December 11, 2017

So, what is this newsletter anyway?

It’s a way for me to update you with progress on the film; post-production, the festival circuit, news on where we go, how we’re doing and how You can see it.  Also, I want to share my personal experiences as a filmmaker, thinker, and writer from time to time.  Since post production work on The Land has slowed due to the holidays, this seems like a perfect time to talk about stuff that I think about as a filmmaker in these times of change that we’re living in.

The Modern/Post-modern dilemma is a subject that, I suspect, many people have never had a reason to study, particularly those who make up the older generations.  But even if you’re not a Gen-Xer or Millennial, we all live in the external world with an internal voice so, we don’t need to study the academics to experience and understand it.  It’s simply the latest of several social struggles between the old and the new; the external and internal.  We all feel it, especially when we’re young because we have no reference point for the conditions that will, one day, pressure us to choose stability, popularity or money over our values.  It’s a time when the internal voice is really all we have and that’s why we’re 10-foot-tall, bullet proof.  As we move further into the real world, the voice takes a back seat because it clashes with responsibilities and social conventions propped up by the status quo.  At this stage, a loud internal voice makes it hard to fit in and build prosperity.  Another way to put it, we adapt to the external influences, the social conditions, and tune out the internal voice….but it doesn’t go away.

Being the grateful possessor of an artistic talent is a double-edged sword.  The bad edge is that society rewards conformity which makes for terrible art.  The good edge is that art has been around a long time and history has developed a path for artists to find an outlet for the voice, which makes for good art.  But, since art doesn’t pay well in the beginning, one has to compartmentalize;  on the one hand, we conform in order to hold down the day gig.  On the other, in the company of a support group comprised of people who get the dramatic side of life, we craft stories and, relative to convention, the more irreverent, the better.  After years of practice, when we’re capable of wielding that sword without cutting off our own leg… let the storytelling begin!

Story is communal.  We listen in groups with a desire to participate, to be in the story and relate to the characters together.  This allows the internal voice of each listener to come out and warm up.  Then later, discussion gives these additional voices a workout.  As story-tellers, this dialogical experience is what we’re after but, it’s tough to pull off because captivating plots don’t necessarily challenge social conventions (enter the writing craft).  The movie experience has to be captivating first, so that the audience can participate, then the thematic and socially relevant topics can be presented within the framework of the plot.  As I develop my voice, I hope my themes and characters are relatable so my audience can have a good experience at the theatre on Friday.  An interesting discussion around the water cooler on Monday would be icing on the cake.

As far as project updates go, everything is on track to record the off- screen dialogue and add it to the main mix.  We have one more work day on this before the holidays. We’ll rehearse and take notes to determine if the dialogue delivers the intended message.  The website is finished so I’ll add newsletter postings there for posterity.  If you like how the project is unfolding, please don’t forget to Share, Share Share.

That’s It!

Blake


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