Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What's Going On, Mr. E?

Here it comes.

The culmination of 6 years of schoolwork, transfers, classes, projects, blood, sweat (lots of that) and tears (of frustration) all comes to a head in one month.

In one month Mr. E screens his thesis film "Ganas". 
And he couldn't be more excited. 
  • We slogged through the brainstorming. Threw around ideas like confetti, argued through plot points, conceded locations, characters, budgets. 
  • We skimmed through fundraising. Briefly thought about See's candy, car washes, bake sales. We set aside a hefty portion of our own budget to pay for production: equipment rentals, truck rental, locations, food services, cameras and lenses.
  • We tackled the weeks leading up to the shoots: 10pm home meetings, afternoon restaurant meetings, between-classes meetings.
  • We suffered through the two weekend shoots...and loved every minute of it. Mr. E was in his element, carefully coordinating a team of 30+ people into a cohesive unit, fully focused on bringing his creation to life (to screen?).
  • And finally, once the filming was finished, Mr. E lovingly delegated his footage to his editor, to his sound designer, to someone else! to be tinkered and tampered with. While Mr. E still has a strong voice in the aftermath, his actual directing days are over. For now.
He's still called in for consultation on this or that: the sound, the transitions, the editing. Cutting his beautiful footage (the 3 minute Steadicam shot) into manageable, flowing story-telling. Because, ultimately, that's what a movie is. Visual storytelling. It's not the special effects or the actors or the production design. It's not the writing or the costumes or the marketing. It's a story, made of all of these parts and more. It's the effort of hundreds of people working to tell the story just so.
It seems like more and more schmucks, shoddy writers and two-bit directors are getting their shot at fame, making summer movies. But the movies that really stand out? The ones that make you think, that stay with you long after you've seen them are movies that have a story to tell- and tell it well.
We're still scrambling to support a few other movies wrapping up this year- Mr. E is often on other film sets, always learning and I give a few dollars here or there to fundraisers by his peers. But on the whole...we're almost done. And that sweet LA air is calling us to bigger and better things. 
Here's to change. Here's to progress. Here's to us.

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Mrs. E