Thursday, December 8, 2011

Newly Defined Loosely

I'll spare the zero of you reading this any excuse for my year-and-a-half absence because I don't need to explain myself to non-existant people.

After ten years of pondering and procrastinating I've finally made the move to southern California. Looking back at the midwest, I don't know what took me so long. While Michigan's ass-deep in a frozen white bother called snow (I care not to see it again) I sit writing this post outside at night in December with my sleeves rolled up. Yes, I have the long sleeves, but I've opted to roll them up because this December, I'm in lovely warm San Diego. The beach is half a mile in any direction.

I'm also closer geographically speaking to my goal of writing for film and TV full-time. I'm fortunate enough to have a few undiscussable projects in the works and now I'm close enough to LA I can actually participate in their production. That makes me explode with happy.

For years I thought filmmaking should be a divided, compartmentalized process wherin directors direct, editors edit, cinematographers cinematograph, and writers write. I blame my school for that broken understanding of cinema production. We were instructed to declare a concentration within our major - do you want to produce? Do special effects? DEFINE YOURSELF NOW, unshaped eighteen year-old mind! - and thus I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production with a Concentration in Screenwriting (no it doesn't say that on my diploma, but I was constantly asked throughout my four years "what's your concentration"?). I turned down many good opportunities for on-set work and even a prized editing internship because, well, my time was better spent concentrating on screenwriting. That's who I was forced to tell myself I was!

I missed out. On a lot. And rather than wonder what would've happened if I'd done this or that, I'll change my present frame of mind to say there are no such things as directors, editors, cinematographers, or writers. If you want to make films, you need to know every aspect of the craft - the best in the biz do, and they're your competition. They're filmmakers, and that term encompasses every aspect of the process from writing and financing, up to the final cut and through distribution.

I've wasted a lot of time with the excuse I need to build my writing portfolio. These days I'm trying to be a filmmaker, and moving here takes me closer to that title. I have no money and no means to get my stuff back across the country should I fail to become one. Feels good to take a big bet on myself.

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