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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thank yous

So, um, yeah. Been a little busy. Yeah. It turns out that doing extensive pre-production on a short film, working ten hours a day, and having a life aren't mutually conducive things. There are many many little things to think about -- documents to prepare, storyboards to draw -- and it's all just so consuming. I work on instructional videos and I work on the short. Sometimes, there's sleep, before or after writing emails and researching 70s fashion and make-up. (If I ever again say the words "it takes place during the nineteen-" just cut me off there and punch me in the face. It'll be a lot more time-efficient.)

I bought Mamet on directing last weekend -- $15 for a hundred pages of brilliant. Mamet on directing is just awesome; he's kind of grouchy and fed up with Hollywood and writes the majority of the book as a Socratic dialogue with a bunch of ill-advised students who rarely, if ever, get the answer right. It's Mamet in the 80s, after directing only two movies. It's all about visual storytelling and not giving a crap about performance and just piecing together shots. It's super-cute.

So I might thank David Mamet in the credits of the short. I'm already thanking a lot of people. The list grows progressively longer. Family, natch. Pretty much all of my friends. Some of my vague acquaintances. Some friends of friends. Some friends of friends of friends. People who have lent me their notes and props and guns and knives and love and support. Oh, and also the IRS and the DOD, as this movie is being funded by my tax return and some freelance writing I did. It was going to be funded solely by the IRS. But then, the location we want realized that they could probably blackmail some cash out of us four days before shooting. So now I'm using DOD money, too. I'm sure everyone involved would approve.

Last night was funny. I stayed late at the office finishing some scripts, and made it home ten minutes before my actors were scheduled to show up for our late-night rehearsal (which we set up via cell phone while I stood in line to board the bus home). And I was exhausted and greasy from the long day and totally unmotivated to work after having gotten up at 6:30 that morning for the day's first rehearsal...

...And then we finished blocking out the climax and we worked on the beats and I said "slower, slower" a few times and it all just started coming together. The actors are professional and fun, they seem to be into the material, and they seem to be listening. To me.

I had thought I would go to bed right after the actors left. But I ended up staying up another hour and a half. I'd never felt so awake before.

Man, I'm gonna be so PISSED if this movie sucks. PISSED, I tell you. But I'll only have myself to blame.

There's something thrilling in that.

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