the toughest realization that i've had to face hit me this past week. i'm not going to make tiff this year with my film 'gregoire'. it's devastating to me.
i would never release a film if i didn't think it was right where it should be, and who know's maybe it wouldn't have been where it needed to be and all of that - so the following is kind of in hypotheticals.
in the larger picture, this film meant more to me than just telling a story about my home town. it meant more to me than continuing my career as an independent filmmaker. it meant more to me than anything you might ever understand. so this weakening feeling that it isn't going to happen hurts me more than maybe it should.
i came home from a film festival, only to be laid off from my job of six years. i was given a lovely severance package, but had to live off of it, and i couldn't save the money to make two films like i was hoping. i went on EI and really only got enough to pay my rent, and my bills. everything beyond rent and bills got slapped onto a visa that had already been revived from maxing out (twice).
the beautiful thing about the job that i had was that it afforded me time. i worked four on, four off. which meant i had four days off to work on films. it was perfect. it worked for me. and now i came home, with no job and no place to be but all the time in the world. so what was i to do?
i had to give up my office - a place that i had spent a lot of my downtime, writing. i couldn't write at home, sorry, i can't write at home. my wonderful beautiful friends kris woznesensky and kara eide, let me occupy a chair in their office. together during the days we, all three of us would work so hard and make things happen.
i tried looking for a job, something to get me back in the saddle so i didn't have to live off my severance, but i spoiled that story for you already. no one wanted me. nobody wanted the skills i had spent ten years working on. i was a free agent in the offseason - no one was hiring. i tried applying for jobs that were (lesser) than i felt comfortable doing. jobs that would have been a paycheck, and i would have sorted out my life afterwards and made this work. during my time waiting to hear back i did not get one single email - not even confirming that my resume was sent in. it was fucking tough.
at a point, when my severance was wearing out i made the decision, and i said to myself. "you've been afforded the time to do something you've always wanted to do. go do it." so i did. i put finding a job on the back burner, although still looking, and decided i would make a jump to a feature film and i would do it myself.
the shitty thing about being independent is that you're all fucking alone in this. if no one is getting paid or no one is investing money in you - then no one cares. but i found a few people who gave a shit about the story i was telling. and together we filmed it. i wont get into the wonderful time i had filming, because that's not the point of this. once filming wrapped i realized that i was missing a big component of what these other films have - money. money to pay people to do things. as i mentioned before no one cares as much as you do, that's a given, but no one cares even half as much as you do - without motivation, in form of money. i hate asking people to do things for free - so i don't ask. if people volunteer their time, perfect, and i'll have to take it as it comes, and work around their schedule and so on. the post process right now has cost me about 7-9 months of time because of the factors mentioned above. the life of me has been sucked out because i've had to put this project, that has been in my own hands for so long - into others hands and it did nothing but hurt. (the project and myself)
i am sad i wont get to submit my film to tiff this year, with some heavy hitters, in hopes to stand among them knowing that while they were given money and time, my film came at a cost of money and time. i am sad that this film is going to be on the shelf for some time until it is ready. i am sad that this chapter of my career, rests dormant for now. i am sad that this story of my hometown will have to wait to be told, but selfishly i am sad that the return on suffering for an entire year isn't paying off. it will one day, i'm sure. maybe it wont. i've been down before, i'll be up again. i just know that the next time i do this whole thing, it'll be done differently.