Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm Blocked

I've promised family and friends that I'll send them a link to this blog.  Every time someone asks me where the link is I tell them that there are historical posts missing that need to be there in order for the blog to make sense.  What are those posts?  I haven't posted about what actually happened when I was making the film.  I haven't said..."this morning we went here, we interviewed so and so, etc."

Here's the deal, I don't know if I can write those posts.  Some of them are partially written and I have some sparse notes from those days.  But honestly, they're a weird fog to me.  Usually if I can't face something I write my way through it.  This is me hoping that I can deliver the "historical posts" that this blog needs by being honest with myself about why I can't write them in the first place.

I loved and I hated making this movie.  It made me think a lot about my life and the choices I've made with it.  Just a little background.  We stayed at this place called Tallahatchie Flats.  The Flats are basically (don't quote me on this) reclaimed slave shacks that have been outfitted with toilets and minimal air conditioning.  The filmmakers rented out all except for one Flat, which was empty for most of our stay.  The Flats are in the middle of nowhere.  When you look out from the porch you see miles and miles of green.  Behind the Flats there's a lake, on the other side of which are a gathering of Mississippi's amazingly tall, sheltering trees.

So, we were in a bubble.

Making this film was like going to grown up summer camp.  I went there with a plan to remember who I am, to hold on to my convictions, and to steal moments alone so that I could get centered and recharge.  None of that happened.  Every time I think back about my time there I want to cringe.

I love being in control.  At home I handle all the finances, plan the vacations, our retirement, home school my kids, coordinate co-ops, manage a duplex, cook almost every meal from scratch, and lead a ministry at my church.  I can get things done and I can take care of myself.  Or so I thought.

When I was in Mississippi I felt very out of control.  I was on camera a lot, probably more than I'd anticipated.  I had real, emotion filled moments on camera.  I'd try to forget the camera was there, but sometimes I just couldn't. I felt uncomfortable having those raw moments recorded.  I was afraid that I would say something that was true in the heat of the moment, but that I would've articulated differently after some contemplation.

Another thing that I felt out of control about was the people.  I spent way too much time with strangers.  I shared way too many thoughts with strangers.  I should've been journaling more, calling home more.  Whenever I think about the people involved with the film I feel overexposed, misunderstood and like I want to run and hide.  If I never see them again and never see this film, I think I'd be just fine.  Actually, I know I'd be fine.  I keep hoping that they run out of money and aren't able to finish....maybe I can pretend this whole thing never happened.

I know it sounds odd.  Doesn't everybody want to make a movie?  No, everyone doesn't want to make a movie.  And if anyone asks you if you want to make one then you run and hide under a rock.  Pretend to have Terrets Syndrome, but for the love of all that's good and pure, do not sign a deal memo, do not pass go, and do not get on that plane.

I wish I'd kept my butt at home.  I feel like I was so naive.

Have I expunged it all?  Can I write those posts?  I don't know...I'll find out later, first I need to make spaghetti and meatballs from scratch.  Because that's something that I can do.


  1. I do hope at the end of this process you'll be proud of the work that's been done, Y- after all is said and done, this project (and Greenwood for that matter!) is a journey, not a destination. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  2. Producer, thankfully I don't feel this way everyday. That was a rough day, today is a rough day. But I know that more rewarding days of discovery are just around the bend. For the record, I'm already proud of the work that's been done. So, thank you for taking me on this journey.