Lessons in Reality

1 Jun

Making a movie is hard.  Making a micro-budget movie is even harder.

Myriad elements must come together to make a movie work, and, like the world, money can sure make a movie go around.  So, with little money, a filmmaker simply needs to be realistic with his/her expectations.

I’ve been immensely fortunate with my cast and crew on Girlfriend 19.  From my actors to my editors, everyone has done as much as they possibly could.  And the truth is that they could have done more if I could have afforded to pay them more.  This is a simple reality I’m coming to grips with.  In our society money = time, and time often means more focus and energy.  With more focus and energy, people often do optimal work.  I’m sure my actors would have benefited from multiple paid rehearsals to prepare more thoroughly.  And, no doubt, my editors would have loved to be paid enough to quit their “day jobs” so they could focus solely on Girlfriend 19.  But because I did not have the budget, we could not afford to do these things.

This is the reality I’ve come to grips with while working on Girlfriend 19.  Unfortunately, people often confuse such realism with negativity, assuming that I now expect less.  That’s a shame, because the lessons in reality that I am learning are actually making me more optimistic.  In other words, rather than have unrealistic expectations, which often lead to disappointment and resentment (negativity), I keep my sights grounded in reality, which leads to a higher level of appreciation and contentment.

Girlfriend 19 is taking a lot longer to finish than I originally expected, but I’ve come to grips with this reality and am now patiently awaiting its completion…


11 Responses to “Lessons in Reality”

  1. Nuno Barreto June 8, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Do you have any idea what the schedule for the film will be after the completion of the film?
    Like how long until it hits the festival circuit, or until it’s released any whatever medium…

    • Christopher June 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

      Hey, Nuno. Good to hear from you – it’s been a while!!! Hope you’re doing well…

      Great question and it reminds me that I need to post an update about Girlfriend 19. I will do that next week for sure.

      A lot has happened that has delayed the completion of the film, but good things, I assure you. We simply are trying to make it the best that we can within our limitations. And with much limitation, one must be patient.

      So, unfortunately, I am going to miss the Fall festival deadlines; however, I personally believe Winter is a better time to start, so I will submit to festivals that occur in or after January.


  2. John June 6, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    Thanks for sharing this with us Christopher. As Nataly said, I think it’ll only sharpen your creative skills, especially as it seems that you’ve been playing to your limitations and what you have available from the beginning.

  3. Rae June 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    We are all rooting for you!!!

  4. Sajib June 2, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    It’s nice that you at least understand this. A question if you don’t mind to answer: How much was the budget for the film?

    • Christopher June 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      Hey, Sajib. I’m still debating whether or not to share my budget. There are conflicting views on that subject and I’m not sure what I believe yet, or, rather, I should say I’m not sure what’s best for me and my film.

  5. Chuck Norton June 2, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    I’ve had same experience!

    You need to watch this (if you haven’t already): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc – it’s a video on ‘what motivates us’..

    • Christopher June 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      Wow, way cool, Chuck. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  6. Nataly Martinez June 1, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    Scarcity in resources brings about the best creativity.

    • Christopher June 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      Agreed!!!! I call it “Thinking outside the box, inside the box.”

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