March 18, 2012
Life can be such a rollercoaster sometimes. The unpredictable ups and downs, winding curves, and the speed of time that can put the weight of the world on ones shoulders like a G-Force tornado of stress. For myself, 2011 ended well but as 2012 began I have been on a rollercoaster ride that has almost made me sick from the constant tests that life has been throwing at me. In three short months I was beginning to lose faith in myself because of how many overwhelming challenges were being put in my path. As of today things have settled down but with our upcoming premiere of the film in May, I feel and hope I’ve survived the worst. Fingers crossed!
To get you up to speed on what it takes to finish a film you really need to understand commitment. Commitment is a scary word for most and as you get older it can become more of a challenge. You get into your routines, you have to schedule your life around paying bills, and if you have kids… kids is a realm of time consumption that is hard to dictate! Lucky enough I don’t have kids at the moment, I couldn’t afford the time needed, but to be honest I look at my film and the six year commitment that I’ve made to it as something like raising a child. You have to teach your film how to talk through story… you have to support it financially… cuddle it and give it love so that it can be the best movie it can be. Now being a documentary it becomes almost like a troubled child because the story isn’t as clear as it would be with something more scripted. You have to be patient… sometimes wait on the right relationships to happen with your baby to make it grow and become the adult you want it so much to be. This documentary experience is something I had no idea would take me six years to accomplish. I jumped in and didn’t think it through. Based on my past film making experience; I thought two years tops. The time went by in a blink of an eye…
The last few weeks especially have been very tiring and stressful even though this should be a time of celebration. On March 5th we had our first official TEST SCREENING. Even though my editor’s father passed away the week before he was able to deliver a cut for me and honor his commitment. My luck with my editing staff has been one of the biggest stresses for me over the years. I’ve had great editors work on it but commitments were always challenged because it wasn’t a huge paying job. Independent films are tough and the biggest reason for failure always comes down to money. Along with the test screening stresses the week before with my editor’s dad’s death I was downsized at the job I was doing, that was helping to pay the bills. You see I worked in a restaurant as a server for the last 4 years, a small restaurant. The owners duped me in to believing they respected me and instead didn’t have the balls to talk to me about it and served me a letter from a part time manager. It was so tacky and a true blindside. All this happened at the worst possible time because of the financial commitments we made with starting this film. My wife and I have been paying off six-figure debt for the last 5 years going after this filmmaking dream and because it was my initial dream, I feel over responsible. Along with these things happening, my wife’s mother fell very ill, our landlords are trying to rack up the rent on us and my wife was rear ended by someone texting which gave her whiplash. It was truly the weirdest chain of bad luck happening all at the same time… I was so stressed out that I couldn’t enjoy the test screening and my accomplishment because now I was faced to hustle and find a new job. I felt like I was getting a daily pop quiz that I didn’t have answers too.
As the month of March starts to wind down I can say that things are starting to get back on track. The comments were great at the test screening and with our final tweaks happening this month the sound mix is only two weeks away! The sound mix and color correction are always the last things done and always give a director some ease. The finish line is close; with a date in May booked for our premiere in Toronto before the film festival circuit, I’m starting to get excited. Along with the screening coming together I managed to only be out of work for 3 weeks, thank god! The cool thing too is I was ready to leave the last place in June 2011 after the owners disrespected my wife during a fundraiser event for women’s cancers at their restaurant. I was sticking around due to seniority and the bigger picture of time management to get the film done… I was sacrificing my sanity in a big way with these people. Now that it’s over and I’m working in a new place that is great, I reflect on it all as just being a TEST.
Tests are handed out daily to all of us. The one thing we always need to remember is that tests help us learn and make us stronger. Can they suck? Of course! But as I look back at some of my journal entries over the years I realize they had purpose. Don’t give up on your dreams and don’t let people bring you down. Life is a beautiful thing when you begin to understand it more and grow wiser as the years go by. Until the next entry… Stay cool party peeps!
If you would like to come to our Premiere on Friday May 11th in Toronto please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The space is limited so let me know ASAP. For all the updates on what’s new with us…
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And remember... The restaurant you should never go to is CAFÉ CALIFORNIA in Toronto. The food is inconsistent, the décor is from 1988, and the owners are FAKE as FUCK! There is too many great restaurants in TO that deserve your love! Cheers!!