Before I allow myself to get too overwhelmed by the impending deadlines/etc., I have a neat solution to restore a general sense of ease and calmness. I just think about this:
Two weeks ago, my projection for the date of January 25th included a five-hour drive to southern Virginia to contest a speeding ticket, followed by a five-hour drive back to my parents' house (where I live), only to wake up the next morning and paint a house with my bro-in-law, slowly chipping away at a debt that was the result of a film I directed that nobody was ever going to see.
When I seriously place myself in that car, making that long, pointless drive, I feel sad and queasy. And when I realize that I won't be making that drive after all, that this time--for once in my not-quite-but-almost-there life--the fantasy has become the reality, I actually relax and all the stress and pressure goes away.
I am one of those people who operates better when the stakes aren't high, or at least when I act like they aren't. It's a defense mechanism, I realize that, but it's how I operate. Having seen the funeral for COCAINE ANGEL before it was even born, I am somehow able to breathe freely and address the approaching deadlines with a sense of calmness (and amusement, even). The fact that I can't believe the next few months are actually going to happen enables me to not freak out and think negatively, for everything that happens from this point forward is a magical gift. Even if no one shows up to the Rotterdam screening(s). Even if everyone hates the film. The mere fact that they're watching it is the most glorious miracle of all! Granted, having a positive emotional impact would be like winning the lottery twice in one year, but for now, I'm simply thrilled to be playing the game.
Of course, this rational perspective also includes the realization that after Rotterdam I will be in even more debt and still living at home, but somehow the trip over there justifies all the hard work and sacrifice. I mean, actually selling this thing and being able to pay it off would be incomprehensibly great, but I'm not counting on anything like that. I'm counting on a fun, fun, fun time, and a return to the life I'm currently living, slowly chipping away at my continually increasing debt. I honestly can't see myself ever making money at any of my creative outlets (filmmaking, writing, music), just because I've done it for so long without any fiscal reward. Then again, I didn't see our little-movie-that-could sneaking its way into Rotterdam, so perhaps those walls are starting to crumble. How neat that would be.
After Rotterdam, I have a strong hunch that bigger and brighter things will be heading our way, and as soon as we hear confirmations from other festivals, I'll be sure to let you know where we'll be headed next.
As for the film itself, there's more sound work to be done this week, at which point I drive down to Wilmington (NC) to get a mackadocious color correction and we output the finished product to digi-beta (that's the best we can do for Rotterdam--no HD there, unfortunately). Then I ship it to them and put on my publicist hat, trying to ensure that there are more than three people in the theatre when the film is shown.
But as I said before, I don't really care about that stuff. Everything from this point forth is out of my control. My job was to make the most affecting product possible, and I'm incredibly proud of what we accomplished--especially considering what we had to work with (beginning, of course, with yours truly as 'director'). I hope, hope, hope everyone gets to see it sooner than later, and I hope that it works on you as well as it works on me.
Thanks for listening...