Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Undiluted Inspiration - Day One of IFP's Narrative Film Labs

Blogged by Victoria Mahoney, Writer/Director of YELLING TO THE SKY

Sound the alarms, talent is alive and well. We saw it; morning to evening. One behind the other, behind the other; in [nine] brave, unique, holy wow filmmakers' offerings as we each gained insight and support from the entire IFP team, mentors and advisors. More about that in a minute...

Because the bumpy ride getting there is worth telling--literally &metaphorically.

I went to bed at 10:30p (everyone who knows my nocturnal ways might respect this feat) but don't cuz I could not-could not fall asleep. Kept rolling and tossing with the most tender curiosity and excitement.

Next thing I know, I'm awakened by the phone buzzing to then hear Billy Mulligan's voice. (Please, don't tell him) but I genuinely have no idea what he said. I was so acutely panic stricken thinking, "Oh no, I've overslept for school, wait, what year is it? Didn't I finish High School? Yes, yes, I remember finishing High School and dang I really wish I kept my punk rock prom dress, it's back in style, I could've given it to my niece for her prom. Focus daggit, jump out of your sleepy haze. I know, I must be late for work. Wait no, that isn't right, we finished principal photography awhile ago. What day is it? A lil' help. Few hints. Couple clues. Above all, what's my name and what time is it?".

I hear something about "it is 8:01". Like 10 gallon paint cans to the back of the skull, I remember; Billy and I were to meet at the circle, equidistant from our apartments 7:40a, for our first day of the lab.

I dress with my eyes closed and jam downstairs.

We foot-race to the express train and spend the 20min ride, chatting and bursting with enthusiasm. So much so, that we miss our exit!

I've woken up late AND now my chatter has us missing our exit. Comedy hour, amateur central. Dodo bird on rinse cycle.

We hop out and begin willing the next train along (of course, we know that doesn't actually work, we just use it to sedate the "please don't let us be late on our first day" over-excessive adrenalin surge.)

We jump the train back uptown; one stop and arrive at our destination, in far more ways than one--with minutes to spare.

Meeting 2xdozen new people at once is odd no matter how you slice it. The warm bit is; knowing everyone feels uncomfortable. The kind bit is; we're uncomfortable--together.

Here's the thing; I love film. I could subsist on film for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midday snack and late night treat. It has something to do with the purity of a filmmaking team's need to share, reflect, communicate and offer.

I could care less about grandstanding. I'm on the hunt for specified moments when a person's desire to communicate, overrides their life. You can visibly detect a sort of "come what may, hell or high water, I will go down with this ship howl!" between pages, between financing, between set ups, between frames, between scenes, sequences, cuts, angles and breaths.

If you're reading this wee blog and are also walking through life--feeling invisible, aching for a chance to offer up a portion of your point of view, begging for inspiration and a call to play at your highest capacity; I beg you, nah scratch that "I dare you" to enter a realm of people bursting with talent, intellect, skill, will, wisdom, wit, kindness, awareness, insight and active instinct. (Whatever context or variable that translates into).

Go find the place where they keep the ones who have -- unequivocally fought for their seat.

They exist. Whatever field. Whichever profession. They exist.

The unspoken challenge isn't finding them. The challenge, is rising-to-meet-them.

Rising, late and disoriented.

Rising, lost and discarded.

Rising, light and determined.

Rising. No matter what. Rising.

Billy Mulligan and I, rode our train home; quieted by the nourishment. The gift. (After an extended stretch of brutality protecting our film from a percentile death.) We were silenced by the undeniable level of raw unconventional groundbreaking talent amongst our peers combined with the precision and forward moving communication of IFP Heads/Advisors/+Mentors.

I am excited for when the films we saw today reach you...that they may inspire you to endure the multifaceted madness of indie-filmmaking.

Until then, if you also spend nights tossing and turning with the wish and wonder of exploration. If you're going the course with bare minimum, purposefully restrapping your laces before bandaging your wounds. If you repeatedly find a portal when all the doors are closed then worry not, race not, we'll be here scattered about the Earth, in rooms labelled "Independent Filmmaker Project".

Walk strongly, without carelessness or rush, we shall save a seat, with-your-name-on-it.

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