Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 in review... What a year!

2008 was a banner year of astonishing moments and changes...

And also, on a more personal level, this was an eventful year for me, as I'm sure it was for many others.

I completed my short film MISSING PIECES, a seemingly interminable project that had almost every conceivable thing go wrong...  And yet it in the end, it still came together nicely, If I might say so...  

The poster for MISSING PIECES, 
 by the screenwriter and co-producer, Jonathan Goorvich.

While we did have an amazing cast, especially the remarkable Rainn Wilson ('The Office'), it seemed like the fates were conspiring against us.

Giving directions to Rainn Wilson and Jordan Belfi.

A key crew member didn't show up on the third day of production, and our lead, Jordan Belfi ('Entourage') was unavailable for reshoots for six months! And that's just the icing on the cake... I'll talk more about the challenges we faced at a later time...  Probably in a MISSING PIECES blog special...

Prepping for the living room scene.

The  cool thing is that the finished film has been well received.  We've been in five festivals, with more coming up- and even cooler we won two of them.

The first was the MySpace sponsored Now Film Festival.  The second festival we won was the Santa Fe Film Festival.  Both wins have been great confidence boosters, and made me feel as though the world was open to the stories I and my collaborators have to share.

The trailer I edited for MISSING PIECES...

With MISSING PIECES now out of the way, I've been focusing on the script for the feature I'll shoot next.  It's called HAPPY FUNERAL, and it's going to be a chance to work out some themes dear to my heart at this time in my life...  I'll let you know how that progresses and may ask readers for feedback...

One of the joys of finishing a film is watching new people encounter your work for the first time, as well as building new networks with like minded people that you meet at various festivals.  Such has been the case for me this year.  As a result of these contacts, I had the good fortune to be invited to two really great events this year: Pangea Day (May 2008) and the Elevate Film Festival (October 2008).  Both events invited a handful of selected individuals that the organizers recognized as members of a global movement of filmmakers whose purpose is to build bridges into a new world. 

The set for Pangea Day on the Sony Lot.

The outside of the Nokia Theater, 
where the Elevate Film Festival was held.

And now, moving on from the personal to the universal, these two events to me reflect some of the profound changes our world is undergoing.

Take for example, this year's US presidential election.  It witnessed the election of the first American President of African descent-  A world-shaking event whose significance is difficult to appraise or overstate.

For me this moment in history embodied what is happening to our world as a whole...  The emergence of a new global culture- less of a mashing together of all it's fractionalized elements than the alchemizing of the various societies into a new human society.  This process is far from done, and who knows where it will lead.  But the exciting thing, the dynamic thing, attending all of the varied crises around the world, is the potential of a more directly shared human experience.

In the arena of film, this new global experience is manifesting itself in vibrant new works from around the Earth.  In future blog I will talk more about some friends of mine who are creating cinematic works that are in tune with this new era we are transitioning into...

For now, this first post is long enough.

2008... It was a good year. A tough year, a painful year, but a a year when a lot got done...

Here's looking to the next one!

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