Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I was going to start this by claiming the master is at rest. Though the only master associated with this blog is resting in eternal peace. I, the journeyman, am at rest. The weekend didn't prove as restful as hoped, though it was productive. I really tried to take the days off, but as usual it didn't work out.

I ran into an old friend that I hadn't seen in nearly twenty years. A running buddy in Portland and California in the late 80s. We were unstoppable. A ghost appeared when I saw him. Whenever I have contact with one of those ghosts it's as if I'm somehow vindicated. Like all the wild stories and anecdotes suddenly have a witness.
See, I was telling the truth.
Ask him, he was there!

J said he blocked most of those stories out when I shared the witness idea with him. I could see the shame in his eyes as he searched mine for the depth of my memory. Oh buddy, he said, we had some crazy times. I feel compelled to hold J's hand through his shame.
Someone told him along the way that we did wrong. Probably one of his three wives. Or all of them. He's cloudy and conflicted, but the love is still there. J was my happy-go-lucky, always ready with a joke, up for anything mate. He jumped on many a grenade and asked me to do the same. No bickering or wrestling for the upper hand. He was always generous with his, You're the man, now check this out's. He had my back.
Wild. J was in the room, car and bed on so many entries into the late 80s virtual black book - Eugene Hilton Psychos, Connie in Vegas, Palm Springs Princess …
He had this Jeep. We would roll down Sunset, Broadway or Haight, stop the Jeep, smile and the most we ever had to do was say, Get in. Vegas, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, SF, Portland, LA -- we were there taking names. I remember looking over at him night after night, sharing smiles as the girls piled in.
I think in a lot of ways the spirit of the relationship of the main characters in Original Glory is much more based on J and I, than D and I.

I wrote an outline of some new material this weekend. Realism in the tradition of Richard Yates. I suppose I must remember that neither Easter Parade nor revolutionary Road ever made it to the screen. American movie audiences want epiphany, redemption and transformation. So do I, but I also savor staring at the face of naked truth. Writing this i have the answer to the question that I was about to pose. The premise of my new story is that no man is an island or the individual life is not a dream, it's a nightmare.
Glenn has failed to develop relationships to the extent that even his dying mother would rather go into a Convalescent Home than live with him. He prepared his exurban apartment for her arrival only to find she won't be moving in. The next twenty-four hours of his life reveal just how cut off he is from everyone around him and ultimately himself.
I have my only regular blog reader, David Millstone, in mind for Glenn. I definitely want to workshop it with him. I say that more as a precaution to committing to making the film, than any doubts about David.
Glenn works as a hotel desk clerk, so as a no-budget guy I'm trying to stay away from all those, Can I get a hotel to let us shoot?, thoughts. Sometimes no-budget filmmakers get so hung up on getting a location that they forget to ask if it's even necessary to the story. Like, what are they trying to say about things with an element like a location or character. In this case I want to show Glenn in uniformed service of people. There are other ways, but hotels sure are anonymous in their profferance of intimacy. I'll have to put my producer's hat on when the time comes.

Come to think about it, my old buddy J would be an awesome producer. He could sell snow to Eskimoes. I found out that he started the SAG-Aftra agency here in town. They send all of their clients to another acting coach, but J said he had to go down there this week and he'll see what he can do for me.
Funny how the world works. I needed to take care of some nagging car issues and I run into my old pal J R. He takes me down memory lane, has some valuable contacts and gets my back on some car haggling. Oh yeah, I no longer have a big comfy truck and a sporty little wagon for the wifey, but a mini-van to be shared by the growing family.
Oh, the irony of buying a mini-van from J.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Grouch and the Brainstorm

Something has come over me. I've had this realization that it may not be worth killing myself to make movies. If I'm overwhelmed all the damn time; how am I going to do masterful work? I'm very likely not.
Going to try to have a bit of fun.
Let go of the judgment.
Work shorter, but more concentrated hours.
Regard the details highly while choosing my battles wisely.
I was having coffee this afternoon and missed a call regarding a credit on a film I worked on that is soon premiering. I didn't do my usual freaking out that I missed an important call. I was having an important coffee. So what, I missed a conference call.
I have a feeling that the producers are not going to honor our verbal agreement for some odd reason. Don't think they would have conference called me to tell me they're sorry for taking so long to get back to me. Anyway, the thought of getting cheated sends me reeling for awhile. Yet it just isn't worth it. I doubt the film is going to be that good anyway. I know what I did. I have other credits on the film and points on the elusive back-end. I took the photo on the poster. And then some.
In the end, the grouch is just not who I want to be.
Do I want to be right so much so that I'm miserable?
Not really.

Sleep well amici,
Signore Dirretore

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stare fermo

Standing still, waiting to hear from The Gersh Agency about Original Glory's packaging potential. I did dream the night before last that Larry loved it. Comforting to know my subconscious is rooting for me. Larry T, the agent that I've sent it to was instrumental in getting both In the Bedroom and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind produced. He represents Tom Wilkinson. And my man, Michael Cassidy. There are two roles for Mr. Wilkinson in this. Funny story about Tom and Larry: Larry told Tom he had to do Eternal Sunshine. Tom read it and said he didn't get it. Tom lives in England and prefers to fish rather than work on average films, but he trusted Larry and did Eternal Sunshine. It wasn't until the premiere that Tom went to Larry and said, I got it now. Thanks, that was brilliant.
I looked back over this just now and saw that I had transposed some letters in Glory, spelling a clipped version of Gilroy. In 1990 I dated identical twins from Gilroy, California. One of them, Marsha, was Miss Gilroy and went on to be a finalist for Miss California in 1989. Gilroy is the Garlic Capital of the World. Their father was Sherriff. We never met. In fact the only time I was ever in Gilroy was upon returning from living in Germany in 1987 with my Italian girlfriend Allesandra that went by the name Juanita. Obviously quite another story. Marsha's twin, Martha, rode a motorcycle and rejected beauty pageants. In spite of their differences, they were inseparable and they liked to share. They called me and invited me to take them out one night. Nicky's BBQ was the Wednesday night hotspot in SF at the time. My friends BBQ Brad and John Essen spun rare groove 60s and 70s soul. Every other night of the week it was a soul food joint for the surrounding housing projects.
I rolled up on the big sunburst orange BMW R90 that I had the time with both twins behind me on the seat. There was the usual line down the block. We walked right in, as I did everywhere in those days. We got some beers and said hi to Brad and John. Brad and Marsha had a thing not too long after that, in fact. Anyway I remember standing in the middle of the dance floor with the twins dancing on either side of me. Identical twins. This dude that I didn't know came up and asked the girls how they knew me. They told him, he said cool and bopped away. Later we sat in a booth together. They were staring at me, whispering and giggling. They told me that they were deciding who got me first. My life from 1985 to 1998 was like a movie that immature men would slobber over and try in vain to make their reality.
I'm grateful that I don't try to revisit those years. For all the fame and fortune there was a lot of pain and suffering.
Alas, I'm still standing.

A River Dertchee…

Monday, May 16, 2005

In All Fairness

I don't want to edit myself, but I do want to be accountable. My comments regarding the two fellows I'm mentoring have been bothering me. It turns out, the director of the short is very concerned with his son's health. I gave him my support and told him that it might be best to postpone his shoot until he's able to give it his full attention.
As for the other bloke, I remembered that I sent him a link to this blog at one point. I can only say that I didn't intend for him to read my comments about him when I posted them. I've said as much to him, though certainly no where near as brazenly.
There's likely some ethical transgression I'm commiting with my public airing of my frustrations with students/apprentices even if I don't name names.
I will be more conscientious in the future.
For now, I choose not to censor myself in this blog.

With some measure of humility,

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Pessimism -- A Mighty Tool

Ciao amici,
Americans are great dreamers. the optimists of the world. We want something - we dream it, will it, build it, buy it and, or steal it. We're entitled. We are masters of self-invention and re-invention. Our forefathers took great chances, seizing the opportunity to exploit resources and cultures, to make our destiny so abundantly manifest.
We now live in a culture of consumers. We do not clear forests or raise cattle as much as we buy gear and declare ourselves artists. We dream of making art. We affirm our vision with affirmations of self. We can do it.
What is that about? How does one give herself the illusion of the ability to create masterful work so readily? I don't think she does. Not truly. That's why there's so much dreck out there. I think every time one of us makes a film that isn't great, we have succeeded in two things only: lowering the bar and fortifying the cult of individual personality. Both very dangerous prospects, in my opinion.
Am I suggesting no one make films? No. I am asserting that an affirmation, a DV camera, some borrowed funds and a lot of "passionate" people on your crew do not substantiate a well prepared and supported attempt at creating something worthy of objective consideration. Optimism affords the novice the opportunity to toss his hat in the ring. Optimism allows the aspirant to tell herself, I can do this. That's great. I love living in a society and culture so wide open that so many of us have the opportunity to try new things.
Unfortunately, optimism also creates an attitude that one doesn't need training, experience or talent. That he or she will just get a camera and shoot it. They'll get some actors. They'll write a draft of a script. Subsequent drafts will be to correct typos and to make it funnier. Add some comic relief. (Oh boy, don't get me started) Rehearsal will consist of the director (oh how it pains me to grant them the use of a title for which I am working so hard) getting excited to hear and see their words and ideas performed. I do not trust this process. It is fraught with ego. You have a writer that knows nothing of dramatic structure and has no cinematic vision that has had this thing in her head for months or years, or worse yet, the old: We wrote this in two weeks! There she is, just full of hubris and anticipation waiting for you to perform. It's wrong. In so many ways.
The optimistic filmmaker is blinded by his expectations. Maybe an actress finds something really incredible, but needs a little time with it to let it become her own. The optimistic filmmaker doesn't understand anything but his expectations and pushes for the result he envisioned right away. Or the words of a scene are loud and clear, but none of the subtext is coming alive. Or the actors are just sitting and talking in every other scene and there will be nothing for the editor to cut and will be forced to use wipes and fades. As this film is being shot, morale wanes because the actors are being pushed around by someone's vision that soon reveals itself to be specific only in its egocentricity.
The pessimistic filmmaker knows what can go wrong and prepares for it. She knows that the actors are collaborators and she enlists their talent and vision. She knows they need time and to feel supported by her vision. She knows that the film has to cut together and prepares her shots with an experienced Director of Photography. She knows her vision must be developed, tested and tried long before she calls Action and wakes the Beast. She knows what the Beast looks like, his strengths and weaknesses. The Beast loves structure and preparation. Good scheduling, budgeting and casting. Without the forementioned, the Beast eats your days. The Beast gossips. The Beast loses and breaks equipment. The Beast destroys locations. The Beast creates tension in the cast and crew. But give the Beast a little structure and you can mount up with your entire cast and crew. The Beast will carry you home.
I'm working with a couple of first-timers right now. One of them thinks he's shooting a short in two weeks. He has a location. One of three. He has a script. He has one actor of three. He has one crew member, yours truly. (I said I'd shoot it for him and mentor him in the process) I sat down with him weeks ago and told him how to get started. I gave him names and numbers of actors I thought might be good for it. I gave him a storyboard program. I called him yesterday to find out what's going on. He's taking the weekend off, because his son kept him up Thursday night.
The other fellow has a little more going on. He's a good writer with a great script. And I think he has cinematic vision. I'm playing one of the leads in a workshop scene for him. He tells me I'm amazing, that I'm incredible. I appreciate that, but it doesn't make it any easier to suffer through his plodding, muddled rehearsals. I just want to keep doing the scene, because I dread his lack of feedback or the incoherence of it. Supposedly, I'm some sort of producer on it. There's been talk of working together beyond the workshop. For now, I think I'll stick to helping him with the use of my studio and giving him feedback on his directing in exchange for a full producer credit. (I'm still waiting for that deal memo) I suppose it's more my issue than his, but I am not sure I like this arrangement. I'm getting praised for being an amazing director and yet I'm standing by and watching someone struggle mightily at the helm of a very promising project.
Another reason to love Hollywood. There's no sentiment. Sure the movies are sentimental and often unwatchable. It's not about art, it's about marketing movies. Can this movie make money? With so-and-so in the lead and you-know-who co-starring it will get distribution and marketing. Can the guy that wrote this script direct so-and-so and you-know-who? Not a chance. Do the execs say, Aw shucks he really wants to, let's give him a shot? In a word - NO. For all my acting coaching and training and vision, I am going to have to fight for my life to get to direct my first feature that's financed by a studio.
I've worked with first-timers. One movie went to Sundance, got panned (deservedly) and opened for two days in NYC. The DVD releases sometime soon. Another is not finished after two years. The budget has soared. They owe everybody, including me, thousands of dollars. No one I know will work for the director again.
I know my cynicism and pro-Hollywood take makes all the indie filmmakers out there furious. Before you hyperventilate, please tell me of some great films that didn't find distribution. I've been to film festivals far and wide. I've suffered through more indie screenings than I can count. If you make a great movie, it is going to get distribution. If you write a great script, it's going to get optioned.
If you write a script that doesn't get optioned. Rewrite it and try again. This idea that you'll cut out the middle man and make it yourself -- Wake up from that spell. Even if I were to self-produce a $30,000 film, I would get the script out there before I decided it was worthy on my own. Why make it for 30k when you could get 300? Why self-distribute? Go ahead and reinvent the wheel while you're at it.
If you're making exprimental art films, this DIY attitude makes perfecct sense. If you just want to make a movie that's really important to you and you are happy to show it three or four times locally, this can-do optimism is awesome.
I'm talking to the folks out there that dream of being the next Robert Rodriguez. By the way, be careful of what you wish for. Even if you could follow in his footsteps, do you admire his filmography?
DIY is seductive. I was under its spell myself a few weeks ago. It happens to me every year or two. I hear all the talk of this one or that making a five thousand dollar film. All of the 5k and under local films I've seen are dreck. All of the 200k and under local films I've seen are dreck. I've spoken to many of those filmmakers. They express resentment that no one has stepped to distirbute their films or give them the money to make another. Based on what? That they grabbed a hold of the Beast's tail and somehow made it to the end?
I think I'll stick to my guns and continue to patiently develop my craft. I'm a Brother of Cinema, remaining chaste for my Lord until the time is right for me to wed.
So, in the interest of my purity, please don't hand me a script and tell me that you wrote it in two weeks. Please don't hand me a copy of your finished film and tell me the budget or that you shot it over a weekend. And whatever you do, do not invite me to the 48-Hour Film Fest.
High and Mightily,
Signore Direttore

Pop Quiz

Please answer the following questions with a simple yes or no.

1. Would you know a great script if you read it?

2. Have you ever raised money for a dream?

3. Can you make people believe in you?

4. Are you anal and meticulous?

5. Is saying no easy for you?

6. Are you ready for an emotional marathon?

7. Are you really creative?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Going Home

In an hour or so I will lift off the tarmac at Burbank and be but two hours from touching down into the loving arms of my family. Los Angeles has always been veryvery good to me. This visit being no different. I had lunch with an old New York friend that's in the business yesterday. After molto sushi, we went up into the hills to see his house. Oh my. Breathtaking. He lives with a princess, his common law wife is a member of the Austrian royal family. I do not envy his life or his home. He has my respect and my perspective. His father-in-law is the head of a network and many other things, yet he auditions for roles and pitches projects and works to realize his dream of being a working actor on interesting projects like the rest of us. He stresses about taxes, mortgages and his daughter's Montessori tuition. He still takes acting classes.
Being in LA makes the business less abstract. The individual life is a dream, says John Patrick Shanley. We are all connected. The haves and the have-nots, the royal and the pedestrian. We do not live in isolation even if we isolate. Certain things make the world go round. Walking around Los Angeles this week ( I walked for miles, avoiding the car at every opportunity) I found a certain clarity. I want to be a working director, yes. Though never at the expense of my relationship to my family and community.

ciao los angeles,

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Did this happen to me?

After a long day of trying to see past personalities yesterday, I tried to go to a movie.
There was a time when I would go see everything. The cinema was my church. I'd see a second-run double bill and sneak into a third movie later that same day. This started when I was ten. My mother ran off with her biker husband to Arizona and my dad was bartending at some tavern on SE Powell. I was shacking up in a little travel trailer in his girlfriend's parent's backyard out on SE 82nd and Flavel, otherwise known as Felony Flats. When my mom came to her senses and returned to Portland, she was working three jobs and I was almost six feet tall, so it made sense to people that I was wandering around Portland by myself on TriMet going to movies.
I liked it all -- Bruce Lee, Richard Pryor-Gene Wilder escapades, Rocky I, II and III, teen movies, Scorcese (though I didn't know him by name and that he made two of my late 70s favorite at that age). Name a movie released between 1977 and 1992 and I probably saw it on the big screen. Xanadu, check. Midnight Run, check. Heavy Metal, check x3. My Bodyguard, check. Gallilopi, check x3, Fort Apache the Bronx, check. Raging Bull, check x4, Wolfen, check. Good Guys Wear Black, check. We could go on.
Some movies fascinated me so much that I stayed in the theater and watched them a second time. Blues Brothers, Flashdance, Diner and The Jerk are some of my single sitting-double views. I did this at my third or fourth visit to the Westgate in Beaverton (I lived in NE Portland) to see Star Wars in 1977. There were lines circling the parking lot and there was strict crowd control. I was told I had to leave for the next showing. I concocted an elaborate tale of vomiting in the bathroom for the second half of the movie and I'd already called my mom to pick me up in two more hours…
I didn't really know I loved movies. I just went to the movies a lot. And I acted them out by myself and at school. Playing Travis Bickle to my fifth grade class provoked a meeting with my mom in the principal's office. I played Rocky and Grease out alone at home afterschool for hours, days and months on end.
I ordered soundtracks from Columbia Record Club and never paid the bill. I'd forgotten so much of this until now. Whew.
I travel down memory lane for many reasons, one of which is to substantiate my love for going to the movies. But I got to tell you, I don't go much anymore. There's nothing to see. Nothing I want to spend two hours and eleven dollars on. (I'm in LA, remember.) It's not the money. $5.50 an hour for entertainment is a great deal. I understand the economics of the inflated popcorn and soda prices as well, I'm happy to support the movie-going experience completely. But I don't want to squirm and sigh and curse to myself as I'm held prisoner by relentless stylized tripe for two hours. I went through that with Danny Boyle's Millions the other night.
So I'm searching for a movie. I'm ready to drive out to Pasadena if need be. Nothing. Na Da.
Until I hit the Sunset 5, which is right down the street and I'm not sure how I missed it in the first five minutes of my search. A movie called Dallas 362. The storyline jumps out at me and sounds familiar. I smile and then I panic. It's remarkably close to the tagline of the film that I'm trying to get made. Click. Click. To the homepage. Set in Texas. Two friends. An older mentor. Quick. Quick. I've heard of this shit happening. No way. No way it's happening to me. I'm reading the list of producers. No familiar names. Production companies. No crossover. Okay. Okay. Maybe it's not happening ot me. Let's watch the trailer. Phew. Very different film. I'm going to go see it today. It ends tomorrow. Only opened for a week here. Didn't open in NY. I don't read Variety every day, but I do read indiewire daily and I keep my ear to the ground for projects like this. It got by me as well as the producer in New York that has had it for the past year.
I meant to talk about that relationship in Lealta… as well. His option on Original Glory expired yesterday. (I don't waste time) Great guy. Smart. He helped me develop the script a great deal, but he wasn't ever willing to put it out there for some reason. I could have just let the option quietly expire and pursued these new opportunities unencumbered, but I called him and reminded him of its expiry and what was cooking on my end. I gave him the opportunity to fight for it. He didn't.
He did, however, express regret at not being able to have it both ways.

like a big pizza pie,
signore direttore

Lealta spells loyalty

Buona sera, amici…
Today, oh boy. We had our first sit down with a potential sponsor regarding Original Glory. The plan was to ask this person to see the viability of the three of us. Someone who is willing to say, We need someone to get behind these two young and promising actors and this unknown yet talented director.
We sit down at our table at the designated meeting spot in Studio City. She arrives. Smiles, handshakes, lots of eye contact -- so much sizing up. Great characters. What's the story? I didn't get a chance to read the whole thing. Well on page fourteen Johnny kills LBJ's father. She agreed that was indeed an inciting incident. The next thing she says is I'll do whatever needs to be done to help you get this made, but Zach is in and the other guy is out.
Meanwhile, Michael is in New York having a similar meeting more or less simultaneously where he hears the same story, though it's he that's in and Zach that's out. The good news for Signore Direttore is that I'm apparently in.
The Studio City meeting proceeded to include casting the actor that I've had in mind since I typed FADE OUT. two years ago.
What did I do? Did I sell out Michael? Did I jump at the opportunity to meet with the A-lister I've been mentally courting for two years? No. Signore Direttore has integrity. I told her I have an agreement with Michael and Zach to pursue this film together and that I would have to get back to her in a few days. She respected that yet was a bit shocked, it seemed. I enjoyed meeting her and I hope to enlist her enthusiasm and resources in the future.
I was sick to my stomach and I still am. I phoned Michael when I got home and heard about the NY meeting.
I can see clearly that I am going to have to make a choice between the boys in the next week or so. I think I know what my choice is going to be. As I've prepared the actor that is probably going to have to step aside, it's like ripping someone's heart out. "You have to understand, I love you but I'm not ready to be together right now." Ugh. It feels like that. That don't feel so good.
I sure would like to have it both ways. It doesn't seem as if I'm ready for that privilege.


Friday, May 06, 2005

Deathbed of a Hyphenate

Andrei Tarkovsky (Andrei Rublev, Solaris) referred to filmmaking as sculpting in time.
To be perfectly frank, I feel as if time is sculpting me these days. This getting pushed around, molded, shaped, reworked and reformed by my long, busy days has taken its toll. I've chosen a path that is often easily and necessarily muddled. The film director is a cinematographer, a film editor, a screenwriter, a producer, a production designer and a composer. We are scupltors in time -- light, actors, sets, wardrobe and sounds our medium. Is there a director that simply directs the work of the aforementioned specialists? Certainly. Though if he or she is accomplished, I am confident that they possess masterful knowledge of all aspects of filmmaking.
Where does that leave me? Where does one begin when days begin at dawn after sleep interrupted by subconscious dreaming of storylines, production strategies, rehearsal development and end with late night phone calls with actors, editors, writers, producers and my assistants? This is not working 9-5. No bankers hours for the aspiring auteur.
After each of these interactions I proceed to the next meeting or task while the editor goes to the park with his kids, the actor goes to the golf course and the writer goes to dinner with his wife.
I had a meeting at the Open Studio with the writer and supposedly producer of High Desert Psalmist. I was working on that film twelve-plus hours a day last week, pitching a film that wasn't on paper. He and I were discussing the possibilities of the story he'd written. Many were signing on based on my integrity and vision without reading a script. I told myself that if the writer couldn't deliver soon, I would do it. Why not add writer to lead actor-director-producer-editor? I'm angry at myself looking at that last sentence. One hyphen is pushing it. Four? Five? Give me a break. That's ridiculous. It's been done. Sure it has, and sometimes with excellent results. More often it's a short-sighted desperate attempt to succeed in an unsupported environment.
He was begging off, just as he had done when I told him he needed to up the resources of the production for me to get involved as an actor. He took the easy road and hired me to direct. Then he suggested I produce it, based on my experience. He was relying very heavily on my writing skills as well. I'd suggest clear direction for the opening scene and he'd ask me to hold his hand. Screenwriting is rewriting. I've written over thirty drafts after what I thought was the final draft on one of my screenplays. Being an artist is knowing what works, what doesn't and how to amend it until it's successful.
I put my foot down on the fifth hyphen and it turned out to be the demise of my involvement.
I felt absolutely desperate after he left. Trapped, hopeless and uncertain of any measure of success. I decided that my gut was trying to tell me something. After discussing it with a couple of trusted souls, I tendered my resignation the following morning. Not once since have I felt an opportunity lost.
Quite the contrary, Michael Cassidy is keen on getting one of my scripts, Original Glory, produced with him and Zach in the leads and me in the director's chair.
Before I get to take the helm, I have to polish the script and ready it for the cold, hard journey across the desks of Hollywood's power brokers. At least I'm past the gatekeepers this time. Should Michael's agents like the script as much as he, I will have to produce a line item budget.
One of these days I want to kill the hyphenate. For now, I'll continue my climb up the ladder with all my hyphens at my disposal.

signore dirretore

Sunday, May 01, 2005


This afternoon we're hosting an Open Studio at the neal a. corl acting studio. There has been an enthusiastic RSVP. It should prove to be quite interesting. I'm excited, but I also feel as if the studio is deserving of the attention.
I'm looking forward to letting it happen as it needs today. We'll see.
I don't want my expectations to get in the way. The work we do is simple and sometimes it's difficult for us to realize and trust that simplicity is sufficient. At first glance it seems like we're not doing anything. Yeah. That's the point, isn't it? We try to not do anything but be in the moment. Which, if you're a fan of Jonathon Livingston Seagull ...
With the wrong interpretation it becomes mannered. If we can believe that we can be in the moment for no other goal than to be in the moment, we can experience release from the tension caused by concentrating on the results. That's what the work prepares us for and where it leads us.
I met with Michael Cassidy, Zach on The OC, last night. What an awesome kid -- charismatic, smart, savvy and kind-hearted. He commited to High Desert Psalmist in the role of Goliath. He asked me a flattering yet puzzling question: Neal, what are you doing in Portland directing a tiny movie like HDP?
I told him that the career path for directors is much different than that of actors and that rather than try to create opportunities in the typical short-sighted ways of most indie wannabes, I've concentrated on preparing for the opportunity that I believed would come.
I honestly don't know if HPD is that opportunity, but I know what needs to be done to prepare to make a good film and I know that I'm ready to formulate and execute the plan to do so.
There's more to relate, as always, however time for leisure writing is quite limited.
signore dirretore