Register Monday | August 19 | 2019

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone

Well, hello there. It's been awhile. Perhaps you have left me for other bloggers who reside along the information superhighway, but if not, it's nice to "see" you.

There is much to catch up on. The summer flew by and the fall seems to be going even faster. There were a few times when I thought to myself, "Wait, I should blog. It's been awhile" and then I would get sidetracked and think to myself a few weeks later: "I should blog. It's been awhile." Repeat. Next thing I knew it was September and I actually decided to blog, only to realize that the maissoneuve website was being revamped and I couldn't blog even if I wanted to. So that's my excuse(s).

Last time I blogged I was busy shooting a show for ESPN called "It's the Shoes," a look at the shoe collections of the rich and athletic, as thrilling as it was pointless. But it was a job and I was grateful for it. I also started producing the west coast segments for another show called "Hoops TV" (yes, more damn basketball) which involved filming "a day in the life of" profiles of basketball players and then supervising the editing of these pieces. Again, I can't complain, I needed the work, but I could not help but feel completely sick and tired of filming basketball players running up and down a court. It's getting very old. (I'd be happy to film something else, anything else, even bowling or badminton, just please, no more hoops!) Then, as August wound down, the work came to a screeching halt. Ever since, I have been sitting at my desk, trying to be as productive as I can be while new grey hairs emerge every day on my head.

It seems that every six months or so, I enter a twilight zone where everything comes to a halt and I seem to be operating in a void full of communication breakdowns, stalled projects, and vanishing alliances. Nobody calls back or returns emails. Resumes are sent out, never to be heard from again, even after the "I'm writing to follow up regarding?" email. September and October were definitely that zone. Our web project for the short film, "Call Center," was no exception as our designer, this punk kid in Riverside, disappeared, leaving us high and dry with nowhere to turn. Finally, we decided to design it ourselves, but we're now two months behind on our Sept. 1 deadline. Oh well. I could relay some more examples of how I was in this twilight zone but it'll piss me off and probably bore you in the process. Let's just say it was a bit depressing. We all go through these times, I know, and it's not like my house got washed away by floods so who am I to complain, but it still isn't fun.

As for my independent feature, it too was in danger of stalling. I went to a conference in Atlanta and tried to drum up some investors, and though many were very supportive, nothing tangible came from it other than a bill for $180 for the rental of a fancy conference room. But a guy has to try, right? So I was frustrated and decided that the only thing I could do was be as proactive as possible in the arenas that I could control. I started rewriting the script. I began planning out the shoot, making casting lists, and continuing to chase down possible investors. I wrangled another ten grand from an investor and have lined up a few more meetings for the next month. It felt good. However, we are still far from our goal for the movie and I began to wonder: is it always going to be like this? Am I just going to be some guy who just keeps planning on this feature that is happening "next year" when "next year" never comes? Am I just some dreamer or an actual do-er? Finally, I was sitting with my mentor (an amazing fellow you will hear a bit more about soon) when he said: "Why don't you just make it with what you have?" I had the usual answers for him: "So and so said it can't be done for that cheap." "I want to do justice to the script." Etc.

But I went home and thought about it. People make movies all the time for very little money. They may not have all the toys or the catering truck or the trailers, but they have the actors and a camera and the script. And the passion. I thought some more. I've never had more than a few thousand dollars to make any of my films. Imagine what I could do with $200,000? Sure, I'd have to pay my crew peanuts and probably feed them peanuts too, but it can be done. So that's my new approach.

Step 1: set a start date for the shoot: MARCH 15. You heard it here first.