Door always open.
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2004-11-28 11:25 PM
For the last three weeks, I've been working on post-production on a nine-minute screen opera we've named CREDO. Every night I shut down Starbucks, pack up the laptop, and walk home in the dark without seeing the traffic, still editing and composing. That dissolve should move; that viola part should come out.
CREDO is about God clarifying His policy on violence and apologizing for setting a bad example. Larry and I came up with the story together. God is the only character. He sings to camera.
I think it's beautiful. I showed a couple of bits to a guy at Starbucks today who was interested in the equipment I was laying out on the table (I have a Digidesign MBox that Pro Tools needs to see on the USB port or it won't start up). We'd been having one of those friendly conversations up to that point, because I'm working on an indie film at Starbucks and he's a Production Manager on pharmaceutical industrials. Not my thing, but there's enough overlap that we can talk gear, talk directors, talk movies, and so on.
Until I play him two minutes of film. And then suddenly he's leaving.
I saw his eyebrows go up when God gets angry and profane, which struck me as odd, because at that particular point, God has every reason to be angry, and the profanity is perfect in the moment.
But up went the eyebrows. And out came a comment about how it's bound to raise a lot of eyebrows, and out the door went the rest of him.
I could be reading in. Maybe he just had to go. When it happened, it seemed abrupt-ish, but no huge deal. It was later that I started feeling a little rattled. All I've been thinking about is making something beautiful and angry, something other people will watch in a dark theater and feel YES about: YES, the music is powerful. YES, those who use God as an excuse for violence need to hear from Him about that. YES, that was right, that was it, that was perfect.
That's the goal, and there's no other goal.
But then this conversation suddenly cools and this guy suddenly leaves. And now I'm thinking about my friend Jason's reaction when he read the script ("Wow, this is really gonna shake some people up"). And I get email from Ken, who managed to turn me on to poetry a few years ago; I thought he'd like to see the verses I wrote for this, and he frames his reaction in the context of current religious conservatism and militancy.
I mentally brushed off Jason's comment, since short films don't shake people up. You want to piss off the religious right, you have to make something big and well-distributed enough for them to get PR mileage out of. And while Ken's absolutely right in his view... I guess I just never saw the film that way. He's inarguably described the world we live in, and that's where all material comes from--but I just wanted it to be beautiful, angry, funny, powerful. I wanted to do something I could connect with and believe in, something Larry would connect with so we could do something good together; something anyone could connect with.
And then tonight I tell Kathleen about the Starbucks guy, and that I just want people to love it, and she laughs and says that with this film, I'm going to get every reaction there is. Some people will think it's brilliant, some will think it's offensive, some will think it's nutty, some will think it's dumb. Some will hate it. Some will love it.
Which I guess I knew, but didn't really. I mean, I'm not political, and I'm not trying to be provocative. I'm just trying to get it right.
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