Sunday, September 23, 2007

Astrid in crisis, or: now is the autumn of my discontent

Q: I have a shoot in 6 hours, why am I not in bed?

A: Because I am a tortured soul who is addicted to the Internet. TENNIS BALLS OH DANG.

Also, it occurred to me today that I love all the various elements of my life -- particularly friends and career -- it's just that I just wish I had more of each. As in, more time spent with friends, rather than pining for all the awesome people who are out of state or just too busy. As for shooting, I love it, I just wish more worthwhile projects came my way. I'd also love to teach more, but I'm stuck in the part-time ghetto; I worry that committing to a whole semester at a time would get in the way of accepting more shooting gigs.

Should I be marketing myself differently? Should I just be patient and shut up? Or should I switch out of the wild world o' film entirely, and go into something that's still creative, yet slightly less competitive? Should I go into academe full-time? I would consider absolutely ANY field which would draw upon my talents/experience in film, graphic design, web 2.0 savvy, and phenomenal people skills. To clarify that B.S.-sounding last part: I'm outrageously talented at bringing out the best in people, helping them create things they didn't even realize they could do, refining their work, and pushing them to the next level. If you don't believe me, watch my former students' projects, and ask them how they went from clunky to festival-worthy in four weeks. I get very Dead Poet's Society when I'm in front of a room, complete with Robin Williams-grade arm-flailing, irreverence, and hammy overacting, and it actually seems to work on occasion.

In other words, I'm not much as a content provider, but I'm a helluva terrific catalyst. Which, not coincidentally, is also why I'm a terrific cinematographer, humility be damned; it's my job to take somebody's vision and refine it, make it shootable, use lighting and camera composition to turn it into something bigger and better than it was in everyone's heads originally, all while staying true to the story and the director's vision, highlighting the nuances in the actors' performances, and having my crew still like me after grueling 12- to 14-hour shoot days. The past couple of years, I've actually figured out more or less how to nail all of this, and if all the directors I've worked with in that time ever get around to giving me the footage I shot, not that I'm getting peeved about this, I can properly re-edit my reel and show the world. W00t.

Here's the question that's been keeping me up at night lately: How do you get the world to beat a path to your door and say "You're fabulous, and we want you right now to catalyze all sorts of exciting projects, for which you will be remunerated admirably! Also, we will fund travel to exciting climes, and you will get to meet all sorts of lovely, innovative people who won't keep moving away from you or get too busy every time you decide you need them in your life forever"?

I need more exciting projects, a better paycheck, and a sizable group of people who (time and geography willing) can hang out at least once a week. Starting a production company with my friend Dave is great, but it's moving at a glacial pace, alas. I DEMAND ACTION, THRILLS, VERVE, OOMPH, NOVELTY, STABILITY, and EXCELLENT CATERING. AND I DEMAND IT NOW.

Any ideas how? I'm opening the floor to any and all suggestions. Seriously.

In the meantime, enjoy the following musical diversions:

Boards of Canada: ROYGBIV A fan-made video, with "footage from 1980's uk tv adverts." The synergy truly knocks my socks off, although they keep cutting to a blond kid who definitely annoys me after a while.

Kate Bush: Cloudbusting Kate Bush can always be counted on for jolly weirdness -- and is that Donald Sutherland? A heapin' helpin' of awesome.

Goldfrapp: pilots [on a star] If Kate Bush fused with the film Gattaca, the result would be this video. Or something very much like it.

Goldfrapp: Strict Machine This is what the inside of my brain looks like, no joke. It gets even weirder when I fall asleep.

Emiliana Torrini: Easy Pure seduction. Even better than the album version -- this is lightly remixed, gives me chills and makes me want to kiss the whole world in one go. Perfection.

Okay, I'm off to bed. If you're still looking for more, try reading my friend Bekka's blog entry I feel a little invisible sometimes, and you'll get a similar version of what I've just written here. O, restlessness; we hear the mermaids singing, each to each, but they do not sing to us. Arrogant trollops.

1 comment:


    I think I'll use that as my new profile headline on