Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blue King Brown

Over the last two months I've been doing the final shot of my film. Probably working on it for 2-4 hours per day, 4-6 days per week, while doing other paintings and stuff. It's an 1800 frame pan shot with over a dozen characters and more layers than I got dicks.

Last night I took a look at it and said "This is crap." It looked empty. I wasn't putting my heart into it, and it showed. It didn't match the rest of the film.

So I cracked a beer and sat on the couch and stared at the wall for about two hours, then went to bed and stared at the ceiling for another hour or so.

I stared at the ceiling for another hour this morning, then got out of bed and cut up the pan into four smaller shots with a slower, drifting camera. It's SO much better. In the long pan I had to make sure the whole thing was well-composed, and that there wasn't too much to look at in each frame. So now I can concentrate on giving these four shots a tight composition and a narrower focus. More meaning per second of film.

I looked at the last half of the film this morning, with the new end shots roughed in, and thought "This is it." Finally, this is the end of the film.

The creative process is such a bizarre thing. It's easy to think that I just wasted 2 months on a shot that is now thrown out. But on the other hand, I would never have picked out these four shots (that I really like) to represent the end of the film. More importantly, I am reminded that my heart has to be in it for the art to work. If I'm not engaged, it's going to be shit, so I have to stay conscious of that.

I'm not the type of person who tends to dawdle on projects. My philosophy is that it's better to work fast, finish a project, make mistakes, and apply what you've learned onto the next painting / film / whatever. You don't make a masterpiece by fretting over one thing for years and years. Concentrate on quantity, the quality will come with time.

For that reason, this film has threatened to break my spirit a number of times. I've been at this bastard for three or four years! It's been such a challenge, but I know I've learned a lot. I don't think I'll truly realize what this experience has taught me for a long time, but I expect that it will influence me for the rest of my life. In a good way.

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