Most people don’t get emotional when they’re sitting in an art house theater and a trailer comes on. Fighting back tears as critics reviews, and festival logos praise the film you haven’t seen yet just isn’t a thing - unless you’re me.
I’ve been having this experience lately. I sit down in my moderately uncomfortable chair at my favorite theater to watch an indie, and a few seconds in I can feel myself fighting the urge to emote, sometimes real tears. It actually kind of scared me because I didn’t know why suddenly I was having this response when I’d never behaved this way before. I mean, there was a time when I can literally say I hadn’t cried in at least a year.
But the reason is actually pretty simple. I know that each one of those trailers stands for a film whose creators poured blood, sweat, tears and the entire passion of their heart into, never knowing if the finished product would end up on screen. Each one of those films is an embodiment of a dream that consumed the artists so much they couldn’t rest until it was done. These trailers, these films, are proof they succeeded.
I realized that I’m not emotional at these trailers because I’m moved by their brief content, though a good trailer will do that, I’m moved because I feel a great deal of empathy for the artists that brought these films to life. They’ve done what I’m trying so hard to do. And they’ve succeeded.
There was a time in my life that I’d have been bitter that my film was still languishing, and these films were made - I’d have assumed them inferior based on a single star attached or the financing I knew they’d achieved - but now, I’ve come to a point where I don’t have to be bitter about it.
I know that no matter who you are, or what level you’re at in filmmaking, it’s hard to get your film made. It’s hard to tell the story you want to tell. Just because it appears harder for me to get my little screenplay off the ground, doesn’t mean that the film with a A-list actor and independent financing didn’t have to struggle to get made. It just means their struggles were different.
I still have no idea how to get my film made, or how to start making my movie so that in due course an audience can see it. I’m still alone on the island. But I still have the dream that one day soon the trailer for my film will be screening in front of something, and it will move another artist to tears because they can feel the struggles that preceded the images being captured.
Amy Poehler, on her advice for aspiring comedians (x)
I’m like, a year in. If that. AWESOME.
It gets better! (And worse!)
I’m just getting into month #3, living it up, well living it down and loving it.
I know I’ve reblogged this before, and it’s still true.
Every once in awhile you get down on yourself. As a woman, I sometimes think that I go through this more than my male counterparts do, but I’m learning that perhaps the female species just shows it differently. But anyways, we get down on ourselves and our goals and think that nothing we do can or will matter.
These times are tough, and it always seems like there’s not going to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Luckily for me, I was going through this for the past week, but tonight I found my light at the end of the tunnel. And don’t laugh, but that light was Iron Man 3.
I’ve always said that movies were one of God’s gifts to me. God has allowed movies to be a comfort and inspiration that is very unique for me. Whenever I get down, whenever I need any kind of inspiration - I see a movie and I get through it, because movies inspire me. When I want to feel the nostalgia of the movie days I had growing up I watch The Princess Bride or Blazing Saddles. When my little brother was in the hospital I would go see Superman Returns to take my mind off of it.
This week the pangs of adulthood have been bearing down on me in a not great way. And when this happens I get really down because it feels like my duty to be a responsible adult and my desire to be a full-time filmmaker and artist are at odds and can’t exist together. It makes me get really down on myself and I wonder why I do everything that I do. I was feeling really pathetic this week. And I didn’t think I’d see my way out of that tunnel.
Thank God I saw Iron Man 3.
The original Iron Man helped get me through shooting my first feature. Iron Man 3 reminded me that I don’t love anything the way I love movies. It reminded me why I started this whole journey in the first place. The quest to be a director is something that I have to pursue, even if I don’t know how.
I’m sure that I will continue to have ups and downs, and with every down I will lament and be unable to see the way out, but I do know this: God is with me. I don’t know where I am going, but I know where I want to be. I hope that I will go there. But only God knows for sure. And all I can do along the way is walk faithfully, wait for the next best step to come, and hope that what I want is what God wants. He is working, and I need to as well.
Life & Other Great Mysteries
There’s been a lot of times in my life, especially in the last few years, where I’ve felt like life will simply not get better. I’m not saying I’m depressed, I’m more saying that I’ve just felt that where everyone else had potential for big things to happen in their life, I never felt like I had that potential. And it felt normal for some reason. I was always the last kid picked for teams in school, so it felt like I was carrying that on in life. (YES, admitting this is kind of depressing, but I swear I wouldn’t define myself as depressed. Just keep reading.)
I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer lately combatting this. I mean, I’m no different than everyone else - why don’t I get the same potential for life to go up as everyone else does? Heck, I’ve spent the last year trying to break down my own creative walls and rebuild myself into the artist that I know I am.
And it’s worked. In the past year I’ve finally felt like a genuine artist, and I think the mental has followed the physical. I finally FEEL like there are great things on the horizon for me. Soon.
Obviously I want one of those things to be getting my movie put together, but I really do want to hold this all with an open hand and let God work. He’s in control, not me and any changes that have happened to my life in the past year are because of work He’s done in me. And I’m so glad for that.
I can’t wait to see what happens.