Coproduce

Coproduce: (v) to produce a motion picture, play, etc,  in collaboration with others.

My son works in the independent film industry.

Matter of fact, for four years I joined his wife, Tracy and him by penning thirteen screenplays, which they ably turned into feature-length funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
movies.

It was very enjoyable.

We agreed on almost everything—except…

He really felt it was good—dare I say noble?—to collaborate. To co-produce with strangers.

Let me make it very clear. I love people as long as I don’t have to endure too many of their opinions.

I welcome input.

I learn from almost everyone.

But normally I do this by watching their successes and imitating those procedures.

What I do not like to do is sit around a table and “brainstorm.” To me, brainstorming leads to a tornado of confusion.

I also don’t like the fact that when people co-produce, they tend to focus too much on their own contribution to the project, sniffing it out like hound dogs looking for a scurrying rabbit, constantly reminding everyone quietly, or loudly, that the preceding portion was their idea.

Perhaps in the long run, I lose some quality by tapping only the sap of my own tree trunk.

But when you only have yourself to blame, you don’t have to share bows or get into ridiculous arguments about whose ingenious notions really made the experience click.


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Click

Click: (n) a short, sharp sound as of a switch being operated

If the entirety of the stupid things I’ve done in my life could be written down, all the books in the world would not contain it. (Well, perhaps
a bit overstated.)

But I’ve never met a stupid idea I wasn’t willing to consider if I thought it advanced my cause or gave me a shortcut.

Many years ago, when my children were younger, we traveled the country as a family band. It was like the Partridge Family without the cuteness, obvious talent and painted bus. Instead we had a car, and found an old trailer, which had sat in a farmer’s field for two years–abandoned.

Not knowing anything at all about such matters, we liked the look of the trailer on the outside, so we bought it for $350.

It probably was not worth $3.50.

Not only had it been unused for two years, but it was also twenty-five years since its manufacturing. The wood was rotten, the tires completely dry-rotted, and all the wiring shot to hell.

But we hooked it up anyway.

Amazingly, much of the time it functioned–awkwardly. It looked horrible, but it carried things and limped along behind our car.

That is, until one night, in the mountains of California, the electrical system decided to have a nervous breakdown.

We did not know what to do. It was pitch black outside, there were coyotes everywhere and I had a fourteen-year-old son with me–the only one awake–to try to crawl back in the trailer and fix the lights.

After fiddling with the wiring, we got back into the car and they worked for about twenty minutes.

Then, all at once, we heard this clicking sound. Rapid. Almost like someone was sending Morse Code. And along with the clicking, the tail lights joined in, blinking.

We kept tinkering with it, trying to make it work. There was even one interlude when it stopped clicking for about thirty minutes. We were so relieved that my son actually went to sleep. To this day, he tells the story of nightmares of being chased by a “clicking monster,” and the horror of awakening once again to the same sound.

Mile by mile we held our breath–fearful of the dreaded click.

It wasn’t until the next day, when we reached a town and pulled into a repair shop, that we discovered there was nothing wrong with the trailer or the wiring. It was the switch on our car’s headlights, which decided to take this particularly bleak evening in the California hills to become temperamental.

Every once in a while I’ll hear a sound which ever-so-slightly resembles that clicking.

Losing control, I pee my pants a little.

 

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Battery

Battery: (n) a container consisting cells, in which chemical energy is converted into electricity and used as a source of power.Dictionary B

Click.

Actually, there wasn’t even a click. It was just a sense of suspended animation while I held my car key in the position which normally ignited my engine, but this time–no fire.

The radio did not work.

The lights didn’t work.

The car was suddenly cast into the role of being a one-ton paperweight.

All because my battery was dead.

It didn’t give me any warning. Oh, I suppose I should have been keeping up with its passing birthdays, but I didn’t.

So I, who just short moments earlier was in the midst of a deep discussion about some procedure to raise at the upcoming meeting, suddenly became a dumbfounded, indigent traveler, with no idea on where to go or what to do.

Fortunately, somebody gave me a jump to start my car and I drove down to the local Wal-Mart to purchase a battery.

Because here’s the truth: there’s just no goose without the juice.

Nothing happens without the energy.

As I watched them put my battery in, I waxed philosophical. (I occasionally do that, fostering an annoying practice which somehow refuses to leave me.)

  • I need a battery for my emotions.

I must remind myself that to feel things–otherwise I am not capable of being in relationship with other humans who, like me, are creatures of emotion.

  • I need a battery for my spirit.

Something other than prayer and Bible study, that proves that I am loved and there just might be something out there other than stars and molten lava on dried-up planets.

  • I need a battery for my brain.

Without that battery I cannot create the jolt which stimulates new ideas rather than pumping out all the training of my youth.

  • And God knows, I need a battery for my body.

Often the fuel I send to my cells better prepares me for a nap than a walk.

It only took them ten minutes to give my car the boost it needed to be a car again.

It made me wonder what I could do with ten minutes.

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