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.

 

Aeschylus

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aeschylus: (c. 390 – 314 BC) Greek dramatist, best known for his tragedies Agamemnon, Choephoroe and Eumenides. Considered to be the father of the Greek tragedy.

Not only the father of the Greek tragedy, but also seemingly the parent of prime-time television and the movie industry of our present day.

After all, if we don’t insert some tragedy into the stories we tell, we risk some critic dubbing our tale “saccharine, cloying,” or worse yet–“family fare.”

There is a common aversion in today’s social strata against sharing a story with ups, downs, ins and outs, which ends up with a realistic conclusion instead of a Hollywood ending. Matter of fact, I think it would be impossible for the 24-hour news cycle to report anything that isn’t either sensational or able to be sensationalized.

And let me offer a tidbit of opinion which will probably grind the teeth of some of my readers: when there is a shooting at a school or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, and we begin to hear the phrase, “death toll” introduced into the storyline, even though our better selves hope that people will not be killed, we sometimes might be a little disappointed when this running death toll does NOT rise.

We have geared the American public to be thirsty for blood–as long as it’s not their own. If their little angel sons and daughters have a small prick on the finger, they ready to rush them to the emergency room. But we will watch with a mixture of horror and intrigue as the offspring in Haiti wallow in mud, disease and death.

We are a tragic clump of clods, who honor Aeschylus by perusing the Internet for even MORE of the bizarre.

And if anyone such as myself would dare to object to the onslaught of the macabre, we have prepared speeches decrying these idealistic fools as “sappy”–or worse yet, “religious.”

To reach a point where we can stand tall and pursue our dreams, we will need to reject the fallacy of failure as being inevitable in the human experience. Not everything has to come up roses.

But why in the hell would we plant just thorns?