"And now she could not bring herself to believe that the uneventful life she was leading was the happiness of which she had dreamed."
--Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
Below: Screen cap of an Orestes and the Fly editing moment on iMovie. (I was choosing a bit of Top Hat to insert.)
I bought my HD camcorder last August. After one year, my first film * is nearing completion. As of today, it's 8 minutes 58 seconds long. The credits could be almost as long as the movie, but at any rate, it's going to be under 10 minutes.
Of course, I wasn't working on the film continuously for a year--I spent the middle 7 months inert in gloom because I didn't want to bite the bullet and buy the computer I needed to edit. But I count that time too, because that was part of the whole arc, and part of what I learned:
If you need a tool to do a job, get that tool.
I've always lived on the cheap, so it barely even occurs to me that I could choose to go into debt. But there's a place where living simply can tip into deprivation, and that's a dangerous place. That's where living on the cheap becomes true poverty.
Obviously we don't always have a choice about this, but in my case, I did have a choice: it was fear that was holding me back. But I didn't really see that. Now I do.**
Mostly this project has been fun, if nerve wracking. But yesterday, bink spent about 6 hours trying to help me edit, and I was at my worst. There are some things I need to do alone, and the futzy stuff of editing is one of them. But I didn't know that either, so I was just a bitch.
(I'm sure you believe me, but if you don't, ask bink. Here she is, right, wearing protective eye-shields against my movie-editing venom.)
It's horrible to see oneself behaving badly. I think I've avoided doing all sorts of things that I sensed might show me that side of myself. But it's like taking a chance to get the right tool: if you can't risk it, you're stuck in the safe zone, where nothing much happens.
I thought I would write a long thoughtful post this Sunday morning, but I am too distracted. I don't think I can focus on writing until I'm settled with the movie. Along with the 7 months of inertia, that's another thing that won't show in the 8 min 58 sec--all the time I spend
1. staring into space
2. making a cut or an addition to the film
3. undoing the change
4. staring into space again
* I could claim Peeps Blow Up as my first film, but since bink edited the entire thing on her own, on her computer--and The Making Of too, I've always considered them more hers. Or at least ours. This one's mine. Mine, mine, mine. Even though bink and others helped a ton.
** Full disclosure: it was my dad who finally bought me the computer I needed this summer. But the lesson was the same: once I had the tool, I realized what a complete fool I'd been not to buy it on credit last October when I realized I needed it. I could have spent the winter working on projects instead of watching other people's. It scares me to take on debt--financial or emotional--yeah; but the growing realization that there's more sand in the bottom of the hourglass than in the top sure helps put it in perspective.