I envy computer animators. They are limited only by their imaginations, their abilities, and their toys (although these days you can outfit yourself with all the programs you need to do some truly amazing work so the toys part is becoming less and less of an issue) If they need something new it’s just a download away. I need materials. Actual, physical supplies and what I can’t buy I have to make. It sometimes feels like making things is becoming a dying art and I can see why. It’s no fun driving all over the city picking up plaster, metal, ball joints, wood, styrofoam, screws, bolts, plexiglas, gloves, foam rubber, paint, clay, etc… I could have a lot of this stuff shipped but I’m old school. I want to SEE something before I buy it. I want to KNOW it’s going to work. Plus … I’m CHEAP. I can’t see myself paying $40 in shipping for $45 of plaster. And while I may spend $10 in gas and 2 hours of my time picking this stuff up, I’m still saving $30 which I can use somewhere else in the film. So it’s back in the truck and turn up the music
Being original is not easy. No matter how hard you try, someone’s done it before. Archetypes exist for a reason and when you’re making a short film they are the fastest way to advance the story without having to explain every little thing. The bad guy wears a black hat … enough said. I know this all sounds very disjointed but what I’m trying to say is, there are many elements in FILTH that remind me of other films, images, songs, stories, books, etc… BUT that’s not a bad thing. I fully confess to and embrace these similarities. My hope is that all these disparate elements come together to form something … unique. There’s nothing more infuriating than a person who won’t admit they’re ripping someone off.
I’ve started work on the last main character but his completion will not mean the end to the sculpting. Not by a long shot. There are a lot of background characters and character pieces in FILTH (I’ll leave it up to you to decide what I mean by pieces) I know exactly what I want FILTH to be and because of that I feel very comfortable jumping from one job to another without any concern for how this jigsaw puzzle of a production will fit together when it comes time to assemble it all (example: I’ve started working on the music) All I know is that I’m having a blast.
I’m feeling a little anxious. My latest test shots are very encouraging. In fact, they are better than I expected, which has me wondering … how do I sustain this look for the entire film? It’s an enormous challenge and I don’t want to raise expectations only to disappoint. But I also have to remind myself, it’s a movie not life and death. It’s about the process as much as it’s about the results; you’re trying something new so of course there’s going to be some doubt but roll with it. Keeping a clear perspective helps alleviate most of the anxiety (not all of it mind you, a little fear is never a bad thing) Now if I could only figure out what that sound is coming from the corner of the basement.
It may not seem very long but 16 minutes will be the end result of the next 2 years of creative effort. On the face of it, it sounds like a ridiculous trade off and if you looked at it from the most basic of levels you would be right. But those 16 minutes are so much more. They will change me in ways I am not yet aware of. They will educate, aggravate and excite me. And if I get it right they will take on a life of their own. They have the potential (and that’s the key word here) to go out into the world and affect people in weird and wonderful ways. Commitment to a goal is not easy. Dedication is not easy. There are a lot of distractions out there. Easy distractions. Fun distractions. Lazy distractions. 2 years from now, what will they matter?