June 2, 2009
Last week, Ted Hope posted a speech he gave at The New York Foundation For The Arts, entitled The New Model For Indie Film. It's all great reading, but this brief passage from the outset is what has stuck with me the most:
I know that back in my early days -- when I gave up trying to be happy and instead decided to pursue an interesting life -- I found as a result: things got better and I got a lot happier.
That sentiment seems to trickle down through the rest of Ted's discourse, and it's one I subscribe to entirely, both in terms of my life and in filmmaking. Which isn't to say there's much separation between the two; for myself, and for many of my friends, there's come a point when the two become more than intrinsically linked, more than symbiotically bound. Filmmaking ceases to be a career and becomes a lifestyle, and just as in one's life one must achieve a balance between comfort and integrity, similar choices must be made regarding filmmaking - choices which aren't always the most immediately careerist options (and which can, indeed, entail turning away from it entirely), and certainly don't lead to the happy ending to which we've all, at one point or another, prescribed. But of course, the fallacy of the pursuit of happiness is that it is not simply an impossible end, which no surplus of means can hope to deliver, but that it is not an end at all. It is a side-effect.
I've spent a great deal of time lately - too much time - thinking about what film I should make next. The answer to that question, of course, is whatever film whose concept compels me to bring it to fruition. But I get caught up in worrying about things like right steps and timing and expectations and issues like that, which wouldn't be so irrelevant if I didn't already know that I will never be able to commit to anything that I don't feel wholeheartedly for. I don't want to pay for all my movies out of my own pocket - but I'm prepared to, because when I feel the urge to make something, I know I'm going to make it. There will surely be much sweat and gritting of teeth, but I don't think that would be the same under any circumstances. And all that equity will certainly, as it always has before, be something dear to hold onto in the future, when I begin to doubt the ground beneath my feet.
Posted by David Lowery at June 2, 2009 9:01 PM
Posted by: Bryan P at June 3, 2009 12:34 PM