Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fear and Loathing

I had entertained the thought of doing a video post but decided everyone was better off if I didn’t.  I’m currently sitting here at my editing desk in my flannel cocktail PJs which is basically one step up from a snuggie while drinking hot chocolate.  No one needs to see that, especially since I can’t seem to get yesterday’s eyeliner and mascara off of my face.
In my last entry I was feeling pretty optimistic about the documentary. Now, not so much.  The more I’ve thought on it the more I know it is seriously lacking in *something*.  I spent the weekend talking to friends and taking in some of their suggestions as far as documentaries as concerned.  I watched three of them this afternoon back to back and slowly but surely things are beginning to sink in.
I truly believe that Junct can be this wonderfully eye-opening piece if executed properly.  It’s all a matter of finding that one character that the audience can relate to. Right now it just feels so ‘Wah me!’ right now.  The audience is NOT going to care about some teachers getting the shaft because honestly in this economy everyone that can be classified as middle America is taking it in the ass.  Just last night a good friend was closing the doors to her coffee shop after 14 years of business.
My biggest fear right now...Hell I can’t even narrow it down to one.  At this stage it feels like just about anything and everything can go wrong.  I think what bothers me the most is that each tape has interesting stuff on it but I can’t see the big picture.  I don’t know what Junct is going to be just yet.  Is it a union movement film?  A film focused on the complete failure that is higher education? Is it something that has yet to reveal itself?
I’m slowly buying a clue about the legalities in regards to filming a documentary and it doesn’t seem to be as strict as filming a narrative.  I just am afraid that I’m not going to be able to walk that fine line.  I’m either going to push the boundaries to the point where later on down the road I get bit in the ass over a legal technicality or I’m not going to push hard enough and not capture footage integral for telling the story because I’m afraid of getting sued.
In the meantime I’m in a holding pattern waiting for the next round of interviews.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No were not filming porn.

I think I’ve pretty much recovered from the DC, NYC, Quebec City trifecta this past week.  The worst of my traveling is over until May when I head off to Italy for 11 days.  In the meantime I will just be commuting up to NYC on Wednesdays to attend class and to be on the ‘Working in (commercialized) Higher Education’ panel at the Left Forum in late March.  As of the moment of this writing I don’t have any other scheduled trips for Junct.
A fair amount has transpired since my last entry and I will do my best to cover the shoot in DC as well as some of the behind the scenes stuff that occurred on my end.
The shoot in DC was fairly cut and dry.  I arrived the night before after driving to Greenbelt station and from there taking the metro in to Woodley Park.  I freely admit that I’m a cheap bitch and when I saw the hotel was charging 40 dollars per day to park I threw up a little in my mouth. I was not about to blow what could potentially be as much as 120 bucks for my truck to collect dust for three days.  What I didn’t know beforehand was that Greenbelt station not only charges for parking but they do not take cash or credit cards.  I was forced into purchasing a permanent metro card (that had a nice little 5 dollar convenience fee attached to it) and then had to deal with mass confusion when I tried to figure out at their kiosk how to add money to the card so I could get my truck out of hock that Sunday.  I’m now the proud owner of a DC Metrocard with 25 bucks on it.
Did I mention that math is not a strong suit of mine?
In preparation for riding the metro I streamlined my equipment down to the bare minimum; camera, junk tripod, china ball, soft box w/ stand, a handful of C-47s and masking tape.  I still looked like a sherpa when I got off the metro and shuffled up the hill to the hotel.  From now on if I have to shlep film crap I’m either getting an intern to do it or ordering a shit load of china balls from Burbank.
Once within the confines of the hotel room I began to set up the scene so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning.  As I unpacked I realized I had forgotten to grab lightbulbs before I left the house and I was far too lazy at that point to run out to the CVS around the corner.  So I ‘borrowed’ the bulbs from the hotel lamps.  Within a a few minutes the scene was set after pinning up and taping down curtains.

The interviews went smooth with the exception of one hiccup involving security.  It was a complete misunderstanding and had nothing to do with the shoot but I think I still shit a brick when I saw the guy looming in the doorway.  He was an easy 350 pounds and not only did the man block out the sun, I was afraid I’d get sucked into his gravitational pull if I got too close.  When the man saw all the equipment set up I thought for sure we were going to get thrown out of there.
“Honest...this isn’t what it looks like...”
Luckily, that wasn’t the case and by the end of the day we had doubled the amount of footage for the Doc.  I packed up and grabbed a drink with DLS to celebrate pulling off 4  solid interviews in one day.
Since then I’ve imported all the footage we captured over that weekend, had the cover story on Philadelphia Weekly's website about a week back and as of tonight got our IMDb listing.  I’m currently in the middle of applying for my LLC, attending class at NYU and within the next two weeks will be cutting excerpts to be screened at the Left Forum.

In the meantime feel free to follow me on Twitter as I rant and rave about everything from Junct to food.