Why read our blog? I bet you’re asking that right now, or soon will be. Trust me, it’ll come up by the time I start talking about bowels. But in a serious answer to the question, because it’ll learn ya.
Some blogs are just journals, an unhealthily dulled-down version of our lives posted in public. But other blogs are devoted to a single, small topic worth delving into. I say this because there are many ‘autobiographical’ films here at Sundance. However, the ones worth consuming center on a specific subject, issue, or event. One can find ‘portraits of real life’ in actual real life, which is why many people despise ‘slow’ movies.
I can tell what I did and didn’t like by how many notes I take. A movie I do not wish to bash consumed a lot of my time yesterday in scenes where a woman looked out of a window and was sad. The movie made up for its flaws by the end, but all the minor conflicts of its main character took up more screen time than the love interest the movie, who was ostensibly the major plot point. Wandering off from a major point in your story is dangerous, and the Parables of Jesus don’t often go into details that might distract from what the story needs to teach. At the same time, The Bible spends entire chapters describing the construction of God’s temple in Jerusalem. Rather than being a waste of paper in a best-seller, these passages teach us just how valuable God’s dwelling place is to be, which reflects on how we are to take care of God’s dwelling place in us.
Speaking of notes and wasting paper, I have a comic book to portray my drowning in notes.
Wasn’t that just a dandy. The notes pictured were a fraction of my overall writing, mostly derived from my favorite event of the day: The Power of Story Panel on how to foster creativity and keep a wonderful idea intact. It included Stephen Gaghan, writer/director of Syriana and writer of Traffic; Anne Deveare Smith, whose latest solo stage performance was Let Me Down Easy, based on interviews with hundreds of people about health care in America; Andrew Stanton, writer and director of Wall E, Finding Nemo, and John Carter; and Terence Winter, creator, executive producer and writer of Boardwalk Empire, and writer for The Sopranos. These would be the most famous people I met this week, and their body (of work) is a wonderland. The notes I hold boil down to this: some studios will screw you over, and write incredible great things because the money will come if it’s good enough.
I also ended up with a ton of notes from the director of I Am Not A Hipster. The director and his entire family showed up to answer our questions in our small, sleepy church, and answered questions such as “Cool story, bro” and “Would you rather answer question 2, 3, 4, or 5?”
Director Destin Cretton was an incredible human being. He taught us stuff…
one writes emotions one feels in the context one felt them in, so all films are somewhat autobiographical;
allow a lot of collaboration, because not many art forms allow for 50 different contributors… this allows people to give more because it is their project;
be willing to have a plan b in case the ‘magic doesn’t happen’ (with actors, cameras, lighting);
why waste your time just making a silly movie if there is no bigger point to it? Especially if you planned on making a satire about hipsters and ended up contemplating overcoming depression. Because that first idea isn’t getting into Sundance.
That’s what he taught us. I thought I’d write it down because it sounded so much like business seminars I expected to hear the word synercollabistatistics.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our blog. In 48 hours I’ll be home, and this post will be a long forgotten memory. However, I hope I was able to illuminate a specific plot: Hollywood has emptied into a small ski resort and is dwarfed by the individual. It’s a pretty good story, and I hope it inspires you to pursue your dreams without compromising them for the world. And my dream is to get my digestive system back in order. Joel and I will be collaborating on this project, and we would appreciate your support.