Mistakes Were Made

File under: Figure out the question first.

This documentary is a fresh experience for me. I’ve produced, edited and at times starred in short fiction films. Taking on a non-fiction subject I’m passionate about and turning it into a long running doc is an entirely different beast. And with that, comes learning – a lot of learning.

Way back when I started this project, I looked to people in my immediate circle with documentary filmmaking experience (like Cianna) for advice. I got some great advice about sound quality (it has to be good), and some other technical details to ensure a smooth production. What I’ve since realized is the question I should’ve started with – what do I need to do to make this happen?

Fast forward a year or so later where I find myself in the midst of an internship with SF filmmaker, Emmanuelle Antolin (for the documentary in progress ‘All the Right Reasons‘). We free flow through conversation, administrative, video editing and research tasks. While working together I found myself wondering, how did she get to this point?

That’s when the metaphorical lightbulb went off. At that moment, the question clarified itself – what is the first thing I need to do? The answer was so obvious it left me dumbfounded. “Hire a professional DP, line up some interviews, cut them into the story you want to tell.”

I’d seen the footage of folks she’s spoken to. “How did you get these great people?” I asked her, “I asked.”  Again, this is something I know from personal experience through other projects I’ve done. And yet, it managed to elude me until our conversation.

So far, my interactions with Exene Cervenka and Ann Magnuson have resulted in some great tangents from the original premise. Moving forward, I’ll look for a DP, get some footage and see where that takes me. I’ll be starting with SF, then (depending on how much money I can raise) LA or NYC. Figure it’ll take…OK, I have no idea how long it will take. Look forward to sharing!

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