Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Time to kick the tires, and light the fires!

What is he talking about? I guess that's what your saying about now. Actually it was a line from "Independence Day" that Harry Connick Jr. says to Will Smith. Hey since I'm such a cinephile you know a movie quote was the only way I could express myself. Okay buddy I got the line, but what do you mean by it?

Simple. I need to make a film. What film?, and what type of film I can only surmise would be a documentary of sorts. Who of you ask? Well I figured I start with my dad. I've been obsessed about his life since he became sick, and then passed away. Dad wasn't the most talkative person around, and he was pretty obstinate, but he was dad and we loved him. So what has this got to do about film making?

Dad would say if you're a filmmaker "make me a film". It's that simple, and since my resources are stretched at the moment I figured I better do something that was a bit personal. I have been writing on and off about a man who suffers from Alzheimer's and who in his declining years goes through some life changing events. Yes I based that man on my father, and our relationship. But sometimes I get stuck. There are gaps in my dad's history that I know little about, and even my mom knows little. My father's generation wasn't the most talkative, and a lot of history goes down the drain, yet it is a part of you. After all I owe my mom & dad my life. It's amazing to me how two individuals came together and feel in love, and ultimately spawned yours truly. I mean all that could have gone wrong, and all the circumstances it took for two people to meet can be quite revealing. Why, when, and how are all questions that we should know. Remember action speaks louder then words, and what your parents did speaks volumes on who you are.

Not that I'm unique. I think in some ways we all have interesting stories to tell that get lost to time. This is my way of capturing that time. There is so much to know and do, and yet it starts with setting up a camera and pressing record. Why do we make it so complicated? When I was younger I made films almost every other week-end. It was just as hard if not harder back then. I mean did you ever edit super-8 footage. It was like tackling spaghetti, and let's not forget about how editing sound was a bit tricky always cutting ahead of the picture because the sound was ahead of the image.
The trick is how do I go about getting Dad's history down on tape when he isn't here to tell me about it? I am fortunate enough to have audio tapes of him talking to his sister in Germany. I've been trying to find a reel to reel tape player that plays these tapes. They are special because on one channel is my dad talking, and on the other is him talking in reverse. You see my dad recorded on one side of the tape, and at the end he would flip it over and record on the other half of the tape. Playing one channel at a time isn't a problem it's also finding a tape player that plays the tape back at the right speed it was recorded at which I'm finding difficulty in. I have methods of trying to retrieve the audio, but it is time consuming. In the meanwhile I need to talk to people who knew him, and record them. If anyone knows of a better method out there to help me with my audio tape problem please let me know. I'd be eternally grateful.

I promised myself I would do something worthwhile, and so this is it. I'm also writing other stories as well, but those stories aren't ready yet. So I'm putting it down here on the web for everyone to see. That way there are no excuses. Maybe if I slack off there will be a few of you to remind me about this project. In other words I need other people to light that fire under my ass.

I know the excuses. No money, and no time, but those are excuses. The best work, and the best art is made when an artist is pushed to the wall. When he or she has no alternative but to create. That's when the rubber meets the road, and that's when you know your either a filmmaker or a one trick pony.

I'm four posts away from 300 posts for this blog. I'd like to make these a bit special, so I'll try and go over how "Deadly Obsessions" was pulled off. I have some casting videos I did, and you can see how and why I cast the people I did. I'll also post the making of my little documentary here, and try and be a bit more transparent about the film making process. Like I said it's time to light the fires.

I have some other projects I'd like to do, but they need to be more fleshed out. There is a lot of interesting people doing some interesting things out there. I think the time for excuses for me is at an end. I either need to move forward, or stop this dreaming, and that's something I really can't do. After all a man with no dreams is a man who is living half a life, so I'll Catch you all later. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Pete Bauer said...

Yeah, once the creative itch starts to grow, it's hard to ignore it.

The film inspired by your father seems like a great idea! Keep us informed as to your progress.

Oh, and Super 8? Not easy. I never shot with sound, but fumbling around with reels of 3 minute Super 8 footage was never fun.