#MondayMotivation - You won't often feel good enough or prepared enough. Do it anyway. Do it scared. Be real, be raw, be vulnerable. Be willing to fail so you can grow. Remember you are not alone. We're all on this journey of learning and improving.
As we developed the story for "Endpoint" for the Four Points Film Project (a competition where you have 77 hours to make a film), I was both excited by the challenge that my role would present, and also scared of going so far beyond any intensity I've portrayed on screen before (AND with little to no prep time to dig into the character). ---------------------------------
I was also scared of failure. These guys had faith that I could pull this off. What if I let them down? What if I wasn't good enough? What if I made the film subpar? But I also knew I could rise to the challenge. (I haven't seen the film yet to judge how well I did, but I at least know it felt good in the moment, haha!) And I'm grateful to the @03films team for giving me a safe place to explore, to be vulnerable, and to grow.
I'm sharing this because I want you to know that if you have these same doubts and fears, you aren't alone! I've done over 30 films now, and I still struggle with this when I have to push myself outside of my comfort zone! And there are times when I walk away from a seemingly "easy" role and feel disappointed because I'm not quite sure I nailed it the way I could have or should have.
I don't think anyone ever "arrives" and feels completely confident or gets it 100% perfect every time. But we should all be willing to do it scared and never lose the excitement of the challenge. You never know what you can do until you try. And if you stumble along the way, pick yourself up and keep going! As my phone case reminds me every day, it's all about the journey, not the destination!
As the pre-production phase of my current short-film begins to demand more and more of me, I’d like here to attempt to assess my previous short-film “Plant Life”, in hopes of avoiding the pitfalls inherent to my own style and process, while perhaps drawing inspiration from my own work.
In “Plant Life” (Vimeo link in description if you’re interested) a plant foreman is tasked with locating and firing an injured, facially-disfigured employee. Thematically, the film attempts to confront the basic pillars of existential philosophy: inevitability, choice, and the realm that exists between the living and the dead. In addition, my own personal interest in the evolutionary purpose of work, as well as the function of the face as a mask or conduit, capable of both disconnection and engagement, too laid a heavy foundation for the final product.Today, I’d like to discuss briefly Plant Life’s title sequence, my intentions, and the sources of influence present.
The first shot to appear on screen is that of a man whose face is cast in shadow. As it came to be during editing, my thinking was to plant immediately within the head of the viewer an icon which would repeatedly present itself throughout the course of the film. And while the imagery is certainly there throughout the film, the intention ultimately proved vague, and wasn’t pushed nearly as far as it should have been. It was written as a faint, “what-if?” sort of thought, and was thus executed in a similar manner.
Faceless figures are then explored further, their bodies dissected visually on screen: legs, arms, bodies without heads, darkness. The idea of dissection came to me after reading an Eisenstein essay, in which he described a theatrical performance he had seen: a character died, but his death was expressed by each individual body part perishing in turn. Why not shoot similarly?
Coupled with this concept was an idea one of the models had: to pose like Michelangelo's “David”. The dissection via camera of the model’s body, now constrained to the contrapposto of “David”, provided me with another thought: to frame certain shots after images of ruined, marble sculptures I’d seen, the most evident example