The past year has been another leap into adulthood. Though I'm not there yet, it becomes clearer every day that I am soon going to be the man I'm going to be. Through my teen years, being a film person had just as much to do with the image of being a director as it did with the final product. I'm breathing a sigh of relief as I get older and finding that it's unlikely I will be one of "those guys" in my career. No silly hats, no wearing suits on set, no sunglasses at night. The image is cool I guess, but you should never be cooler than your films.
I've now spent 18 months on Solomon Grundy (hard to believe that a year ago today we were gearing up for the Massachusetts shoot with a team of 11 people) and a year on Dream Lover. I rewind through that year and think about how I approached Solomon Grundy as a director at 19 year old. When I watch the cut of the either film, I still agree with many choices, and disagree with others. Is to be expected, always. However, there is a jump in how the story is told when you compare Solomon Grundy and Dream Lover. Maturity isn't the right word, as they were both conceived and have been growing side by side.
I find both films to be the two examples of my strongest work at this time. But they seem almost like the work of two different people. Perhaps because in some ways they are. Solomon Grundy I kept my grip tight on, and Dream Lover I was far more open to creative input from others. An interesting situation, as Dream Lover was a far more personal story to me than Solomon Grundy.
In the next few months, both films will be done, in your inboxes, mail boxes, ipads, computer screens, big screens, film festivals, and hopefully, your hearts as well. Forgive the smarm on that one. I think more than anything in my growth this year, I'm looking forward to sharing my films to different people. Not so I can talk about them, but instead, so I can listen to others. Showing rough cuts has been a suddenly fun experience for me. The negative, the positive, the blue sky thoughts, and the bursts of energy- my favorite new ability is the ability to listen to not just an audience, but listen to a person.
Off of the introspective for a moment- this past weekend was a photographic playground. My good friends, Derrick and Garrick Kwan (who you might recognize from here) joined me in the wild for a while, and we had a photographic retreat. Investigate more of GKwan's work here. He's responsible for the banner photo of me above, and hundreds of others through the year. Spending time with the two of them, snapping upwards of 1500 pictures in about 30 hours, it was sudden burst of creative energy that I needed. In some ways, fucking around with the Nikon's and the boys out in the middle of nowhere was exactly what I needed to remind me of how much fun it is to just play and be wild. Now Go Play.