Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE GGN JOURNALS -The New Year Hustle

December 22nd, 2011

As I make another "X" to the calendar and get one day closer to Christmas, I have finally found some relief from the anxiety that filled me throughout the fall. This year has been one of much self-discovery; including ending chapters with people and projects, and beginning a new direction and journey for 2012. I’m approaching the five-year mark with the evolution of GGN; it’s funny how things can challenge you along the way but somehow work out and be for the best. When I wrote last it was August and things were looking great. I had hired a new editor, we had a rough cut of the film finished and ready for a polish, and I had booked the film’s first screening date in January 2012 at the TIFF BellLightbox. Sponsors had come on board and the much needed support was there… I was on top of the world and felt closer then ever to the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything seemed on track and then the days and weeks went by and the editing team fell apart and by the time I realized it wasn’t going to work with these individuals that I trusted I had lost 8 weeks.

My trust and roll of the dice with the momentum I was feeling up to this point was gone with one simple sentence... ‘I don’t think I have time to work on this anymore… I didn’t realize how big the project was?’ All I could think and say was; "Are you kidding me?" instead, I said… How could you not understand the scope of the project and why didn’t you tell me this month’s ago? I had a screening date but not a finished movie. Let me tell you honestly, the panic started to sink in… it was like quicksand… you can be on top of the world one moment and then sinking fast the next. I was going to be 36 in two weeks and I didn’t know what to do or whom I could turn to with such short notice to make that screening date. With careful consideration I knew I had to postpone the date because the time required to finalize the film could not be met. It can be quite embarrassing; at least that’s how I felt, mixed with frustration and anger. The journey for me with this film has always had it’s bumps along the way and for one moment I was hoping to get a break… but such is life… it’s a challenge day in and day out.

As with every challenge sometimes you find the oddest places for solutions. Since filming began, I’ve been in the restaurant and bar industry waiting on tables, bartending parties, managing pubs, and providing service and chit-chat to the Toronto downtown public. It’s an industry I’ve known for 20 years and it’s helped to support me and made it possible for me to go after my dreams of being a filmmaker. The restaurant that I currently work at, CafĂ© California, was about to give back to me by helping me figure out my editing problem. It’s good to find people when you least expect it that believe in you. This happened to me a week before my birthday. Over the years I had served these guys who always had been pleasant, tipped well, and were easy going. We got along and they kept tabs on my project. I would always fill them in when they came to the restaurant. The chitchat was fun, simple, never too long but always nice and I knew they were into theatre and drama; the reality was that I was their server and the relationship ended there. So this time when they came in I was in a venting type mood… my crisis was in full bloom with no answers and they saw it in my face and my mood. After filling them in after asking about the screening, Andrew told me he felt for me and what I was going through; before I knew it he was on his blackberry making calls on my behalf and before they left he set up a meeting for me with an editor. This editor has ended up being a godsend and someone you wish you could have taken the whole project journey with… This crisis was diverted!

It’s funny how life can change on a dime and help can come in the strangest ways. With this new guy in place and with us already trimming and polishing the final cut, I know the film will be done at the end of January. Now you can’t get everything… my mistake of setting the save the date before really understanding how people work was something I had to pay for in terms of self embarrassment. I don’t like to set things up and not follow through; because the film has been a five -year production people begin to doubt that it will ever be finished. Not understanding the work required for a documentary experience, especially the kind I’ve put together, as well as wearing so many hats because of finances, time goes by quickly and the project can feel like it will never end. Reaching this finish line as 2012 begins is something I’m proud of… I can’t wait to share it with YOU, the audience!

In the meantime I will keep you updated on the screening date, which will be most likely in the spring after the cold weather. Check us out on our networks! More sneak peeks of the film will be happening in the New Year on our YOUTUBE channel:

Also check us out on SOUNDCLOUD for Podcasts, mixes, remixes and more:

Until the New Year when the hustle starts and the screenings begin…