Sunday, 18 November 2012

The way back

Trying to budget my trip back to NZ. I'll be stopping in San Jose, California to do the most important interview of the film with an Assyrian anthropologist. But I hate budgeting!

I'm a bit sick with a cough anyway, but I've left the whole day free so I can get this done. It takes me so long and I just loathe doing it, but I feel like Im getting somewhere.

I have been making a short doc with another guy for a course Im doing and the subject we chose was homeless people. There's so many in Nth America, its been a fascination of mine ever since I got here. It's been amazing getting their philosophy on street living and life, but they've cleaned me out and I have nothing till my money goes thru tomorrow. It's $1.50 pack of English muffins from Dollarama and leftover croissants from the hostel owners' cafe. Could be worse. But am not very good with healthy lately.

Yesterday was the Doc Toronto Editor's Conference, which had different documentary film editors speaking. Wow, what a treat. There was a great guy who'd spoken at another thing I went to and he ended up sitting beside me so I plucked up courage to chat. When I said he was from New Zealand, he said "Oh, I love New Zealand. I was making a documentary there about the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior ...". He did David Lange's last interview. He went even further up in my esteem.

They also had an master class with Michele Hozer, a lady who edited "Shake Hands with the Devil" an amazing doc about Rwanda that I'd got out of the library a while back.

Then I went out for coffee with a girl who I'd met in another course who is an actress and is really nice she had heaps of tips and advice.

So it's been like Christmas!

But I do feel a bit blue, something I haven't quite shaken since Chicago. It's colder now and I worry about getting everything done before my trip and if I'll have enough money etc, and I spose what I'll feel like after I get back. Also I moved out of a dorm room where it was crowded and I didn't really fit in. That's always the killer for me - the social thing.

I've been going to social media classes in order to learn how to promote my film online, and I really like it, but its also beginning to seem a bit daunting. Quote from the last class: "If you don't believe in yourself no one else will." Which makes me feel even worse... Someone unliked my film page on Facebook, and I felt bad, and I'm like, lordy, this is just the beginning!

Next week I think Im going to be staying with another doc filmmaker who was also at another of my courses. I told her I was running short of money so she offered to have me. I think it will be great, we can talk about making our films till our hearts content. So maybe my mood will improve. Her doc is about miners in Nova Scotia, Canada, which is a topic I kinda like. She's a coal miner's granddaughter herself. It all reminds me of the West Coasters of NZ so makes me feel a little nostalgic.

Michele Hozer speaking at the Editing Conference:

Friday, 9 November 2012

Oriental Institute puts the nail in ... finally!!

Email from Emily Teeter, OI, Chicago:

"I passed the request by our director, and he has decided that we cannot help you with the project because of the political implications of the documentary."

Wow, my doc is soo important and politically controversial. But then there's the Muslims.

But It's ok because I have my "string tripod".

God will have to forgive me I couldn't resist replying, highlighting the massive irony that the Assyrian reliefs were probably made by the ancestors of the subjects of my documentary. I did hold back from stating that therefore they still technically belonged to them. Then I'd sound ignorant right?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Last night in Chicago

I'd been meaning to visit something called the Navy Pier out on the waterfront in Chicago, cos it was supposed to be iconic (ie. on lots of postcards) have a retro Ferris wheel and other stuff.

It was great. I could only go at night when it was raining and there was nobody there and it was brilliant.

I took lots of video shots of the Ferris wheel and chair swing and carousel using my Super 8 film app on my iPad.

But the best thing was the carousel. It brought back some way far away memory and it took some minutes before I could get the courage to go on it. I thought they'd think I was weird, the people running it, but I so wanted to go on it and live that remote memory.

I bought a ticket ($5) and got on, the only one, and it was just wonderful. I think I remember doing the same with my Dad, and I got off and some tears came up for a moment as they do now.

Settling in for the night..

Homeless under a highway in Chicago. The benefits of US social care.