[[this week’s pics by Darell (D-)Day]]
What a strange week it has been since your narrator last wrote to you. I’ve been to Birmingham Alabama for a shoot where I directed a pilot for a reality show. I don’t know which is more obtuse; the fact that I got sick 10 minutes after entering Alabama or that the Discovery Channel referred me for the job. Regardless, it was very difficult to work when my head was pounding and my sinuses acted like they were at the circus.
We shot a lot with my HV20 underwater to get HD footage underwater since the housings and camera controls would be far simpler than the manual cameras. The footage is acceptable, but I think I have to get certified as a diver to be able to operate camera underwater for any future work like this.
I hired The Derek and D-Day to work on my crew and it’s always good to spread the wealth. I’m a big believer in trying to get the best people and when I’m making money, I want other people to make money too. People have done this for me, so I love continuing the good will. It’s like karma in that I feel that if I put money in other people’s pocket, others will continue to do the same for me, or maybe my payback will come in another form. Hording money and selfishness in that regard can only skew the way it’s all going to play out.
So I bought a new car, a nice new Ford Mustang. Let’s just say all the work I’ve been doing has paid off in spades. Success remains subjective, but in most people’s minds it relates to monetary compensation. I guess in other people’s view, I’m getting more and more successful, but why is it no where near enough for me? I don’t care too much about money for myself. I have modest needs and wants, but the “success” as defined by me lies in another realm, one that is purely creative and standards set forth by my own muse. I am not successful, nor do I ever feel I will attain the level I desire, but then again, that is why filmmaking will be a life long endeavor.
I love the fact that my sole income for the last 8 years has been from filmmaking and it took time, but it’s paying off. I am proud of what I have accomplished, even though it’s not enough to satiate my desire to get better and improve, but the comfort of a few luxuries and the security of regular income to make life a bit easier day to day. The trick is to not give up the artistic end for the profitable endeavors. I was able to find a balance during the busiest time of the year and slip in these new shorts.
UNCLE PETE’S PLAY TIME has started to be unveiled. For the most part people like it. As with all comedic films, some people don’t think it’s funny or take what you’re saying too seriously. I’m okay with that. That’s what happens with every joke or comedy – someone doesn’t think it’s funny. Get used to it. Negative comments or posts don’t really affect me. I’ve been reading that kind of stuff since January 2000 and you tune out the nonsense. I guess I get confused by the intent. Am I supposed to read “You suck!“, then suddenly go “Oh my god, I thought this rocked, but now someone told me it doesn’t, and I should really quit! I know there was no intelligent discourse or reasonable criticism, but I suddenly changed my mind and my confidence is shaken so I should just delete this and never pick up a camera again. Thank you anonymous poster on the Internet, you just saved me a lot of hassle having to deal with criticism and putting effort into finding my audience. I’m done now….” I just don’t see that happening.
I have self confidence and I like something in every piece I’ve made. That’s not to say every single thing I’ve made is not flawed. I think I could probably write massive amounts of criticism of each movie I’ve ever been a part of, especially ones I wrote or directed. Being self critical allows you to handle when other people want to tear it apart. As my opinion stands, this is the line in the sand or the edge of the abyss. Time to look in and decide what kind of man or woman you are. Will you still love your art even though you recognize the flaws? Will you be swayed into disliking your art because many people, even the majority don’t like it? Are you going to stand tall in the face of adversity or cower under the weight of your own inadequacies?
I don’t fear these things. I believe in myself and what I’ve made. If people want to attack or tear down what I’ve done, I say do as you will. I’m just on my own path and climbing my own mountain. Nothing has deterred me yet, nor has anything even distracted me long enough to keep me from doing exactly what I’ve wanted to so far.
While in Alabama, we stayed at a Lake House the production secured for us and that was nice. The last day of the shoot, we had a mini-wrap party and chilled out with the Beer, darts, and Stewart/Colbert on the tube. I can say in all confidence there really is a thing called “Southern Hospitality” and that this is instilled into most citizens in the South. People were super cool and nothing like expected. I haven’t been to Alabama since the 1980’s, but it’s a cool place.
Before I left, I did some serious 12-14 hour days working on 3 projects. Now that I’m back home, I’ve got another 2 big projects staring me down, nonetheless post production on the Birmingham gig. I am looking to hire a few part time assistants. Not a permanent position, but kind of the A/V temp job as it were. Anyone interested in making some mediocre hourly to work on film/video production rather than delivering pizza?
Be at peace acolytes of Boo.
Peter John Ross