Things in production…

My family and I recently took a trip east across the US – 13 states in 14 days we like to say – from Oklahoma to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and back. Along the way we stopped in Saint Louis, MO; Pourtsmouth, Ohio, New River Gorge in West Virgina, then on to Manteo in North Carolina, then back through the south: Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas. It was a long trip – sometimes tough with two young ones who didn’t want to ride more than a couple of hours (or less) at a time. I took several cameras along and had the opportunity to shoot 3 rolls of Super 8 film. Also shot some video with my GoPro2 and some stills with my Nikon. I’m looking for to having the film processed and seeing how it turned out. More and more I’ve been using my old-standby MovieFlex S8 to shoot on. It’s just so easy and comfortable to use. It focuses well, the color (if it’s color film, of course) is great, and the light meter seems to adjust accurately and moreover, forgivingly. I say all of this before getting those last three rolls in the mail to see exactly how they turned out.

I had a couple of rolls processed not long ago – one was from a drive-in cinema with a miniature golf course just below the screen. I shot right at “magic-hour” on Ektachrome 100D and I have to say it’s probably some of the most beautiful color film I’ve seen – just perfect. I need to get it digitized and online.

I am working on a couple of independent projects outside of my Super 8 dabblings:
I am still working on the Oklahoma climbing documentary and hope to have some more interviews in the near future. That’s a slow going and long term project that I’m chugging away on. The other project came up recently and involves shooting some digital footage for the Silo Art Project. This is going to be a collaborative project – I think – one where I shoot and someone else edits the footage and pieces it together for a larger project. I’m not sure but I have this feeling that it’s going to turn into something. I’m just kind of free-wheeling it, not really planning or figuring anything. Just going to show up with a camera and document. it’s funny because it’s kind of how I envisioned my OK climbing doc to work but instead I feel more anxious about making the climbing doc “good” and so my up-tight-ed-ness seems to get in the way of actually accomplishing the simple act of just setting up these interviews, turning the camera on and letting the people speak. Why is that?

It’s kind of an exciting time with all this stuff going on. I’m hopefully that I will have something to show in the near future – maybe even a short Super 8 film to submit to some over-seas festivals. I need another reason to visit England!

Another thing on my mind that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, years in fact, is starting a Super 8 class or seminar or short course program. Give everyone a Super 8 camera, talk about the basics, learn the fundamentals, shoot some film, process it, transfer it to digital and host a viewing party. I wonder what the interest in something like that would be? Maybe I could even associate it with a school/university just to further the value of it – class for credit type of thing. Just an idea.

Finally, and this probably isn’t even worth mentioning because it’s nowhere near a fleshed out idea – but I’ve had a recent fascination with chairs. Chairs. I’m not sure why. I feel like I need to shoot a film about chairs.

Enough of this update. Next post will be something of more substance.

Title for Oklahoma Climbing Documentary

Looking back over my production notes going back to 2004 I’ve found an evolution of this project. Seems it began as just a “climbing video,” then it made it’s way to something more historical and became a “documentary.” Over those years it has also changed in scope, style and attitude.

Part of the challenge of a project such as this is coming up with the story but at the same time not really knowing where the story is going to take me.

The title changes when I began to branch out and include the entire scope of Oklahoma climbing and bring in multiple types of climbing and people from all over the state. In some cases the thread that binds the climbing community together is very fine – some people climb in relative secrecy without many other knowing exactly what is going on where. Sometimes it’s not until months or years later that word makes it out about so-and-so’s new area or a new route. In terms of the early days of climbing in Oklahoma I think the history ties together a bit better than it does now – there’s just so many more climbers now and the number of opportunities for substantial advances seems more narrow. Then again, I suppose if a 5.15 trad climb was discovered somewhere deep in confines of Charons Gardens, word would spread like wildfire across the prairie.

I’ve dabbled with a number of possible titles, many of which I’ve run by my wife, and some of which I’ve tried out on friends. My brain-storming session on this is never-ending. I’ll think of something in the middle of the night and jolt awake – at the time it sounds like the perfect title. Then I fall back asleep. In the morning I muddle it over and “x” it off the list.

Thematically, there’s so many ways to go and each has its own goods and bads. Problem is I don’t want to slant the picture too far one way or the other. The title needs to speak holistically to a number of elements.

I’ve looked to titles of other documentaries that I admire – The Fog of War, The Bridge, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Vertical Frontier, American Movie – none of them speak entirely about the subject matter but tend to be more representative of a greater agenda.

Maybe I’m over-thinking this. I’m sure I’m over-thinking this.

At some point I’m just going to pick a title and stick with it. That’s it. The next update will be the title of the film.