But Seriously, Folks

Waking up early (I couldn't sleep even though I was up till 1-something AM) and taking a bath and seeing the sun rising over the famous red rocks, I do have to say a few more earnest words about being here at the SIFF. Not that I was totally joking about any of what I wrote last night.

But I want to say that I am happy to be here at the first film festival that I have been honored to be at as the maker of an official selection (I've been at others but as featured musician or panelist or just observer), and it's fun and it's great to see all these cool films for free, and go to the workshops and stuff. But there are still many annoying and ludicrous things about the festival and about film fests in general. The most annoying thing about this one so far, other than the logistics hassles of getting to and from my hotel, is that everyone I meet I have to say what my film is and tell them that it's a documentary, because in the "festival biz" or at least at this one, there are really only 2 categories: doc and drama - both modified by the adjectives "feature" or "short". But my film is NOT a doc. It's an advocacy film that I was paid, contracted, to produce by the Sierra Club.

So I feel a bit like a fraud every time I tell people, "oh it's a short doc about the border wall." I guess I should be more real and honest but then I have to spend all this time explaining it.

The other thing is that because of that not-in-category status, I don't even feel like the film should even be in the festival, at least listed as a doc, and I think the only reason it is in the festival anyway is because the guy hired by the Sierra Club to promote the film has a friend that works for the Fest. And this is what pisses me off about festivals in general - it's really about who you know, and who you are, and not about your film.

Anyway, off to breakfast and then our first screening, and then a day of seeing other films. Hopefully i'll get a nap in at some point.

What's Going On

I've been extremely busy and feeling very overwhelmed for the last few weeks. I'm involved with so many projects and obligations these days that it's hard to keep them all straight. Some of them are:

  • Editing the footage I shot during my News On The Line Transition in the Borderlands trip. This was done thanks to a grant I received from the Institute for Justice and Journalism, although I didn't receive the funds till I had already incurred virtually all of the expenses.
  • Editing several trailers of bouts from the Tucson Roller Derby's 2008 season.
  • Editing Indymedia Newsreal. I wasn't getting enough submissions so I stopped for a few months, but last week I finally did another installment because I had accumulated enough contributions.
  • I'm in the closing stretch, post-rough-cut, for Death and Taxes, the war tax resistance doc I've been painfully laboring over for over a year now, have been in post since May.
  • Adding subtitles to "Wild Versus Wall" for the Sierra Club.
  • Next week Wild Versus Wall will be in the Sedona International Film Festival and I'm spending a few days up there. A chance to get even more behind on all these other things! yay.
  • I'm supposed to be editing a Pan Left demo reel.
  • I'm supposed to be revising the DVD of my film about the Juarez femicide, On The Edge, so that the disc can be repressed. Months behind on that.
  • I'm very slowly editing a training video for the Battered Immigrant Women's task force, but I've been waiting for translations of the Spanish-language interviews, which the client was supposed to be doing, for about 5 months now. I really should get my spanish in better shape so I don't have to rely on this sort of thing.
  • helping my friend Esteban do his radio show.
  • Greta and I moved into a new house a couple weeks ago and are still doing things like put up curtains and hang paintings on walls and organize all our stuff. It's a great house though, and we're really happy to be in it.
  • I'm trying to grow a handlebar mustache. I figured out that I really should be using mustache wax, but I can't find where to buy some. Places like standard drugstores don't seem to carry it. Maybe I need to check barber shops or order it on the internet or something. This is one of those "if you told me 5 years ago" things...

    So anyway, like I said, I'm busy.

  • Wish I Still Had This

    little collage table - 5
    Left it in Portland when I moved. It was cool. Sigh.

    Yesterday's Twitter tweets:

    • 08:54 Getting dressed and watching obama?s limo on tv #
    • 10:15 Heading 2 Calexico 2 do interviews #
    • 11:04 Waiting at the port in calexico 4 my interviewee 2 come thru frm Mexicali #
    • 13:24 Back from Mexicali #
    • 14:37 At Imperial Dunes Rec Area #
    • 21:42 feeling happy to be back in Tucson. #

    Yesterday's Twitter tweets:

    • 08:11 waking up and thinking about funding for future projects. #
    • 10:22 marvelling at how fascinating it is when u can see 2 or more totally unrelated "friends" on Facebook posting the same video. viral, i guess #
    • 13:53 really wanting to blurt some very strong opions here on twitter but would probably bite me in ass someday when i'm running for president. #
    • 14:45 feeling very jaded. sigh. #
    • 15:57 just spent 2 hours on a conf call. now going for a walk to clear head. not much work getting done. waaah. #

    Yesterday's Twitter tweets

    • 09:38 checking email, just walked dog. cold out, too cold. #
    • 09:48 trying again to figure out why Firefox is still wanting to connect to my old computer, and hanging/crashing when it can't find it. so stupid #
    • 10:35 talking with FF support person on IRC. annoying cuz he doesnt seem to get it. #
    • 11:21 still talking to this Firefox support guy. we've tried everything. dammit. #
    • 17:32 omg, i think i finally figured out my stupid firefox problem i've been dealing with for 6 hours today and many more over the last 2 weeks. #
    • 17:35 oops, i spoke to soon. Firefox still fucked. dammit. #
    • 20:06 feeling persecuted by technology. all day today. #

    Last Tweets of 2008

    • 09:08 trying to figure out how to be more productive today than yesterday. and more productive next year than this. sigh. #
    • 09:22 Listening to a hilarious mashup of Rick Astley and Nirvana (the 2 most famous songs of each) on ROTFL!!! #
    • 11:40 editing editing, editing.... i think i need more coffee... #
    • 15:29 reading mention of my border film in this week's Tucson Weakly: #

    The Big 4-0

    Yesterday was an important birthday for me. It was a quiet one, we pretty much just relaxed and tried to stay dry and warm, as it was a very un-Tucson-like rainy cold day. That evening after dinner Greta surprised me with a peppermint ice cream cake which she had secretly purchased and brought home and hid in the freezer earlier in the afternoon (cleverly waiting for me to make my usual afternoon espresso, for which I would need to get coffee out of the freezer - that woman is muy inteligente!!! Thank you Greta!!)

    Anyway, we also went to see Gus Van Sant's new film "Milk," the docudrama biopic about Harvey Milk, first openly gay high-profile elected official ever, a San Francisco city supervisor elected in 1978, murdered by wacko conservative Dan White, another city supervisor. It was a really well-done and moving film and I highly recommend it. One of the saddest things about seeing it is knowing that we're now 30+ years after the time depicted in the film, and still LGBT people are being denied the same rights that straights have, because of powerful and bigoted people who have some nonsensical fear that letting queers marry will somehow ruin the institution of marriage. It's just ridiculous. But it's worth remembering that only a generation ago the same people were fighting for even more basic rights, like the right to even have certain jobs (like teaching). There are those who would turn back the progress made in that time.

    Anyway, it was a good birthday yesterday.

    Tweets de Ayer

    • 08:47 looking @ VC2 pods that CurrentTV wants but i'm so disillusioned with Current. They've let me down so mny times. some1 give me a reason2care #
    • 08:58 glad i finally edited latest tucson roller derby trailer #
    • 11:30 typing a long complicated email about an incident at a memorial service. sigh. #
    • 14:10 oh wow what a day for listserv drama... #
    • 16:58 wow. looks like Current is cancelling their collective journalism program. amazing. #
    • 21:05 thinking about 67 Ramona... #

    Crazy Times

    In the last 2 or 3 weeks Greta and I have had 4 sets of houseguests. It's been kind of insane. And they have ramped up steadily in terms of how stressful they've been. First our friend Peter from Bisbee, then Greta's friend from Prescott and her friend. Then our photographer friend from Germany. And now, for the past 5 days, 3 bicycle pornographers from Oregon.

    I like having guests but it's hard to stay focused and to get work done and to stay sane when our small home is so disrupted over and over. Especially because as a filmmaker I have a lot of requirements in terms of equipment and space and concentration, especially when I'm editing. Hopefully things are going to turn around by tomorrow.

    Meanwhile I'm still psyched about my experience last week working on Video The Vote on election day including footage of a little episode with an off-duty Border Patrol agent that evening. And of course I'm psyched about how the election went. It's interesting that now everyone and their brother, especially in the progressive non-profit world, is speculating about what Obama will mean for their work, and they're sharing that speculation with all their mailing lists. I've never seen such a heady atmosphere of anticipation. It seems anticlimactic with over 2 months to go before he's actually president.

    Syndicate content