Saturday, June 04, 2005

Just How Creative is This?

Put this in the category of things I just happened to think about and thus am committing to the blog...

The filmmaking process is seldom about creative expression and is more often about perseverance in the face of adversity and overwhelming odds. Making an indie film, even moreso.

I don't feel like I'm doing anything particularly creative in getting this film made. I feel, at the moment, like I am just an administrator. Yes, to that expenditure. No, I don't want to hire that person. Yes, no, yes, no.

Oh sure, the scriptwriting was a creative act. And the directing will be. But at the moment, there's just a lot of in between stuff that is not at all creative.

In terms of my teaching position, for tenure purposes, the closest analogous activity to making a feature film is writing and publishing a book. But I can't find anything analagous to the overwhelming pressure and financial burden of filmmaking. To write a book involves a commitment of time and mental effort. Some money might be required, and usually a grant can be gotten for this purpose. If there is some need to go overseas for research, or some other expensive endeavor, than getting that thing might be somewhat like this.

But this process of trying to get people and places together, to coordinate it all and make it come off WELL... I hope the tenure committee respects that and understands it, though I doubt they truly will.

Perhaps I'll write up something to include in my tenure credentials notebook outlining these thoughts (in a non-offensive manner).

In other news: I'm tired and cranky today. I don't know why. I've just been in a blah mood. I am frustrated by casting, frustrated with the slowness of every part of the process, frustrated with everything. I think I'm just probably mostly frustrated that I cannot do everything, that I need to leave things to other people and to trust them to do their jobs. I have issues with that in the best of worlds; in this world, where some of those people are students, I just have major concerns about things getting done.

I think it's just Saturday night doldrums. At least the Braves won tonight.

I think I'm also frustrated on a personal level because, after 10 months here, I still don't feel like I have any close friends in the area, no one to call when I want to go see a movie, no one to bounce ideas off of. I have a few friends in the department, but we don't hang out. We all have young families, and that complicates things. But after 11 years in our last place, we had strong ties and close friendships that we left behind, and I am only now -- at the end of the academic year as I am catching my breath for the first time since the move -- beginning to mourn the loss of those friendships and wondering how I will ever replace them.


At 12:19 PM, Blogger AiE said...

I hear you about the no close friends. We've been in Grad School City for 21 months, and I don't have one person that I think I'll keep a significant, deep connection with after I leave here. I think this is one of the reasons that these two years of my life have felt personally difficult.

I also know what you're saying about the noncreative aspects of filmmaking. I think, after working 11 months on his thesis, Filmmaker is just ready to be done with it! (I feel the same way, but try to keep that to myself.) Our joke now is that he just needs to "get the M.F.(A.) done!"

Chin up, filmmaker guy. You've got virtual friends galore, which isn't the same as having friends in town, but it's something, isn't it?


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