Monday, February 28, 2005

Thousands of Things

It's late, the Oscars were just on, and I'm in a filmmaking sorta mood. But before we begin with the Blasto update, I've gotta give my take on the Oscars.

It's a crime that The Incredibles wasn't nominated for much more than it was. Ray was nominated for much more than it deserved. Jamie Foxx deservedly won and gave the best acceptance speech I've ever heard. Chris Rock is funny, but he's no Oscar host. The accepting an Oscar at your seat is uncomfortable. And Penelope Cruz is so beautiful she makes angels, babies, and sunsets look ugly. Heck, she even made Selma Hayek look average. Now onto Blasto.

Good news: We're only days away from a finished film. Does that mean the film will be finished in the next few days? No, it just means I only need a few more days of full film work to complete it. Tomorrow will be one of those days.

Bad news: These last days are really tough.

It really boils down to the shear amount of time I've been working on this. And since I've been working on it for so long I've noticed a few things:

Film freezes moments in time. Acting, directing, lighting, dialogue, all of it is just there forever. You can make alterations here and there, but you can't really change it. The film is the same as the one I wrote, shot, and have been editing. I on the other hand am not. I write better, act better, direct better, light better than I did on this project and the thing's not even done. Which on one hand is great because that's why I did it, to learn and get better. But on the other hand it sucks because I want it to be better.

Keep working even if you think it sucks. I go through days and nights when I think the movie is gonna blow people away, just by the product we were able to create from the resources we had. There are other nights when I'm ashamed to even be associated with the thing. So the movie probably isn't as good as I sometimes feel it is, but I know it's not as bad as I sometimes feel it is.

I don't know what I'm looking at sometimes. The best analogy I have for how I feel about this whole thing is a magic eye. It's like your looking at this piece of crap in a frame and suddenly there's a T-Rex jumping out at you. Or maybe a sailboat. (I've never once been able to actually see a magic eye by the way. I just cross my eyes and lie and say "Oh yeah, hey there's Bugs Bunny.") And it takes some time and concentration to see the hidden image, so they tell me. Some people have this uncanny gift and they just happen to be walking past one in the mall and BAM, there's a 3D palm tree. Directing is being able to look at all this stuff and see the great story hidden in there. But if you look too long or too hard suddenly it's gone and all you can see is the all that spiral crap. That's where I'm at with the film. I feel like I've been looking at the same stuff so hard for so long and I'm having a tough time making sense of it all. This past week and the next few days are hard work because I'm looking at scenes that I have to make a little better, and I'm getting so distracted, and end up doing nothing, not out of laziness, but quite frankly, I'm just not sure how.

Mama Lamb gave me this postcard with a quote from a famous producer that nails it all. "Thousands and thousands of details go into the making of a film. It is the sum total of all these things that either makes a great picture or destroys it." And sometimes you get so overwhelmed by the thousands of details that you can't even focus on just one. This entire project has been taking thousands of details and making them as good as you possibly can with what you have and who you are right then and there. And tomorrow I'll try it with a few more.

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