Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Quality Assortment

We got an unexpected day off -- oh, sure, now we get one -- because a location had an unforeseen inspection come up. I mostly spent the day doing something I adore but have been having to sacrifice lately: sleeping. I think I actually spent more of the day asleep than awake. It was wonderful.

It also meant that I could go into the Co-op tonight for what's left of the Tuesday evening workshop. Only two people showed up; a local short was screened and promises were made that things would be back on track soon. By happy coincidence, Morgan had already scheduled a screening of the rough cut of the new film for 9 PM, so I got to hang around and get my first look at what we spent June shooting.

It is, as they say, a challenging piece. Morgan's already given to a relatively unstructured style and a Von Trier-ish aesthetic; this film was even less structured than Blue Citrus Hearts. Bearing in mind that it was only a rough cut, I think people are going to find this one less accessible than BCH. The disjointedness of the film is clearly intentional, but if I hadn't been familiar with what narrative line does exist, I do believe I'd have been quite confused by the end of the film. (Having said that, I am also possessed of a very concrete mind; I'm not afraid of abstraction, but it doesn't come as naturally to me as it does to some, and less-structured material in any medium is generally hard work for me.)

He's got to cut about 20 minutes out for the next stage of editing, and it looks like it's not going to be easy. I don't envy the job.

In other news, apparently there are a few people who read this blog; several people have asked about the result of my talk to Lee, so here it is. I was considerably softer about things than I had prepared myself to be, but that's a normal thing for me. (I have to really steel myself to get any momentum at all when it comes to confrontations.) Rather than stabbing a finger in his face and yelling "J'accuse!" like I did in my fantasy, I inadvertantly waited until he came to me. Yesterday we were shooting at Rhodes, and early on he'd offered an obviously bogus but conciliatory statement of near-apology about his outburst the day before. (He said he was upset because he didn't like to see anyone get hurt on his set; that may have been a small part of it, but neither of us who witnessed the incident really believed that was the heart of the matter. In any case, it was obviously intended as an apology, and given that both of us there were very laid-back types, we let it go.)

Anyway, I explained to Lee that the shoot was just making too many demands on my life, and that I needed to move to a part-time arrangement. He accepted my proposed schedule, and I immediately felt much better about the situation. No, I didn't confront him about the temper tantrum or his earlier sarcasm (the moment just seemed to have passed), but I think it was the stress of the endless shoot that was having the biggest impact on my attitude. I'm still not feeling as warm towards Lee as I originally did, but neither do I feel as hostile as I did a few days ago. I now feel like I can finish this film.

And finally, I'm relieved to note that the summer is gradually beginning to fade. I have to be frank: I much prefer autumn and winter. I was built for colder climates, and this southern heat just wipes me out. We've got some summer still left to go -- down here it doesn't even start to turn autumnal until late October or early November -- but the days are shortening up, which is a welcome sign of a more civilized season on the way. And if I can get to Vermont in January, I'll even get some good, deep snow before the winter ends. That would be fantastic.
1:38 AM ::
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