29 July 2010

Project Twenty1: The Preamble

I'm never certain how often I have to reintroduce Project Twenty1 (P21) to readers of this blog. Random people who wander by may see an offhand reference to it and wonder about it in the flicker of time before they move along to find the actual naked Saffron Burrows pictures they were looking for. (Also, if you're here about Paul Kinsey, I am sorry to report that I do not know whether he will be in the new season. I certainly hope he will be.) Meanwhile, the 4.36 regular readers probably have the gist of it by now, and would like me to just move the hell on. Here's a brief summation to split the difference:

P21 is a film competition where the goal is to create a movie lasting ten minutes or less in 21 days. The films must somehow incorporate a theme; previous ones have included "light" and "key." In one way or another, I have participated in every previous edition, and am about to embark on the journey once again for its fourth year. Last go 'round, I posted a few blog entries updating readers on our progress. As I hope to do the same again, I'm hereby kicking off the festivities with another throat clearing before the shit really hits the fan.

The theme this year won't be announced until Saturday, July 31st. In the meantime, I've been waiting for general inspiration to strike me, not just for P21 but for scripts in general. The closer it gets, however, the more my brain wants to dwell on certain story ideas I've discussed with my collaborators. I can't actually write anything until the 31st, though, so I'm stuck twiddling my thumbs and wondering if I can fit in dick jokes and oblique references to bullshit no one will understand or care about. My thoughts are helping me out at the moment, carefully examining each component of the stories and pondering how they can be made more memorable, more efficient, better. But until I get that element, I'm stuck in neutral, hoping the car won't stall out when it actually becomes time to punch the gas.

As usual, it's humid as balls here in New York City, and us what come from more frigid climes are suffering under the heat. I lay in bed and I sweat. I brush my teeth and I sweat. I wait for the train and I sweat. The only time I'm not covered in a wet sheen is when I am blessed with air conditioning, or have a fan pointed directly at me. At night, I stick my fan two inches from my head and let it blast; the hell with electricity bills, I'm miserable now.

Tomorrow night, we of Hard Boiled Productions will occupy ourselves with an honest-to-God job documenting an evening of festivities. It will be a nice distraction from the looming presence of P21. We are marshalling our forces, preparing our equipment, musing on locales, securing cast and crew. But what are we actually going to do? We have ideas we can build on and flesh out, yes, but who knows what inspiration will hit and make us do something crazy and complex and difficult. We're like divers who can win medals doing simple backflips, but decided to challenge themselves with Triple Lindys; if we can pull it off, everyone will be stunned and amazed by having seen something new. If we don't, then we're just a bunch of assholes (and we probably still are if we succeed). Here's a question: What if we do pull it off and no one notices? After all, sometimes when we see something new, we don't recognize it for what it is, and become tempted to dismiss it.

Or is that just an artist making excuses for his past catalogue? Sounds like a whole other blog post to me...

1 comment:

  1. You can always count on me to notice -- both that you are an asshole, and an artist.