A lot has happened over the last 12 months.
I left a decent (though soul destroying) job to focus on writing and producing fulltime. Worked with my brothers and managed to write a script which has been getting acclaim nearly everywhere it’s been read. We’ve talked with investors, producers, actors, companies and more who two years ago would not have took our calls or responded to our emails. Took meetings where we ended up being the bigger fish. Produced and screened several short films. Produced a TV pilot which is nearing completion. (And a second episode next year already.) Got a lot of footage still waiting to see the light of day and a hell of a lot more waiting to finish getting written in the first place.
Some of my heroes took time out of their day to give me direct inspiration:
Henry Rollins “Henry. Hello. I watched part of your film and will try to check out more if I can. I am jammed with work, meetings and shows this week, so i have to stay in that. i am glad you’re getting the work done, film is hard to put across. Hang in there and thanks for sending. Looking good. Henry”
Bruce Campbell “Glad to hear you are still at it. You’ll have ups send downs along the way. Don’t let the downs define you and don’t let the ups make you forget who you are. Stay strong. Stay busy. Regards, Bruce”
Got praise from new heroes.
Bill Oberst Jr. “I have just read the script. It is terrifying and will be quite disturbing. This movie really does deserve to be made. I am delighted to be a potential part of this innovative project.”
All these ups keep me going, but so many downs keep me grounded in reality. We are closer than ever to getting where we need to be. But I am back working to keep bills paid and spend more time working a grill for strangers than I do editing or writing now. My business card reads “creative director” but day to day I pull pints and flip burgers. It’s disheartening. So many people turn and tell me they love it, they love the movie or the work we do and they would do anything to help us move forward then do nothing. Words are beautiful but actions are louder.
Day work, the movie career, home life and family, all blend together and you can’t focus on any one more than the rest without letting at least one of them suffer. So I find myself a jack of all trades and master of none. Good at my job, but not on track for a promotion. Producing good work but with slow turnaround and not reaching its potential. A good boyfriend, but she isn’t sending letters to Cosmo about me. A good son, but not taking care of my mom (she had a heart attack a while back and I’ve tried to help her, so she lives with us) enough that she doesn’t have to take care of herself as much.
Wayne, Jim and I are not related but I trust them with my life. We are brothers and best friends and I would see them everyday if I could. But we only see one another occasionally and because of our schedules, every single time we meet all we do is work and push and plot and produce and make our films. We don’t socialize. We don’t have the luxury and it can be very painful. Especially when Wayne is going through so much with his health and I cannot be as supportive as I want to be because I have to keep treating him as a co-worker and not a brother. Otherwise we risk losing momentum. And him the same on me when I am suffering from my depression. Or Jim when he is suffering with family or finance.
Everyone likely has similar complaints and I don’t intend to whine, I will push as hard as I can every single day whether I feel like it or not, it’s what you do to get where you need to be, but at the same time, I feel spread thin and sure of the work but unsure of myself, all I need is the next few hurdles hopped and things will be easier. We are on the edge of a blade. One side is success and the other is poverty. 2015 will decide once and for all. Will all this hard work pay off? Will we be elevated from obscurity? Will our few fans finally get the entertainment they deserve? Can we leave our day posts and film for the rest of our lives? Or will I be handing over shoes at a bowling alley in a years’ time?
I have my fingers crossed. Talent is not enough. Luck, connections, support make all the difference. And I thank every single person who wishes us luck, everyone who supports us in big and small ways and keeps me, Wayne and Jim moving forward and pushing our films, dreams and hopes. All those people who open their minds, hearts or wallets to make this thing work will always be forever in my heart.
Happy holidays everyone.
On a semi-related topic:
The year I finally saw the third and final act in DON HERTZFELDT’S It’s such a beautiful day trilogy. I saw the first parts “Everything will be OK” and “I’m so proud of you” years and years ago and have waited with baited breath for the finale and I must say I was not disappointed. It’s right up there on my list of flicks that every single viewing I wind up crying like a baby over its sentiment and beauty. (Along with things like The curious case of Benjamin Button, Strange Days, Terminator 2, etc.) and it is for me, hands down the best movie I saw in 2014. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to reflect on life for an hour.