Tuesday, March 18, 2008

update: back to work

I'm so grateful to have mostly kicked the flu by now and to have a little time to work and write. I'm supposed to be leading/participating in the Playwrights Submission Binge this month, but the illness really set me back. Plus, I don't have a lot I need to submit at the moment--but I do need to update my marketing materials (resume, bio, web site), so I'm working on that.

Last night, I spent a few hours getting the Rhombus web site put together, so we'll have some info there for the Six Views, Same Shape festival in April. I'm not done yet, but it's a lot better than what was there yesterday morning.

I actually made some progress on my new play, Constant State of Panic, this morning, which is good, because I have no idea what happens next, every day I pick it up. I do know that I need at least a complete first draft of a first act before the festival on April 26th. I'm grateful to be making some progress writing.

My whole triple-threat notion has been fairly soft lately, because I've done so little film writing. But in a couple weeks, I'll be on a team for the 48Hour Film Project, and I'm psyched about that.

Just the taste of filmmaking again has gotten me revved up. I found myself unable to sleep the other night and worked out a whole plan for turning my play, Pieces of Whitey, into a series of very short films, more like a mini-tv series, really, that I want to produce and then post online.

YouTube is amazing for how it has completely changed the landscape for short film distribution. When I was in college making short films, I could expect to show them to a couple hundred people on campus, and that was about it. A little thought quickly showed that making short films was an expensive source of frustration, if you were looking to reach an audience. I could reach a lot more people, more cheaply, by making theatre.

Changes in the past five years, in both video and computer technology, have changed the argument completely. (My elk video that I shot on my snapshot camera has been seen 700 times on YouTube since September.) For less than the cost of a small theatre production, I could buy the video and computer equipment I need to make a whole bunch of short films. And then I can distribute them, fairly easily, for much less than I could produce an evening of theatre. It's definitely got me thinking. I'm not going to give up theatre, but I'm going to check out making films again, a lot more seriously.

The kind of filmmaking that interests me is a lot like the theatre-making that interests me--I'm interested in low budget art that involves a community of artists and audience. I'm curious to see what happens next. The 48FP weekend will teach me a lot (I'm pretty rusty on my filmmaking skills and knowledge).

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