Monday, June 7, 2010
A Pearl Revealed
Ok, I had to share this with you. As I'm driving home I go into one of my good meditative states and I'm feeling happy because something I created made someone laugh. Then that caused me to have a "This is your life!" moment about what experience had brought me to this point creatively.
Here's the Reader's Digest version. At the end of 2007, I was approached by a former colleague and friend. He had somehow latched on to some money guy in Utah and wanted to make a documentary that followed the Hillary Clinton campaign around before and up to her presumed election. He offered me the opportunity to direct it. And of course I said yes. I had just finished working my a** off on another challenging indie picture with shaky money and drama galore, so I was ready to jump into this. As we discussed it I began shaping it and making it mine. I wanted to explore how women, across the country, felt about power at this zenith period in time when we were fully expecting to have the first woman president. That's heady stuff. And as secretly afraid as I was to take this challenge on, I knew I could do it and that it could be really cool.
There was much talk about buying a winnebago filled with gadgets and having a driver. But even as the production package kept getting downgraded, I became more determined to do it no matter what. When we purchased the camera package and the Macbook Pro it was surreal... I know my way around a film set. I have an eye for setting up shots and good editing instincts but I had never done any of those things first hand. I had overseen. But when you are first confronted with equipment like that...the shit gets real, as they say. Like the first time I held a gun. So off we went on our grand adventure for what was supposed to be eight months. We got some amazing stuff on our first leg.
But in February the unexpected happened. Obama. Suddenly our investor didn't think it was such a slam dunk anymore. He and eventually my "friend" both wanted to pull the plug if Hillary didn't get the candidacy. It didn't end well. They owed me money but I had the equipment and the computer and all of the footage. At the time I was very discouraged and thinking "there goes my Sisyphean boulder again". But I realized this evening that they gave me a fantastic gift. Aside from the obvious monetary value. By ending up with that equipment and this computer, I was given the tools to spread my creative wings. Like I said, I had never been hands on with my creativity. I still had the studio mentality because that's where I started. So I never acknowledged the artist in me. But that forces you to be dependent on others to realize your vision...
I had to sell the bigger cameras and the equipment but ended up with a sweet little HD camera and my awesome MAC. Gradually I started really getting into working with imovie and Final Cut Pro and creating and shooting little videos for my one woman show and a bunch of other projects. And each time I'd be pushing myself to stretch further, learn more about these powerful tools at my fingertips! I'm eager to learn more and be able to express my vision in a visual medium as opposed to only on the pages of a script. I can spend endless hours editing or creating podcasts and websites. I never thought I'd be that person and now it seems as though that's who I was all along.
So, I recognize the gift. The pearl in the oyster, if you will. Thanks!