My new laptop backpack, bought so I could cover the DNC hands-free.
My son’s accumulated allowance: $19.43 in pennies, nickels, quarters, and one wrinkly dollar bill.
A jar of coins: again, pennies, nickels, quarters, about $60 total.
Jewelry. Our wedding bands, bought when we were twenty-three and had no money. (But still. They had the date of our wedding inscribed.)
A nice men’s dress watch.
A giant barrel of my son’s Tinkertoys.
One new laptop, one old laptop, one very very old laptop. Two out of three had drafts of grant applications and other assorted material relating to the documentary, and drafts of the nonfiction book proposal. I may have backed those up; I’ll find out tonight. Upon learning that the third one was missing, I cried. Up til then, I’d been numb.
Work over the course of four years. Just left the house, walked out the door, went to some flea market or pawnshop. As good as disappeared.
There’s more, but that’s all I can register right now.
So did I ever tell you how my little indie documentary and I almost got chewed up by the Smithsonian Institution’s 2006 deal with Showtime?
(okay, sorry to continue with the buzzkill here, but as i told a friend who commented on yesterday’s aggro Countrywide post, i’m a world class worrier.)
if you can’t count up to a trillion, then it’s too big to wrap your head around and it might as well be imaginary money.
following on the previous post, about women in hollywood (occasionally i drive through hollywood, ), i just want to say that the reason i post very little about the actual day-to-day making of my documentary here is that
- in its details, it’s boring. the time we got locked out of our host’s home after returning from a shoot at 3:00 am and had to sleep in our car…well, almost enough time has passed for that one to be uproarious. documentary filmmaking is lots of agonizing beforehand during pre-production, excel spreadsheets, and slow, incremental work. people are only interested in the result.
- it could be bad juju to talk out the story before delicate wisps of inspiration have properly mated with the beady-eyed, muscle-bound lug of perspiration.
- my personal creed is “Never complain, never explain.” see Scarcity of Women in Hollywood, and, I’ll Be Damned If I Ever Cry in Public/On the Job.
nevertheless, there are times when you don’t realize how much energy it takes to hold something together til it falls apart and you fall apart a little bit with it.
this week was like that. let’s just say that some major sources of funding dried up, the grant landscape is looking bleak, and pledges to support have not been fulfilled. those realities were like a nice snug brick pillow to rest my weary head upon.
which brings me to rule #4: it’s no use, i’m just going to do it anyway.
as one of the above-mentioned chicks making a flick, i read this article with great interest. you’ve seen these before; every so often an entertainment/culture rag will have a roundtable discussion about the state of women in hollywood. have they gotten any farther? are there any more than there were 10, 15, 20 years ago?
been thinking about my yo-yo documentary and the toys in china that are made with tainted lead paint.
now, none of the yo-yos dating back to 1928 were ever manufactured with lead paint that i know of. but competition among yo-yo manufacturers to be profitable was and is a big part of the story i’m telling. and working on the documentary is an occasion to muse about the rise of family-owned businesses that become wildly successful (as the duncan family experienced with duncan yo-yos) and how inevitably part of the narrative of success is that an even larger corporation buys them out and the enterprising family members cash out (or literally “sell out”) and then kick back on the beaches of cabo (or wherever) and live the good life.
what’s interesting is that the duncans never got to the stage where they were bought out by a huge toy corporation like hasbro or mattel. but they were easily on that trajectory.
Hungry Cat, Hollywood
HB and I ate at The Hungry Cat before I took off for DC for the doc (more on this trip later).
Whenever we get a hankering for fancy-pants seafood, we go to Providence. which, given the expense, is not all the time. However, we always have a wonderful meal at Providence and walk away marveling at the delicacy of chef Michael Cimarusti’s touch…delicate touch yet robust imagination.
Anyway, because people also raved to us about Hungry Cat, we went knowing it was going to be several notches more casual, but hopefully equally satisfying in its own way.
See Ya, Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya
So Lawrence Small, former head of the Smithsonian and no friend of this blog or this blogger, is out on his butt; now the scary #2, Sheila Burke, is out also.
Long may documentary filmmakers use the resources of the Smithsonian!!