Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thank you, AMEX

The equipment is here. Yesterday the UPS man delivered many, many boxes. In these boxes were components for a super-fast computer, Adobe's Creative Suite 3 Production Premium software, and a Canon XL2 digital camcorder. This is an upgrade from what we used to make Cupcake Confidential. Unlike that venture, "The Movie" will not be shot on a borrowed camera. iMovie will not be our editing software. And we will not have to store half the footage on the iPod while the eMac processes the edits. How did people of modest means acquire such shiny new things? I asked American Express to give me eight thousand dollars. Thirty seconds later they said, "Okay, here's $8,000." I got the willies. Then I got to spending.

So there it is, strewn across the living room, in boxes and in various states of construction. The monitor is wide and stately. The tower housing all the little computer parts is black and imposing. The box that holds the Adobe software and manuals weighs around 15 pounds. The camera looks like it means business. The tools are here. All that remains is putting them to use. After they're put together of course. Thankfully this is Brandon's job. So far, power cables have not connected properly, the video card wouldn't communicate readily, and Vista refused to install smoothly. (Big surprise. [My instinctive opposition to owning a PC has not fully faded.]) Brandon has gone nuts a total of five times thus far. It's good training for him. Things will be going much wrong-er as this project progresses and he will no doubt be driven far nuts-er.

I'd like to say that I'm excited. All this great new stuff. And I can. I am. I'm excited. There's tangible proof all over my living room floor and on my dining room table, physical objects that stand as testament to this being not just some sure, sure someday pile of maybe. It's real and touchable and expensive. I am excited.

But I'm also going crazy myself. Can we talk about the screenplay? Specifically, can we discuss the ways (so many, many ways) it is devouring my soul and my brain and my will to get out of bed? That's what we're here for, I suppose. It's not that I'm thinking it can't be done. It can. And it's not that I'm throwing my arms up in the air and saying I can't do this. Not yet, anyway. But lordy, I am flailing. I'm thinking about storylines in the shower. People at work talk to me and I stare at their lips and try to pay attention to what they're saying but really I'm thinking about the story. Always the story. The story the story the story. When the company got together to decide what "The Movie" would be about, we came up with a fairly complicated structure--a framework, really-- and a few guidelines, a few interesting elements to incorporate and so on. Details are up to me. I agreed to write this thing and I'm not complaining. But there are a lot of details in the world. There are a lot of stories to be told. I'm not interested in most of them. The one I'm interested in is out there. I can feel it dancing around the room, playing with me, just out of reach. It brushes against my skin then runs away. I'm hunting it down with an ax and a big jar of peanut butter, but it's a nimble little fucker and I think it prefers jelly.

Well, time to do it to it.

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