Theonewiththe


That feeling. Theonewiththe magic.

That feeling. Theonewiththe magic.

I went to the final screenings for the semester over this past weekend; nearly sixty short films in all, over the course of two days.  It was exciting to get to see what everybody else had been working on all semester and edifying to be able to see my own work up on the big screen and to hear the audience responses.

Watching sixty short films in a weekend is a lot of emotional work, and is chiefly why I didn’t end up writing anything for the past two days. Within minutes of leaving the theatre all the films were a blur in my mind. I kept having to ask my classmates which film was theirs. Theonewiththe priest and the strippers. Theonewiththe house in foreclosure. Theonewiththe guy in the airport. Everybody, in the end, uses the same words to describe their work- myself included. After the first day of screenings I came home and fell asleep for a solid two hours to recuperate. Even sitting down to write today felt like a lot of work- not because I lacked ideas to discuss, but rather because I had so many ideas swirling around in my brain that I wasn’t sure where to start.

When people ask me what made me want to make movies I usually cite the release of “Jurassic Park” (theonewiththe dinosaurs) when I was about twelve- because at the time I was quite into dragons and it occurred to me that if the makers of “Jurassic Park” could bring dinosaurs to life the way that they did, then I could do that with dragons. This makes for a fun little story, which is easy to tell over wine and cheese whilst mingling and easy to remember when suddenly handed a microphone and instructed to Tell A Little Bit About Myself, but it isn’t really the thing that drives me to make movies.

The truth is somewhat less simple to articulate. It has to do with feelings. Or rather, it has to deal with one specific feeling- a feeling so specific that I’m not sure the English language has a word to describe it. Ironically, it’s not a feeling that you get as a filmmaker, but rather as a member of the audience. It’s a feeling of something within the film resonating with some deep truth within yourself that maybe you didn’t even know existed until you saw it on the screen and felt it come alive inside you.

This is a feeling that doesn’t happen to me often, but it happened due to one of the films over the weekend. I won’t say which one, I would be embarrassed to admit it. It made me realize two things; firstly that it is the pursuit of this ethereal, inarticulate Feeling that drives me to make films in the face of anxiety, adversity, futility and despair, and secondly that this is not a Feeling that I will ever be able to receive from my own work. A cosmic irony if ever there was one.

It might seem like this realization would be discouraging, but I am not discouraged. Even though I may be too close to get this Feeling from my own work I like to think that I might be able to inspire this Feeling in someone else.  Instead, I find myself relieved to discover that the magic still exists even though I have become the man behind the curtain.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 12, 2014.

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