A watershed moment awaits me this weekend, for that is when They Live Among Us goes into production. This weekend, I have to let go.
Filmmaking is unique in that it is the most collaborative of the storytelling arts. You being with the creation of the story – the world, the characters within it, the plot. Writing a series is like weaving a rich tapestry; you must carefully guide the shuttle through vertical threads. You must take the time to batten the threads. Your loom may have 4 harnesses, or it may have 16. The more harnesses you have, the more intricate your design – but your design must not feel random. It must be solid. It must have purpose. It must make sense.
I’ve been sifting through Episodes 1 – 3 as I’ve been forging ahead with 4 – 6, as well as developing the bible. I’ve discovered missing data that must be included in the first chapters of this complex story of supernaturals who exist in a sea of mankind; therefore, back to the pages I’ve gone, placeholding items to be polished later, editing, refining, rewriting… and today, the finish line approaches.
By this time tomorrow, all will be complete. The actors need completion, so they may have time to peruse and apply changes. Production needs completion so we may have a calm and focused shoot… and I need completion so I may step back and place these pages in the capable hands of those who have agreed to go along for the ride.
And so, the shuttle is passed to production.
As director, I plan to be there to trouble shoot, to help problem solve, to steer if necessary and, if not, to stay out of the actors’ way. I have a seasoned crew, and so, it is time for me to surrender.
What if it doesn’t work? What if they don’t like it? What if all of this is ponderous, overblown and self-absorbed? Or worse – trite. Meaningless. Absent of voice, of vision, of style? What if it is not unique?
I’ve been in the center of a maelstrom of activity; this has helped to quiet the questioning voices, the chorus of self-doubt that plagues so many creative people. It is a cacophony that I can readily do without, and so, I work out. I put on my music. I sit at the keyboard, my heart and soul utterly naked as I type FADE IN…
Within a little over a week, we’ll be wrapped and in post. Another pass of the shuttle. Another time to let go.
My ultimate fear is, of course, that the project will tank. And yet, something deep inside me tells me that it will not. If it does, the responsibility is solely mine. If it does not, it is due to the work of not only myself but of others.
My confession: I don’t want the ride to end.
Now, go write.
HRH, Princess Scribe