Tomorrow I am volunteering on a friend’s film set as they test out the newish RED camera.
If you’re not familiar with the RED, it is part of a growing trend in the digital filmmaking world toward tapeless recording.
I haven’t been on a set in several years since I stopped taking classes for my MFA and focused on my own thesis–a personal documentary that I mostly shot alone on a Bolex 16mm camera.
As I get older, I’m trying to bring more of my habit patterns to a more balanced state. I think undoing habits completely is unrealistic. But reducing the extremeness of the spectrum is not.
My Filmic Extremes
I’m a little like Hermione Granger in Harry Potter. I admit.
I’m not proud of it. And I’m just learning to understand the nature of this habit pattern I’ve developed over the years–so it’s still lingering rather strongly in my character.
I tend to occupy two extremes: either, I have to feel like I have to feel like I have a leg up on everyone else I’m in a room with and already know the task/skill/content on hand or I completely shut down, tell myself I can’t do something and am inept and then don’t even try to learn and give up.
I’d like to learn to be okay with being 75% good at something. To be at the average skill level at something. And to not give it up.
Sadly, this habit results in me doing these I receive attention and praise for, rather than listening to an inner desire about what I’d secretly like to learn.
I got praise for personal documentary work, so I stayed there. Externally, that’s my niche. I just got a grant a few months ago from Chicken & Egg Pictures and Rooftop Films to continue with another personal documentary. Inside, I’d like to write and direct a fictional feature length film within the next 5 years.
To get there, I need to practice being okay with not knowing how to do things right away on my own. And more importantly, to be able to embrace other people as teachers to help teach me.
I need to break this mythology I have that I only learn to do things on my own.
So even though it’s a little terrifying and goes against my functioning for the last 30 something years, I’m going to spend my Sunday crewing on this shoot, rusty after years of not setting up lighting for narratives, and with a camera I know zero about with a bunch of brilliant Temple U MFA students.
And, I’m not going to shut down and tell myself I can’t do this, and instead be grateful that I have the opportunity to learn from so many great teachers.
I am going to try to post about the RED on my twitter feed tomorrow–so you can follow along with my adventure there.