September 1st, 2011
The year is 2011… I’ve made it to the end of August and I have dreamt of this moment for a long time. I never knew how it would feel but I had a notion; I knew that this feeling would make me emotional. When I finished the last chapter for the film and put all 8 of them together this week it was the first time in a long time that I truly saw something that I knew existed in all that tape I shot. The finished rough cut for the film clocked in at 2 hours and 5 minutes. It will have some trimming and tweaking done to it but this is a complete film. This is a complete journey for me in a sense; I can’t help but cry tears of joy. I know I have a lot more to accomplish but I succeeded. Life is about surviving and giving your life meaning; this film experience has given me that.
It was a little over five years ago I decided to make this documentary. The d-jay culture and community became something of my focus and drove me to explore and give my perspective. Music had always been a big part of my life and gave me a true sense of identity when I was younger. When I got exposed to dance music in the nineties it became a communal thing through the friendships I made and in the end shaped a part of my personality and outlook on life. This culture was so important to me at an age when music affects you. I always kept that inside even when I focused on getting my life a little more serious and on track in my twenties. Ten years later… five filmmaking years under my belt… dance music has given me back that feeling inside I once had.
When you get wrapped up in a long process you start to go a little crazy. Every waking moment of the day you think about your project. It had it’s a good times which gave you hope and inspiration but those are the times you don’t remember as well until the end. Usually the feelings that became the constant were the ones that brought stress. Financing this project on my own and having to wear a lot of hats because money dictated limitations, became the main issue. No one was going to care about the project more then I and even though I did get help and was fortunate to have some good people involved periodically, I never had absolute control. Money usually can dictate schedules and being able to do things on your clock. Money helps motivate people especially when it’s not their project. When you’re an independent filmmaker with credit cards with limits, favors become your currency. I gave a lot pitches and what I thought were inspirational moments on why they should help make this film. I hoped they would understand, which they did from time to time, but money still was the ultimate scheduling tool. Five years later I finally got a rough cut done and have good people involved to help finalize and bring it over the finish line. I’m thankful for that. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Dreams are something that is important and something I reflect on when I write this journal entry. I had moments along the way where I doubted myself and got frustrated because I felt no one believed in me. Along the way I realized that the journey is almost more important then the finished product; what I got out of the five years of trying to make this film and GGN brand was truly special. I still have more to give with GGN.
I turn 36 in the fall and I feel that I’ve accomplished a milestone in my own life. As I continue the final edits I look to the New Year to roll out the film in festivals and screen it at universities for students who are at the age that music affected me in a big way. I feel this important for the film to be seen by the age range that inspired it. Music has been a special inspiration for me on this journey. It has been something that has driven me the last 5 years and shaped what I feel this film’s message is all about.
What I’m hoping to ask of YOU if your reading this is I want you to ask yourself a question. How has music affected you? I’m looking to encourage people submit BLOG’s and give us your story. GGN is a community… a movement… a place where music shapes identity.
Feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org I truly would love to hear your story.
Until we meet again. ARE YOU LISTENING?