I was supposed to be a filmmaker. From the tender age of 17 up to my mid-twenties, I studied, ate, lived film – and not the type you watch in a theatre. For me, it was all about making a vision come to life, putting into words and images what was in my head. Finding the right face to represent a broken character, the perfect fabric for the dress of the girl who stomps on his heart, the ideal location for the scene to take place. And then, I fell in love with writing and I realized that it was a lot less expensive in all aspects to just stay home in my yoga pants and write all day.
I miss it so much, but not all of it. Not the egos, not the tantrums or “cheer up” speeches. Not the blazing heat of a small room filled with kinos or the late technicians with that one piece of equipment you can’t start without. Not the fragile actors or the zealous director of photography, or the stress peaking when there’s no more time, no more money, no more patience.
What I cannot replace is that feeling, between ‘Action!’ and silence, that everything is possible, that this might be the perfect take, that this is what I’d always dreamed of doing and that someday, I’d get paid to do it. It was tangible, it was real.
Like the first time I worked with a Steenbeck flatbed editing machine and touched with gloved fingers the film printed with my vision anchored into them, 24 images a second at a time. The crunch to splice out the unwanted bits, the chemicals leaving a short buzz in the edit suite, the strain on my eyes after hours of watching the same sequence over and over, to make sure it was perfect. That was it for me, that was when I felt most alive.
I wrote, directed and produced three short films. With my own money, begging for favors, finding a team through my short list of contacts. It worked, the films are distributed and I sometimes catch a glimpse of them on specialized channels. But that feeling of excitement, of accomplishment after long hours of shooting, is forever gone. All because of this thing called writing.
Maybe I’ll get that feeling back someday, but it won’t be because of a film. It will be because of a book, all mine with only my name on its cover, and my voice printed on its pages.