Sunday, September 9, 2007

What I Did With My Summer...

I can’t believe the summer is fading. When I look back at the summer of 2007, those typical days of grilling, movie nights and vacationing with the kids will not be around to paste in the photo album.

However, my copy of Gorilla and FrameForge software would archive my first (of what I hope to be many pivotal moments in my career and life): produced, written, directed and edited short film.

As many friends and family members were surprised, and somewhat impressed, at the fact I was filming a short film, no one was as unsure, scared-out-of their minds, and completely naive as I. But I wouldn’t change those emotions for anything in the world. For it was these three emotions that kept me grounded and pushing on despite the many obstacles I faced.

I started my adventure sometime in the Spring of 2007. Having written screenplays that I was unforgivingly passionate about, and having received positive and encouraging feedback from mentors and producers, I found myself banging my head against the wall. It felt like I would be going in circles forever.

I write because I have something to say. Granted, I don’t expect everyone to want to hear it, but I suspect much of what my stories contain speaks to a segment of population who have been overlooked or purposely brushed aside because it’s easier to ignore than admit. Some might think this an arrogant position to take. I’ve learned this summer that there is an extremely thin line between arrogance and passion, and sometimes the line is invisible to the eye.

My attempt at making two student shorts while at NYU left me with a strong desire, as well as confidence, to make another. However, no longer having access to filming equipment and other resources, the desire sizzled like a passionless marriage.

But I’m not the type to give up. I’m not wired that way - believe me, I wish there were days I was; it would mean a little more sleep and down-time. When I told the hubby I wanted to make a film, as always, he said sure. What I didn’t tell him is that I had not a clue in the world how and where to start.

Living outside of NYC was going to prove limiting, as well as a whole list of other reasons that I was too naive to recognize. I wish I could say it was my stubbornness that pushed me forward, but no, it was complete ignorance. I was CLUELESS.

I decided to stay in my comfort zone. Sure I’ve heard that a good comedic short, with one location and a two or three person cast is advisable for the first short, but, hey, sometimes the wax is very thick. I was going to do a drama, with multiple sets, flashbacks and a dream sequence, original artwork, and a child actor. NAIVE is thy name.

One of my NYU teachers once said in class, “No one writes tragedies anymore, oh, except for Tracy”. I do, and I embrace it. I love a tragic hero - the complexity and duality. The study of man and woman in their paradoxes of right and wrong, good and bad, and love and hate.

So, I set out to bring one of my pieces in front of the camera.

The choice I felt was made for me. I had written an assignment a few years back that called for a scene between two characters, in which one speaks and the other is forced to remain silent. As it was a stage production, it turned out to be a one page monologue. Oh, to be naive. Quite simply, turn this monologue into a short film. Good luck with that.

Let’s just say, it became a crash-course in adaptation, for which I was still rewriting the script just two days before wrapping.

I wrapped filming Wednesday, September 5th at 2:30 AM.

Stay tuned for more of my adventure.


sevnetus said...

Congratulations on your finished film. I sorted on books, St. Anna, to find you when I was trying to get away from movies, so go figure. What segment of people is brushed aside by writing? Good Luck.

Tracy said...

Hey, Sevnetus, I checked out your blog. While I love your original voice and style, some things struck a nerve. Can't tell if they were playful or not... but I will stay tuned.

In terms of which segment of people... there are just certain topics that are uncomfortable and not entertaining. Show business is a business. Laughs, spills, chills and thrills draw box office success. However, we prefer to take our tears in very small dosages, our thought-provoking challenges in minuscule sips.

It is what it is - but I'm not going to let that stop, or silence, my voice.

Oh, and I loved reading St. Anna. I so want to see it come to the big screen. That would be a dream adaptation gig.

annabel said...

Tracy, you are awesome and inspiring! I am so impressed with your determination. Keep us posted on post production!

Tracy said...

Thanks, Annabel. I'm knee-deep in editing a rough cut.