Thursday, January 10, 2008

Missing the innocence.

Many years ago when I first decided, "I want to direct movies!", I had a lot of naivete, a lot of hopes and big dreams. It came from a place of innocence. I thought anything was possible. And it was. I made a feature film, cicadas. Done and done.

I remember when New Line and Miramax called wanting screeners of cicadas after winning some awards. I thought "Oh my god! Oh my god! I've made it! I've arrived! They're calling ME!" Not realizing that New Line and Miramax called everyone for screeners. Sigh.

So then I thought "I'm on a roll", the next film would be a breeze. Financiers, production companies would be begging to work with me. Well, not begging, but excited to work with me. But that notion was fleeting. Not many folks really knocked down my door, much less tapped softly.

Then came time to get the next film off the ground. I thought, I'll just contact INSERT BELOVED PRODUCER OR PRODUCTION COMPANY HERE by phone and see if they want to work with me. And I did. I found the ones I loved and respected. Before calling, I would picture it in my head like how they tell you to do in those self help books. I remember calling Scott Macaulay's office while standing on a large rock in Central Park and chatting with him briefly. I just picked up the phone and dialed his number. Easy. Was he interested in this little film I had? Nope not this time around. But damnit I called him. I didn't realize that there might be etiquette or a protocol to getting in touch with people like Scott (who I've since met and was a great advisor to JOB). But that's beside the point. I felt like I wasn't limited. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to do this, or talk to this person or approach that one. I just had faith in people, filmmakers, people who loved movies that they'd want to help out. I love to help people out. I love to connect people. I love finding what someone needs and seeing if I can help find that piece of the puzzle.

So yeah. I want to recapture that innocence, that feeling that I can take on the world. That idea that I can do anything. I've lost a little bit of it lately. I'll think about something or get an idea ... "I'll call Kate Winslet's people!" and then stop myself from acting on it. "Oh, that's silliness. Why in the world would Kate Winslet want to work on my silly little spider movie?". I don't know. Cause I'm nice. Cause it's cool. Cause it's fun making movies together.


ryan said...

I started smiling to myself reading this post, remembering those days long ago when I felt the same as you did. For some reason, I just took for granted that it would be easy, that everyone was really nice and would talk to you and would be as excited about your project as you were.

I remember when I talked to Marcus Hu at Strand Releasing and he told me to send him my movie I was so excited! I thought, "THis is it! He's going to love it; it's right up Strand's ally!"

Of course when I never heard back and my follow-up phone calls went nowhere, I was totally baffled. As I also was when someone told me Killer Films loved my teen-angst script that I got to them. and yet, I couldn't get anyone on the phone....

I think this industry requires a lot of self-deception in order for a person to survive, but that's not totally bad. I guess I just didn't have the resilience for it like you do. Or that's it's just not what I'm meant to do, which is what I prefer to think.

But you've made great strides. I'm proud of you.

Kat Candler said...

yeah, i kind of wish i could erase all of the real life stuff i know and go back to that place of not knowing anything. just dreaming a lot.

i'm headed on a walk now to go listen to music and day dream about fun times on a set and how to get there again soon.

Lorie said...

Been thinking about your post, and here's what occurs to me:

Yours has been an exchange -- some innocence (a lot?) for experience and knowledge. Maybe you can't reclaim the innocence, but you gotta definitely keep your chutzpah. :) And, you've got that in spades.