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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Rewind/Fast Forward

I guess now is the time for reflection and resolution. Where do I begin? I guess the this time last year would be a good place:

Edit

2005 was a year of growth for me in a lot of ways. I started my own post-production company, Right Brain Edit that turned out to be very exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. I built a system from the ground up and based it out of an office in my apartment. It's always a struggle as a freelancer in New York trying to stay competitive and at the same time upgrading your system to not get left behind. It's a challenge to say the least.

The Short

I was at the end of the promotional line with a short film I wrote and directed, The Face of the Earth. It got no love from the festivals I submitted to. That was kind of a heartbreak but hey, what's this business with out a little heartbreak? I learned a great deal and wouldn't change it for the world. This is the more typical syndrome for a filmmaker, to look back like a soldier looks at his battle scars. Instead of sulking (I did that already) I decided to put it here on this savage art... not for a fee but for the patience it takes to download. I got some good feedback, mostly pointing to the flawed nature of the film but looking forward to future work. A recent e-mail from a fellow filmmaker made me feel better about my choices. He wrote:

What I can not stand is almost every short, with the exception of a few, have a beginning, middle and end (the punch-line). Your's feel like the story is of something bigger than a short and it opens and closes that way. Your short is one of the few I can literally say, "thank friggin' god" it feels unfinished. Truly. Most of the shorts have the build up and ending of a "punch-line", be it a dark, funny, dramatic...some sort of..tah-dah. Most shorts are built upon that. For whatever reason I find shorts are just as formula in their structure as most features. Your's was not. And Thank God.


The Blog

I started this blog in May of 2005 to promote my work and also create a place where others could come and get helpful info on filmmaking and give opinions. The community of bloggers is growing by the day. Everyone is documenting their progress along with giving the latest info on new technology. These blogs, in my opinion, are extremely helpful resources to the screenwriting and filmmaking community. I have found many out there to be great people who are very generous with their knowledge and experience. Joining this community was one of the smartest things I did this past year. As time goes by, this savage art... will evolve as I evolve as a writer/director.

Writing

I guess 2005 was a productive year for me. My writing became more focused as I learned craft. I dusted off an old screenplay with the help and tough love of a fellow screenwriter. I though it was destined to be in limbo but I tore apart and reworked Where Are You Seventeen? A refreshed outline, a new draft and 1/3 of the way into the current draft I'm still pushing forward to making it the screenplay I know it can be.

2006

This is the section I approach with caution. Making predictions and resolutions can bite you on the ass. Let me just put this all in terms of projections for the new year. I'm projecting that I will finish Where Are You Seventeen? and write another screenplay this year. Originally, I pushed for a total of three screenplays by the end of this year. Now I guess that is possible but it's all the way you look at it on the timeline. If we are talking about fully-realized, rewritten, honed, ready-for-market spec screenplays, probably two. If we are talking about completing the one I am working on now and two new first drafts, sure it can be done. Either way, I said it. I'm damned to live up to my own hype. I guess you'll all have to check here next year to see if I'm for real or not.

One thing I am pushing for is to make the Nicholl Fellowship deadline of May 1st, 2006. It's one of maybe three fellowship/contests I would consider entering. I know the competition is heavy and the bar is high for this one. Not winning I could live with. Not entering, I don't think I can.

Lean and productive is what I predict for 2006, everything else is up for grabs. Finally, a thanks for reading this long boring summation and thanks to all the visitors of this savage art..., I wish you the best in 2006.

Also a quick acknowledgment, none of this could have been possible without the support of my girlfriend, Linda. What I've put her through would have shaken most women to the core but for some reason, I have yet to figure out, she seems to feel compelled to stay with me and make it possible for my dreams to become a reality.

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