to make this a short post.

The narration feels incredibly important.  Perhaps I'm putting too much weight on it, and that's stifling the flow of writing?  I rarely get writers block, and I know that it's impossible to prevent mistakes.  You're just bound to make them as a first time filmmaker.  So, what's my deal?  I'm so frustrated right now.

We have a recording session set for next Tuesday.  I'm scheduled to send the script to a few trusted folks to be sure it's an accurate representation.

Translation: beautiful deadlines are forcing me to quit nitpicking, and finish the thing.  I love deadlines.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Let the Coworking Begin!

I'm coworking from Designbox to finish Abandoned Allies.
Today is my first day of coworking from Designbox (@DBRaleigh), and I'm thrilled to be here thanks to shovemedia.  Everyone has been so welcoming!

It really is a thrill to escape my little home studio and set up shop in a space like this one.  Most folks think that you should be able to work anywhere--and you can, for the most part--but a space like this changes the game.

Don't think your desk is important?  Watch this short documentary, which my friend Matthew Hayhurst (@mwhayhurstpointed out recently.

A desk is a very important thing.  Working in an environment that encourages creativity makes a drastic difference in the work you produce, especially when you're surrounded by other creative people.

For the past few months, my home office has been less than inspiring.  This is for a number of reasons too boring to write about, but let's just say that the way I had it set up leaves one aching for escape.  It was messy, cluttered and smelled a lot like my dog.  I worked on making it better this weekend, but it still needs some help.

Who knew my physical space could be so stifling?  It's not a bad space to work in, but it definitely left me blocked.  I woke up this morning feeling like a kid on Christmas Day, and I couldn't wait to get to the gift waiting for me.  It is such a gift to be at Designbox today, knowing I can keep working here for the next 30 days to finish Abandoned Allies.

Buckle up, folks.  It's going to be a wild ride.  Let the coworking begin!