core / life master / 2009 / JANUARY / january 11 (01-11-09)
editorial, motivation, gear, update, almonds
time to write the dog update
it’s been over a month since our last update and 6 months since I started updating. For the 40 or so of you privy to the process, the novelty has probably passed. The project however is not yet complete, so I have no choice but to slog on, with or without you. If you’re still with the program, post a little something back and let me know.
I just returned from a road trip to Michigan
Last month, I starting the process of equipment liquidation. I’ve sold one of my HVX cameras and a few hard drives. Certainly the economy is funked, I’ve never had so much trouble selling before. All the more reason to move the gear as the seller’s market will continue to collapse, IMHO.
I’ve also been doing some recon on freelance work without much luck. However, I am
A month ago I tried a radical approach to slashing the length of DOG from 26:40 to 13:00. the idea was to have less movie to work on and therefor finish sooner. The response from the test audience was less than enthusiastic however, the story was to dilute to follow.
An editor friend, Faisal suggested that Uncle Joe’s story be slightly fleshed out. This could make a shorter treatment coherent. The bottom line is that there is no quick fix, no easy way out. A shorter film brings up new storytelling issues which take time to work out. A longer film requires additional roto and motion graphics finishing.
That’s probably why I’ve not updated in a month. Aside from the effort to get liquid and have the option to hire help, the plan to shorten didn’t pan out. I don’t know how to proceed.
I want release something this month, but DOG is far from ready. My other film “Almonds” is nearly ready. It’s a totally different animal, and I’ve been thinking of it as a special feature on the DOG dvd. I’ve been seriously considering releasing it immediately. I don’t want to have another 6 months passing without anything entered into the festivals.
Almonds is a sort of manifesto about wilderness and our connection to it. Over the years I’ve been exploring how I might translate the experience that I have outside, wondering how to convey the power. I equate disconnection from wilderness with consumerism. Disconnected people promote the conversion of the natural environment into junk and toxic waste. If I could create a connection for others or at least initiate connection, consumerism would be in serious trouble.
Almonds reminds people of Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog, a movie I’ve never seen. Kai Schwarz and I got to talking about sustainable travel, and after I showed him Almonds he too said it reminded him of GM. I don’t really want to watch Grizzly Man until I launch Almonds, but after hearing this yet again I did some research.
From what I’d heard, GM is about a young idiot who get’s himself and his girlfriend eaten by a bear. This doesn’t seem to support my objective of creating connection to wilderness, so it’s disturbing to think of folks drawing a parallel between GM and Almonds. It seems there are (at least) two schools of thought about the film. Another interpretation is that Herzog’s portrayal of the ‘Grizzly Man’ was skewed to make him look like an idiot. Grizzly Man’s close connection to wilderness, his attempt to teach and live his vision even to the point of loosing his life are portrayed as crazy and foolish. That’s the narrative of consumer culture and Herzog may have pandered to it. Until I see the movie myself, I can’t be sure. However, I feel confident that the grizzly man angle may be workable after all. Almonds could be the revenge of Grizzly Man, not on the bear but on the sleepy mindset of unsustainable modern life.
I am off to Michigan this week, I see no reason why Almonds couldn’t be out to festivals before I go.

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