Dailies

Dailies: (n) in the movie industry, a series of hastily printed shots from the previous day’s shooting

The true evaluation of the quality of an experience is based upon who you are with, not what you were doing or what happened.

I believe this with all my heart.

There are individuals that I wouldn’t mind being stranded with on a desert island, and there are other people that would make me feel cramped and uncomfortable if I joined them in a king’s palace.

For just about five years of my life, I had the pleasure of working in the independent film industry.

It ended up garnering thirteen low-budget flicks.

The pleasure of that experience is that I did it with my oldest son, who directed, and his magical muse of a wife, who shot and edited.

The screenplays I wrote for them were based upon my imagination. Unfortunately, they had to translate my dream life into reality without using much money or special effects.

They left early in the morning with a cast of characters who had agreed to join them on the mission based upon the words and their reputation. They reappeared in the evening, bedraggled but jubilant, with enough energy to put together some of the shots of the day—to intrigue this writer with their interpretation of the prose.

They were ingenious.

They cut corners but not significance.

They negotiated, requested, went to city council meetings to get permission to use football fields…

Well, these two remarkable people, Jon and Tracy, took what could have been a beleaguered, if not dangerous, project and made it magic.

I had fun standing back and watching them erupt with creativity.

I will never forget those late-night sessions, when Tracy drummed up dailies from the shoot and showed them to me—everything from puppets to bazookas to football uniforms to prisons to death scenes.

It was mind blowing.

They have gone on to do much more, but I will always hold those treasures in my heart.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if somewhere off in the cosmos God sits down after dark with some popcorn and watches our dailies.

 

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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