Monday, December 28, 2009

Everything is not interesting

To the Buddhist, I guess, everything is interesting.  And to a filmmaker, I think maybe that's true too.  You can look at footage of a handyman and his watering can, and before long you're William Carlos Williams in your mind, making poetry out of the tiny.  The watering can is the endless source of life, the water is God's blood, and the man -- hell, the man is me, the man is you.

But let's get real: as terrific as that attitude can be, in school especially, it can lead to a heck of a lot of problems.  And sometimes I wish I'd been born with a little less of that "wonderful, childlike capacity" to find entertainment and fascination in the smallest, most mundane of human interactions.

Because guess what?  When we're making things for an actual paying audience, we better put on that 'easily bored' hat, or two things happen:

1) We don't get our projects off the ground, because they bore the people with the ability to fund them;


2) We take forever to make our things.

I was stuck for most of the day doing a dangerous dance with #2 -- at work on a potentially solid commercial project about which I really can't say much other than it's an observational documentary series with an amazing setting and some terrific characters. 

It's the kind of project where if I had thirty-five minutes of material to work with, I would make a two minute reel in a day and be thrilled with the end result.  Instead, I have about twelve hours of material with which to work.  The challenge is to watch it with ruthless eyes.

But it's hard.  Because everything seems interesting.

Except it isn't.

Decisions, decisions...

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