From the sidelines to the bench
I’ve been holding back on this post for a little while now, but enough keeps coming around that I realize it’s high time I put something on paper (screen?).
This last year has been about getting to where I always wanted to be – working in the industry, living somewhere new, starting a fresh new chapter. It’s what I’ve worked for. And because it’s what we do as people, I’ve found myself looking at how far I’ve come and, between the moments of gratefulness and awe, I’ve started sorting out an answer to that ever-pesky question: What’s Next?
For me, I think the answer is two fold: writing and filmmaking.
This is really, really scary to admit. For the last decade, I’ve been the exhibitor, the cheering section, the logistics man (woman!) at the very end of an independent film’s lifecycle. I’ve met the most amazing professionals, people writing, designing, directing, producing really intriguing, enviable work. But I always counted myself out of their ranks, seeing myself outside the fray of actually building the finished product.
I think that’s changing. I can feel it changing. I can feel myself getting braver, getting anxious, getting excited at the potential to actually be the process rather than watch it happen. And I see myself being that process in two ways: writing the stories I’m excited to tell, and joining the team making the movies (and making them successful).
I have done more writing in the last 9 months than I’ve done in the last five years combined. Which sounds crazy, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating. For so long, I was so busy I couldn’t even think about writing. But since I moved to Utah and then New York, I’ve had the time to let my mind wander, to capture the fleeting lines that present themselves, to flesh them out to rough outlines, to consider what they might look like as full-blown stories.
I haven’t written a script since college, but I’m going to have one done (drafted, at least!) by the end of the year. I have to. If not now, when? With all these stories tumbling around, it’s about time I bite the bullet and get them written. I’m so scared at the prospect, I went out and bought a bunch of screenwriting books to brush up on, just to be sure I’m doing this right.
A few creatives I know are at various points of production on some of the most exciting films you haven’t heard of yet. I am unabashedly fishing for ways to get involved, just waiting for someone to take me up on my offers. Need help with your marketing/PR strategy? Ask me! Help working with festivals? I’m your girl! Fundraising? Script workshopping? Craft services? Count me in! I’m not sure where this side of the coin will lead – I don’t know that I want to be directing, but I do want to be on the starting line-up, part of the team making the movie real. Put me in, coach!
I realize better than anyone that talk is cheap, especially in this case. Which is one of the reasons I’m putting it out there to all six of you reading. It’s like going on a diet, easier to stay accountable when you get others in on your goals. Nothing may ever come of either of these endeavors, and that’s fine. But surely nothing will come of them if I don’t make the effort. I’ll never have a script someone wants to produce if I don’t write a script.
I’m so glad you put it out there. For all those years we worked together in film, and for all your love of movies and writing, I had no idea you aspired to be a part of the process. It makes much sense, of course, and you’ll be great.
Thanks, Claire! It’s always been in there, but only recently starting to poke out from behind the curtain in a way I can’t/shouldn’t/don’t want to ignore. So a-writing I will go!