It's Dada Expressionism, OK? It's not supposed to have a point.

It’s Dada Expressionism, OK? It’s not supposed to have a point.

It is getting to be the middle of the term which means that it is getting to be time for mid-term evaluations.

In general I haven’t been worrying too much about grades: if you do the work you get the points and if you get the points your grade is fine. And I’ve done the work. It has also been a long time since I’ve been in an environment where grades were a “thing”.  No one gives you an A in housekeeping. There’s no extra credit points in getting your tires rotated or your oil changed. So grades don’t factor too heavily in my motivations for class work.

That said, I’m still a sucker for approval. I’m human, after all: some instinct in my ape brain just wants an “Atta Girl!” and a banana as a reward. Layered on top of that is the fact that a lot of the work relating to filmmaking is very subjective: no matter how perfect something is it can always be critiqued. Is it technically flawless? Then perhaps it should be more raw and exuberant. Does it tell the story objectively? Maybe it should be more in-the-moment. There are no hard-and-fast right and wrongs.

On top of that, a lot of the exercises that we have been working on have involved a fair amount of personal history mining: memories, feelings, styles of working, strong suits, weaknesses, etc. Our projects have been deliberately open-ended so that we can show what our preferences are; but then how does one give (or accept) feedback on something like that? If my style is to be very methodically paced with sophisticated dialogue and minimal action who is to say that this is wrong just because it isn’t fast-paced and visually exciting? If I write a memoir scene about falling in love and the person reading it doesn’t find it romantic does it still count?

So I’m finding mid-term evaluations to be unusually disruptive even though the feedback has been positive overall. It is unsettling to be reminded that someone has to judge us on all of this stuff that we do.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 8, 2013.

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