Saturday, February 05, 2011

Daily Productivity Post #2

Image by Jack Kirby

Today I took the following actions in pursuit of the cinematic storyteller's craft:

1) I worked a full day's worth of work. Video editing is not a bad way to earn a living, even if the hours are erratic.

2) I walked 3 miles to a meeting.

3) Said meeting was to catch-up and return favors to a friend and colleague who is in need of video edit mojo.

4) I promised to cut said friend/colleague a 30-second trailer of a past-production in order to to help win grant money to revisit it. I cut a 45-second trailer from her 55-minute show and it's pretty okay. Hope it gets the job done.

5) I had a very long and enriching conversation with my writing partner on why our ability to re-shape the world through our stories is a good and important thing. In short, there are two kinds of important stories, each kind every bit as necessary as the other: Cautionary Tales, i.e. "don't do this bad thing or this other bad thing will reult"; and what he and I called Aspirational Tales, i.e. "strive to live up to this good thing and just maybe this other good thing will result." After we both had a long, rough, stressful week, Aspirational Stories really seemed to be on our minds during this discussion. I may blog more later about this.

6) I had a long and (mostly) respectful argument with my former neighbor on Facebook about the state of modern film, and the movie producer-consumer relationship. I had a good analogy that I'll reprint here:

The onus should always be on the producer to deliver a quality product, not on the consumer to determine or define or contribute to its quality. It is the craftsman, the artisan who does the work so that the product can be appreciated and of service to the consumer for the money they paid.

A truly well-made chair does not require "some assembly", it comes fully formed: beautifully rendered, structurally sound, and lest we forget -- resplendently comfortable.

In this same way a good movie must arrive fully formed: beautifully lit and composed, structurally sound in both plot and image assembly, and ultimately comfortable to the audience. And don't confuse "comfortable" with "comfort food". Perapetia is comfort -- Oedipus, Hamlet, and The Godfather are comfortable because they generate catharsis through their release of dramatic tension.

These three different stories are products, fully-formed on delivery.

7) I studied some Norman Rockwell.

8) I read a fable.

9) I wrote a blog. Say it with me: Recursion's a bitch.

And done.

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