So I have been here 10 weeks. My tourist visa is about expire. I guess when that happens you are no longer a tourist. I never thought of myself as such anyway, but now it is official. That’s one thing I strive for everywhere I go. I don’t want to be a tourist. I am here observing, yes, I am absorbing a ton; but that’s not to say that I am separated from it either.
As far as my Spanish goes. It’s is a weird learning curve; living and working somewhere and trying to better one’s speaking skills at the same time… To attain fluidity in a foreign language, I find, is frustrating and disheartening at times. I am nowhere near fluent yet, but in a calm environment it flows. When I am directing and I have a bunch of questions to answer, directions to give, thoughts and emotions to convey, I turn into a 1 year old babbling child. I know my face is probably a dead giveaway at times…
It’s even funnier when I hear people say my Castillano, (Argentinian Spanish), is good. Because many times people are giving me a look like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears. I think: “I am speaking Castillano, right? Or was I just speaking English and confusing the people…?”
The shoot for La Ultima Noche has officially wrapped production. Post Production is already well underway… I had the ability this time with our schedule to edit as I went along, (many times I am the only one editing so I never get to see everything at once until we are done shooting). I definitely loved having this luxury, this time.
Scripts go through many phases. For our purposes this what I am focusing on: The Writing phase, Pre-Production phase, Production phase and Post-Production phase. In all of these stages the story is coming to life. What was just thoughts a year, 2 years, 30 years ago, then becomes words in black in white ink. After a million stages in between it becomes a cast and crew, a production, (all bringing something unique and fresh to that idea). Then through a whirlwind that could turns months into years it arrives at the final stage, Post Production.
By this point it is a wonder that it still even looks like the same idea at all. I am surprised half of the time that it even still resembles a movie. And this is where many of the secrets line. In Post. Martin Scorsese, Walter Murch, (Coppala’s sound and film editor for years), and Steven Soderberg all say the same thing: A movie is made in post, (in the editing room). When you hear that you may think; “What the heck does that even mean?” Many great directors have also said that the script is the skeleton and as you go along you are adding flesh, blood, skin and features. Both are very true… But what does it mean?
I was fortunate, as I mentioned before, to be able to edit as I shot. Therefore, I could see how I wanted to shape future scenes. How a perspective might be better served in a different light than previously thought. When all the shots you planned and prepared and captured are sitting in front of you there becomes this new world of options. Yes, there is a script. You generally stick closely to it, but if there is a better idea out there or if a shot will flow better set next to another shot instead of the one you had planned, you go for it. As long as it is still serving the story.
Then suddenly, (as sudden as months and years of work can be), it has a life of its own. It is telling you what to do. And maybe it has all along! It knows what it needs to run smoothly, how to communicate, where it is going. You start seeing clues as to what it is. So that in the end, you still see your idea, it is still there, but it is better than you ever thought it could be.
I believe the only experience that it could be close to is having a child. I do not know from personal experience but having talked with my parents and a lot of other parents; I think I have a good idea:
When it’s young you only have hopes and prayers for what it will become. You cannot see fully yet: what it will look like or what kind of characteristics it will have. You don’t even know if it is still going to look like you in the end, (as it faintly does in it’s infancy).
When it is a little older it can be a real pain: You are the one who is taking care of it, making sure it is being nurtured, built up, made into to something great; but it is giving you hell! No matter what you do it is tearing you down!
Then one day as if it happened overnight; it is ready to leave the place where it has been the safest, where it has be given everything that you have inside of you. To your surprise it still kind of looks like you and even talks like you a little! But it is more than you ever thought it would be! All the planning you did for it could not have made it into what it is now. It has a life of its own and when it leaves; it takes a part of you with it. You are afraid to let go because someone may hurt or not understand it. But it is inevitable; other people influence what it sounds like and what it says and it influences others. Your fingerprints, which are still there, are touching others as well. And at that point there is nothing you can do to stop it.
Then one day years later, someone comes up to you and tells you that they saw what you created. They tell you that it gave them an idea, or a hope, or a feeling and you realize that you had something to do with that. Someone you never knew, never planned on speaking to, has experienced part of the exact same thing that you did.
And in that moment, I am reassured… I have to do it again!