Sunday, August 23, 2009

One year, 8 min. 58 sec.

"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.


momo said...

Wow, you're editing!
I hear what you're saying about the right tool. I had to make a decision at the end of writing my PhD: take on some debt to buy a computer (back then, a lot of money) and finish in one year? or type it myself at the rate I was going and take three more years? I borrowed the money and it made a HUGE difference. I paid it back, too, but I had resisted taking on any debt for school until that point.

I'm glad you were able to acquire the tool you needed!

Fresca said...

I know: wow! I'm editing! Have been for a couple weeks, in fits and starts, but this is the homestretch!

I'm glad you know what I mean about tools. THey pay off.

Nancy said...

Love the pic of Bink! Those look like some effective shields. I hope they worked.

fresca said...

I believe the eye shields did work. Humor is almost always an effective shield.

deanna said...

This sounds so much like writing. The hard parts, the seeing oneself bitchy parts, the FUN parts. Whoo hoo; almost there! Yay.

bink said...

Actually that picture show my eyes bugging out because I'm stunned with how good the film looks, even in the raw footage.

Fresca said...

You are kind, bink.
(But it does look rather good, doesn't it.)