I think there's a certain solemness that goes along with being an editor. It's the ability to sit in front of a computer screen for twelve hours straight, creating something, refining it, and still wishing you didn't have to stop to sleep. It's being an organizer, the guy who gets to pull all the loose fragments together and essentially gets to create the message of the work. I've always felt that as long as the coverage in the shooting was well done, it was in the editing that the story got told. It's a personal experience executed with the foresight of knowing how your target audience will respond.
Still, it's lonely out on this independent limb.
One of the few things I actually miss about film school was the collaborative element that came with developing and refining various personal productions. It was the best of both worlds. You still got to pursue the project you wanted, but subjected it to a slaughter of criticism from people you respected and loathed. As uncomfortable or gracious as it could be, it lit a fire. Just knowing that you were being challenged, that you were in competition, that you actually stood next to a crowd when they were watching your work created this sensational rush and excitement. It was a high that lasted only a few minutes, took weeks to get, but was completely worth it.
On all accounts 2008 has been a very successful year for me. But, while my work screens in Montreal or the UK, while people read my blog or watch my 70+ YouTube movies, I'm disconnected from the experience and have received only a sliver of feedback in contrast to the work it took to actually achieve these things. It's reaffirming my frustrations as I don't know how much harder I can push just to get some of that meaningful 'outside insight' back.
Part of this frustration is also associated with having no one like me in my social circle. As self absorbed as I know that sounds, I mean having friends who produce their own work as prolifically. I think I'm hungry for that challenge again, and even more so, would love to collaborate on quality projects without feeling that I have to initiate and steer the entire production. After all the work I've put in to developing a resonable online persona for promotion, I don't want to collaborate just for the sake of having another voice, and I don't want to feel like I'm merely a source for equipment and publicity. I want to be sparked by someone who has just as much confidence and belief in what they're creating as I do. (My friends are great by the way, but) I want to stir the pot a bit.
I know the answers I want to hear, and reminders of one's own passion and perserverance seem to require review from time to time. I'm still growing and trying to find a path, while at the same time I think my pursuit might be easier if I were to focus on making and promoting a single series of work instead of this grab bag of variety. One way or another I'd like to introduce new faces to the mix. It's tough to balance, but it is what it is. Like I said at the start of this post, I can sit at this monitor for a long period of time; Long enough to re-edit, review, renew, but more likely, to continue searching for what I'm looking for and challenge myself again.
It may feel a bit lonely at the moment, but I think if I make my intentions clearer while continuing to diversify my work and approach, there's a good chance that new faces will emerge. Time to take a few more risks.