Fumbling, But Hopeful

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”

-Sylvia Plath

kraut

Currently: sauerkraut and wheat bread loaves.

I’m beginning to see how I only write in this blog when I am longing in some way or another.  Ugh.

Days slip by.  Hoping, always hoping.  And avoiding.  And clenching – grinding my teeth, I feel the edges rounding down.  Bad, bad, bad.

I want everything.  It’s deeply troublesome most of the time.  But when I’m high on coffee it’s the best thing ever.  I can do it alllll!!!

Anyway.  I’m pushing myself in some ways lately, and in others I’ve been running in the complete opposite direction.

I’m pushing myself to branch out into LA.  It feels good.  Going to auditions, meeting up with friends – some of them so dear and lovely that I can’t believe I’ve waited so long – , seeking out new places and film events.  It’s gratifying to stretch.  It’s hard, but it gives me a high now and then.

The next thing to do is start looking like a professional (dammit).  Fix up the new headshots and have them at the ready.  Get business cards (wha?!).  Considering getting a trendy Squarespace site for SilverLeafFilms  (or would it make sense to just buy a nicer theme??  I’m a fool when it comes to the Internet…see I capitalized it).

I’m filling my head with good things – reading Great Expectations and watching movies with James Cagney and Greta Garbo.  I’m singing along to Whiskeytown and Slaid Cleaves (and wishing I connected to my own generation better).

And yet – I’ve been avoiding the biggest, most important things.  Editing and preparing for another Indiegogo.  It’s just….it’s fucking torturous.  There, I said it.  Or maybe it’s just getting into it that’s hard.  I’ve talked about it before, seeing all my mistakes on this movie is just godawful.  And that Indiegogo last year….it just about did me in.  I need to trust that we’ll be okay when we launch it  next month.  There are enough people who got excited about this movie last year – they’ll help, I hope?  We’ll find an even bigger audience now that we’ve actually made the thing.

So, this holiday weekend, I’m facing it.  It’s time to edit, time to get going on the film website, the newsletter, all of it.

And yet, if I could meander, just a little while, play some guitar, spend a morning painting, go to a lovely cafe with Charles Dickens….I think I’ll make it through.

God, what a rambling post.  But there you have it.  That’s how things are these days.  Fumbling, but hopeful.

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Glad That’s Over

photo (96)

Well.  The rough cut is done.  It’s a mess.  It’s rough.  But I got through.  I spent this last month killing myself on this damn movie.  Was it worth it?  I don’t know.  I got sick regularly from staring at the screen for so long and often found myself lying on the floor of my apartment, hopeless with a piercing headache and a stomach in knots.  I routinely went from euphoria to complete and utter hatred for this film.  (Confession: I still do)

The movie right now is at two hours and six minutes.  Yikes.  I need it at about an hour and 45, tops really.  Less though, please let it be less.  We’ve loaded sound for about one third.  There are two fantastic music sequences right now, well, really three if you count the wedding.  The color is all over the fucking place and needs major work.  But – we made a rough cut.  And now I’m taking a couple weeks off (heading to the WI Film Fest in Madison on Wednesday).

And that goal of submitting to IFP?  Sad news is we didn’t do it.  Happy news is – that deadline got us to the end of a rough cut.  I never would have pushed us so far had I not been aiming at that submission.  In the end, as in yesterday, the due date, we had a million problems (we’d been working on it for days) trying to get the film down to around 1 GB to put onto Vimeo.  We just don’t know what we’re doing with something so big.  We got it down to a little over 5, but then we started losing major quality and it looked awful.  It’s a learning curve.

And truth be told, all day yesterday (and throughout this month), I’ve had a sneaking feeling that we need to stay in LA.  I understand that IFP would have been life changing, but we would need serious help getting to NYC for three separate trips – and when we run our next Indiegogo we’re gonna need all that money just to help us with Post.

And, honestly, I don’t want to keep leaving LA.  Already I’m going to leave for a couple weeks this summer so I can say goodbye to my family’s cottage (where we filmed June).  But I want to be here.  (I mean, I don’t really – all afternoon yesterday Chris and I were fantasizing about moving to Colorado, but anyhoo.)  I want to immerse myself in the acting business and the filmmakers all around us.  God damn, I want to do a play so badly.  And I want to find mentors HERE.  (I don’t have a community here yet and it’s so so painful, I can hardly take it.  That’s what you get when you leave all the time.  I made tons of awesome friends in Door County while filming, but…guess what?  I live here, so I don’t see any of them anymore, and LA is as lonesome as ever.  No more of that.)

Whew.  Anyway.  Cut to the chase – the rough cut is done and now I’m moving forward with my life.  Which means – acting and writing are back in focus.  I have a new script I’m working on.  I’m on a mission to read a play a week and a script a week.  I’m studying the business of acting.  I’ve created deadlines for myself to get new headshots and to audit some classes (hoping to save up for a class this fall) and to start getting involved in Film Independent and getting to more film festivals and events, etc.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep editing for about 2-3 hours a day.  I’m much better with this kind of work mixed into a full day of other activities.  I’m not a “lock yourself up until you finish” kind of person.  I used to think that writer’s retreats sounded amazing – but no way.  I could never ever do that, just hang out in a cabin and write.  I would write for two hours TOPS and the rest of the day I’d go hiking and read and watch movies on my laptop.  I’m a moderation all the way kind of person.

The truth is, this last month was more than draining because of the work involved – it drained my soul.  I sound like a high maintenance artist, but I need beauty.  I need it or I die.  I need time to read poetry, to paint, to meander with literature, to play guitar, to write, to cook elaborate meals, everything.  I am not an editor.  I know what I want in this movie, but this nitpicking technical work is not me.

And now that I can relegate it to a few hours a day, I can’t tell you how free I feel.  Space.  Yes.

And I promise to write here more now that my life has been returned to me.  Later.