Monday, March 19, 2007

Time-Warp



So as I try and figure out what to do next I’ve been looking back at some of my old film projects from film school and even beyond. I’ve been digitizing them and taking a bit of the rough elements out of them. I guess I’m archiving for posterity. Maybe my boys will get a kick out of seeing what the old man was doing in his youth.

But wait you’re not that old? I’m in my early 40’s and there’s still some fire down below. Isn’t there? I’ll confess age is only a number, but someone who says that is ignoring the cold hard fact that you’re no longer in your youth. You’re idealism is a bit tainted, and you see things in a different light. So it gets a little harder. Not only with you’re time management, but also with your priorities. Someone who says children don’t change things is totally in denial and does not know what he or she is talking about.

No I’m not one of those people who talk about children being first, and God bless the children. Heck! God bless everybody is my mantra. From the addict in the ally to the suburban housewife taking care of 5 children to the old couple growing old together in a society that only values youth. We’re all blessed and cursed, but when one watches one’s own children grow up before their very eyes one understands that time is fleeting, and all you have is now.

The above post is of my final film from film school. It’s over twenty years old, believe it or not. I even cut the negative for it, and vowed NEVER to do that again. I play the guard in it, and my buddy Jim Law plays the fugitive. It’s well shot, and not badly done, but I was devastated when I read that George Lucas had done the same kind of thing, and he called it “Freiheit” which is German for Freedom. When I read this I showed it to my professor, and she convinced me to finish it nonetheless. She said “that no idea is that original”, and that advice is so true to even this day. I finally got to see Lucas’ version on the THX1138 DVD many years later, and I must say I like mine better (~smirk).

There’s a lot I learned on making the film. I shot it on Double-X negative film, and I loved some of the images it gave me. It was shot in a nearby park in Queens, New York. A fellow Brooklyn College film student who was from Japan commented that it looked like some of Kurosawa’s films. Being a great admirer of Kurosawa I enjoyed the compliment, but never did I see it for myself. My partner in crime a young woman by the name of Diane made sure to keep me honest. She would dirty the cloths, or level the camera if I forgot to do so, or even line up shots for me. Right there was a lesson in having a good crew. They’ll always make you look good if you treat them well, and allow them to help you.

The sound track was the same guy I used for “Deadly Obsessions”. Peter came in and scored the film in about two to three hours while I played it on the six plate editing flatbed at school. When I saw it projected I really felt a wave of satisfaction come over me. I so wanted to do that with a feature and sixteen years later I did when I saw “Deadly Obsessions” screen at Colorlab.

The landscape has so much changed since then. Digital video and high definition is littering the landscape. Smaller camera’s, non-linear editing is the norm, and the DIY theme runs rampant in our society. We have high school students working on features now, and Francis Ford Coppola’s statement that a “farm girl from Iowa will be the next great artist” isn’t too far from the truth. Maybe by looking back I’ll get inspired enough to do something now. Just one more way that maybe I can get my ass in gear, and stop the apathy and start the renaissance, or at least an inspiring idea.

No comments: