Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Creative Process

I just finished teaching a group of young filmmakers at Freshi Film Camp / Hollywood - Freshi's annual filmmaking experience for young filmmakers. It's a small camp, in which we divided the group into two teams by age. I had the teens, ranging from 14-17 years old.

One of the reasons I liked filmmaking as a teen was related to the opportunity to be a leader - and to lead a team. I really wasn't involved in team sports, so I created my own teams through my filmmaking projects (or attempts at filmmaking projects - it really was about getting together and being creative).

At the film camp, I worked with five teens - two were on a cultural exchange from Palestine; one was a passionate young filmmaker on his 4th camp with us (over two years!); his friend, an aspiring director; and still another came in from across the country. They all had visions and expectations of what they wanted to accomplish - but for some, it was the first opportunity to work with a team of like-minded people. From my personal experience, creative collaboration can be volatile and frustrating. The filmmakers experienced some of those moments - but in the end they succeeded and completed their film. Somehow, all the drama makes the achievement that much more satisfying.

Watching the kids reminded me of the love-hate relationship I have with the creative process. I hate the drama along the way - but I love the result of the "creative tension" that accompanies so many great projects.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moon Landing

Monday will be the 40th anniversary of the Moon Landing - July 20th.

It never fails to amaze me that there are a number of people who believe that the moon landing never happened. One blog I recently ran across expressed doubt that such a feat could have been accomplished at the time, considering that computer technology was so primitive. The author spoke about so-called photographic anomalies, and brushes aside NASA's explanations. He concludes by recalling an incident a couple of years ago in which a "tv reporter" (in reality, an overly aggressive conspiracy theorist) harassed Apollo 11 crew member Buzz Aldrin, insisting that he swear on a bible that he landed on the moon. Buzz hit the guy. If you've ever seen the video, you wouldn't blame him. But in this blog, it seems as if the innocent reporter was accosted by the lying astronaut.

Naturally, there's a long line of comments following his blog entry, adding many other dimensions to the so-called conspiracy: a Zionist conspiracy, a Satanic conspiracy, a front for secret "black" projects.

The reality? We succeeded. We really did land on the moon. Just ask the tens of thousands of people across the country who worked on the project and made it happen. Human beings can accomplish amazing things against incredible odds.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Documentary Thought

While editing "Bollywood Steps," it occured to me a little while ago that editing a documentary is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle in which the image in changing, and the pieces are constantly changing shape.