Friday, July 13, 2012

The Pace of Filmmaking

I like to jump in and get things going full speed ahead. So, more often than not, a slower pace is really tough on my creative process. Last month I welcomed a chance to go full speed ahead on a film. 

I participated in the Greensboro 48-Hour Film Project with friends. We jumped in. Our team started and finished a film in one weekend. It was glorious.

On the set of Love Struck, our submission to the Greensboro 48-Hour Film Project.
The 48-hour film project pace makes you work a certain way. You shoot only what you need since there's no time to edit out what you won't use. You work longer hours, since you only have one weekend to create and finish the film. If you're lucky you have a base of operations, where your crew of talented people collaborate and hustle.

The weekend was very different than how I have operated with Abandoned Allies. I learned a lot from it. I really enjoyed it, and I know I'll put those lessons towards my next film.

When it comes to Abandoned Allies--a feature-length, serious documentary about cultural differences, war, and foreign policy--the pace is very different. It has been a slow and steady pace: one of observation, learning, researching, conversing, earning trust, proving worth and honor-ability, and genuinely appreciating the world and the people in it. 

I have learned so much over these past few years, and I have grown up a lot because of this project. That's very good. I am eager to use what I've learned on new projects, so I can make those infinitely better than the last thing I worked. And constantly get better as a storyteller and filmmaker.

I'm now trying to now find a balance that allows me to use my creativity, but not reach burn out as much as I have while working on this film. I also want to have quality time with family and friends, to keep healthy relationships. I want to travel, build a lovely home, and have a family of my own. I want to do work that is this inspiring, educating, meaningful, and challenging. I want to make a dent my the universe with projects like this which, hopefully, challenge us all to be better neighbors and friends. But I also want to be that better neighbor friend, too.

We're now finished with the film, which means I have a new list of tasks in front of me. Namely, making the film available for people to see. So we're working on DVDs, online efforts, and live screening events. 

Just as I was getting used to these waters, we find ourselves in uncharted territory once again. It's good. I am anxious to share this labor of love.