Perhaps my analog to having children is creating projects. The most satisfying projects are the ones that become larger than myself, things with a life of their own. I’m not entirely sure why that is. Maybe I like being able to diffuse the success of something over a group of people because accepting it myself is too overwhelming.
It’s like that with Boards ‘N Brews, a weekly board game meetup I started two years ago. My original thought was to play some of the games I owned that never seemed to make it to the table. I figured I could find four or five other people who might want to meet twice a month and play games. Fast forward to today where there are now 40-50 regular members, several other organizers, and several games scheduled every week at a packed venue. Sometimes I walk in to the Rockin’ Tomato and see all those people and think that I am somehow responsible for what is happening. But I try not to think about it too much. I’m just happy that it exists.
I like to bring ideas to life, set things in motion and then let them go. While I like to provide creative direction, I don’t really like being “in charge” of anything or anyone. A lot of the time nothing will happen unless someone decides to take action and sometimes that someone is me. But that is different from wanting to control everything for control’s sake. I’d rather have an idea and then find all the right people to make it happen and have someone else manage it.
In an ideal world, I’d be a facilitator for dreams, mine and other people’s. I’d nurture the most promising ideas and help cultivate an environment for them to grow in. And then I’d let them be what they are going to be. If you see any job postings like that on Craig’s List, be sure to let me know.
Sometimes I fall into that slough of self-examination where I feel as though I have accomplished nothing with my life. Or, when compared to Person X, I am found wanting. This often happens when I’m not currently working on a creative project, as they tend to define me and give me purpose.
So I think it might be helpful to recollect the things I have achieved. Not in a boastful, resting on my laurels sort of way. But to remind myself that I am the same person who did all of those things. Try it yourself when you are feeling somewhat less than. Continue reading →
So now I can say I successfully put on a film festival!
My mother flew in from Ohio to be there. I hadn’t seen her in years, so it was great to have her visit for a few days. She said I had really nice friends, which I knew already, but it is good to know I haven’t unwittingly fallen in with some riff raff.
There was only a minor technical glitch during one of the films. Suddenly the screen went black where it wasn’t meant to. A cold panic set in. But by the time I entered the lobby to find the manager, the picture had returned.
People came up to me afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed the movies. Everyone seemed to have their own favorite. Mine was “Longshots,” which was about a mother and daughter’s relationship working on a horse farm.
On Tuesday, I received an email from Meredith Stout, the filmmaker behind Walk in My Shoes. She informed me that Zelma Brown, the poet whose work is featured in the film, had passed away in her sleep. I let her know that Zelma was very much alive on the night of the festival and that her words had impact. It was an honor to be able to share her words with everyone.
My plan for the festival has been to pass it off on to someone else who feels inspired to take it over. So I will see if that happens. I’m also interested in having people in other cities have their own version of the festival. But as for me, I will be moving on to other projects.
It was a fantastic experience and I learned that I can accomplish projects that are larger than anything I had taken on before. That’s a good thing to know.
I received a package this morning from Spain. It was laden with films created by women filmmakers. I have watched some incredible submissions in the past week and I’m quite excited about the potential lineup for the festival. There are a few late arrivals on their way, but I should still be able to make an announcement by this weekend.
So far things have been going pretty smoothly with the Something Real project. I have the venue, the website, a call for submissions, people to review films, and someone working on print advertising. I’m really fretting about the number of submissions, though. I really want to get a lot more films so there is a lot to choose from. I’ve received some definite contenders, but there are some that don’t really fit the theme.
I’ve started actively soliciting for specific films I found from other festivals and on YouTube. Hopefully that will help fill out the rest of the program.
I opened my mailbox today and there were two film submissions for Something Real! I may cry tears of joy. I had a secret fear that no one would send anything.
I still need to post on some west coast and east coast movie sites so that Monica and Kara get their fair share. I’m also very close to having a listing on Withoutabox.com, which is a great site that connects filmmakers with people running festivals.
Yay! Things are happening!
I wrapped up the Something Real web site this weekend and started posting the request for submissions on film-related sites. I’ll need to find more sites to post on this coming week.
Someone wrote me within an hour of my posting on a Yahoo! group.
She said: When is the deadline?
I said: February 29th.
She said: Okay, I’ll see if I can make a film by then.
I said: 🙂
Now I guess I just have to wait and see what starts showing up. I am grateful that my friends Monica and Kara have agreed to screen submissions. Not like any of us needed an excuse to watch more movies, but now it is for a good cause!
I am happy to say that Something Real now has a venue! The Regal Arbor Cinema will be showing the films on Monday, March 24th at 7PM! I was really worried about getting the venue, but the manager was just the nicest guy ever and all my fears were imaginary.
Now I need to get the web site up and start posting requests for submissions!
The other night I attended a mixer for Reel Women of Austin, an organization which supports and mentors women filmmakers. I told them about my project and there seemed to be a lot of interest. I got some good information, a lead for a venue and some potential films to consider. It’s really amazing what people are up to in the world. One of the filmmakers is doing a feature on the rise of feminine energy and universal shift predicted by the Mayans.
I’m really concerned about the venue. Originally, I had thought of doing it at the Alamo because it is my favorite theater, but, upon further reflection, I decided on the Regal Arbor Cinema. That’s really the go to place for independent film. So I put in a call today, but the manager was out until Monday.
Then I need to write up a request for submissions, something I don’t have any experience doing. I also need to consider putting up a web site of some kind.
If I stop to think about what I’m trying to do, I get overwhelmed and afraid. So I guess I won’t think about it and just do the next thing that needs to get done.
I had been trying to come up with a good name for my SELP project. I had started with “Many Visions for Single Voices,” which was serviceable. Then I thought “Singularity” sounded kind of good. But today I think I got it.
After fooling around with an online anagram generator, I discovered that “A Single Mother” is an anagram for “Something Real.”
Other options for “Single Mother” included “Gin Moth Reels” and “No Girl Themes.”