So Close! Kinda! No Really! Kinda.
It's been awhile since we've posted news of the process of making Truth On The Line. This post is about where the TOTL project is at but also the meta issue of how communication is done between creators and "fans" of work like this.
We like to promote and support other great creative projects. Kickstarter is a great way to do this and we've thrown down a little green toward a small number of worthy efforts - not a lot of money, just enough to say "hey, I care, you're cool, send me a t-shirt". We've been following with great attention the progress of one microbudget film that we helped fund, and were struck by a recent update from the filmmakers:
It is taking longer than we had originally planned, but that's because we are working very hard to make this the best film possible, and that takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of commitment. It has slowed down the process, but we feell (sic) like we are producing a much better movie as we take our time with production. But we are close!
What struck us about this? Well, the cynical, old, tired part of us was struck by the sheer innocence and freshness and, frankly, lack of originality of this rather, frankly, cliched justification for production delays. Doesn't everybody know, already, that making "the best film possible" involves "a lot of effort" and "commitment"?
A less jaded part of us, though, respects this honest, though probably incomplete, attempt to keep everyone posted and placated. On the other hand, maybe a more humorous, creative way of doing this would have been both more entertaining and more fitting, possibly, with the themes of the film. And perhaps more interesting. What are some of the root causes of the delay? Not enough time because of your day jobs? Dealing with actors that have overbooked? What? What?
Inquiring minds want to know. But this is not about ragging on some fellow filmmakers. They are doing the best they can, certainly, and as the above would attest, we have mixed feelings (not all negative) about their update.
Which brings us to the current situation with Truth On The Line. What's going on? How close to being done with post are we? Why hasn't it already been finished?
The answer is complicated and interesting, and yet not and not, in a way. Ok here at this point I'm going to give up the annoying royal We I've been affecting so far. It's not really a "we"... It's me, Steev Hise, Director/Producer/Writer/Editor/Post-sound-mixer/Colorist/PostFX-Supervisor/etc/etc/etc. And what I have to say is, yes, I too am trying to "make this the best film possible, and that takes a lot of time, a lot of effort". But the project also isn't done because of other forces, like day job; and other projects, like running around shooting news footage of the various protests against Arizona's various racist immigration laws being passed lately, and a project about sustainability I'm developing, and a doc about a Buddhist retreat that I'm helping out on; and then there's other, stickier obstacles, like a lack of support from people close to me (and by the way lack of people close to me); but most importantly it's about just plain old simple procrastination, which I recently realized is really about plain old simple fear. When you're afraid of finishing something because you're afraid it might not turn out like you were originally hoping, you procrastinate. That's what happens.
So that's what's going on. This is one of the most ambitious projects I've ever embarked on, and I'm scared that it won't, in the end, result in something quite like I was envisioning. And so, I drag my feet, at least a little.
The good news is, it's really not bad. The project is still great. When I look at it after taking a step back and thinking about other things for a while, I'm amazed by how good it is, how the story works, and the dialogue works, and how good the images look. TOTL is going to rock.
But I'm still, irrationally, afraid, and I don't have a real support structure around me to keep pushing me forward very fast.
And yet, it is creeping forward. I'm happy to say that our soundtrack composer is moving along with music for the show and coming up with some great stuff. And last week I consulted with our lighting person about color correction and I'm moving ahead with that after getting her thoughts.
So things are getting down to the home stretch. It's just very gradual. but the result will really be the very best it can be. And I know that sounds cliched and unoriginal, but it's the honest truth.
Thanks for your patience and interest and support.