Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The (Real) World.

So, now that it's been more than half a year since my first post, I'll make another. I like to think that this hiatus will not be habitual, but given the track record, I'm not going to promise anything.

During this long fermata I've graduated college with a BFA degree in the Visual and Media Arts. I have also worked on my first feature film, had one of my most serious bouts of poverty, and semi-successfully started a freelance career.

I am a filmmaker. I am a cinematographer. I am an artist. What those words mean these days seems to be up for interpretation, but I like to think that it makes me a technician, an aesthete, and a philosopher in equal parts, all rolled into one.

Currently, I am in the middle of shooting and cutting a short talkie on HDV, with an aspiring writer/producer whom I very much admire. It's a movie very much in the vein of contemporary independent talkies (see:
mumblecore), though I like to think it's a little more accessible. Beyond that I'm in pre-production on a short film to be shot next month, written by a first-time writer/director. The script is impressive, and very ambitious, but with the enough effort it can be pulled off.

I have been reading as well. Mostly James Fenimore Cooper's Leather Stocking Tales, the series of novels that follows the life of the character Natty Bumppo, (also thought of as Daniel Day-Lewis's character in The Last of the Mohicans [1992]). The series takes place in the pre-Revolutionary wilderness of central New York, for the most part, and has completely fascinated me. Cooper does an interesting job of showing the relations between Native Americans, and the white colonists hell-bent on uglifying their homeland (though not necessarily described as such in the narratives). I have always had a love of the outdoors, and untouched land, and reading about the world described in these novels makes me yearn for something quikly receding in this hack-and-burn capitalist economy. After reading Last of the Mohicans, I was thoroughly dissapointed with the '92 film, which was far less about the last mohican than the book, which is really a "return of the prodigal son" story. I feel the urge to update the film version, or at least make a short showing the best parts left out.

I have also managed to start volunteering some time at a local community darkroom in Allston. It's a great service for those film-o-philes who don't have their own darkroom, and don't have the time/money/patience to set one up. They have a negative scanner, and I've been successfully able to scan many of the negatives that I've never had a chance to even see in positive. The place is called the "Allston Community Darkroom," formerly "Blue Zebra Photo Labs." The owners are really awesome, and the prices are very affordable ($10/hour, free chemicals, bring your own paper).

So, I'll leave you with one of my favorite scans of this batch: