Sunday, March 10, 2013

What’s next? Another video, some editing, & some writing…

Lowering through the smoke.   Big Lava Bed.  Skamania Co., Washington.  September 16, 2012.
Forgot to set my clock for the time change and now my computer is running slow.  Annoying morning.  Rushing to get out the door for church (or not) and, later, an old friend’s memorial service.

But I wanted to take a few minutes (precious minutes) to pause and take stock for a minute…

Finished my Dead Can Dance video last week.  A LOT of hard work went into that, all during a very hectic time in my life.  I am proud of it, but I know that it is not what it should be.

At first I was very relieved that it was done and I was looking forward to being able to really take some down time and to re-focus my attention on some family issues (the little one is having a pretty rough time right now and, of course, part two of the great move…) and on still photography and writing…

This was supposed to be the first time since mid-October when I didn’t have a big project deadline hanging over my head and big ticket life stuff going along at the same time.

Of course, there is still the whole chore of getting a house, but we are taking a time out from that endeavor to focus on getting stabilized as a family after all of the big ticket items going down since November.

However, with my video, at the last moment I realized that it might not be eligible to win because of the sculptures I used in it.  It was all public art (or visible from the street, at the very least) and I thought that it would be all right to use those images without releases.  However, a closer look at the fine print, and it might not be.

So, if my video is selected as a finalist or as the winner, there may be a crazy 72 hours running around trying to get clearances for the sculptures in the video.  However, unfortunately, I don’t think it is going to be an issue.

I wanted to spend a lot of time working on the editing for that piece, and it ended up being a last minute rush job because real life intruded heavily the week before the deadline.  I sort of feel like I submitted a first draft, not a final draft. 

Because of these two issues, I am left feeling really unfulfilled after all of the work I put in.

Genero has another video project up, though, that I would really like to work on.  I can use a lot of footage I shot for the Dead Can Dance video, shoot a little bit of new stuff, and bang this one out pretty quick with proper time to edit the thing.

In some ways, it will feel like a re-do of the Dead Can Dance video.  Not really, because it will be exploring slightly different themes, so maybe it is more like a follow up? 

Considering all the unused footage I have left from Dead Can Dance, some lessons learned while working on the DCD piece, and the fact that it is a shorter song, this should be a project I can knock down without disrupting our lives too much between now and the April deadline.

And it doesn’t feel like a big crazy deadline project because of this, though there will still be a little bit of dropping everything and running during the three or four days of sunshine we have between now and the deadline.  Need more time lapse footage!

Of course, it does look like I am allowed to re-tweak the Dead Can Dance video and re-upload it.  The deadline is met, but I can still modify the thing, apparently.  However, I need a couple more days distance before deciding whether or not to spend a crazy 24 hours or so re-cutting the damn thing. 

Pretty much I feel like I’ve done the work I can put in on this one and that it is time to move on, though if a couple small changes might help it, then maybe…   However, I am not going so far as to take the worrisome sculptures out, because that would involve re-thinking the whole video.  I could do this, but it would not be the video I wanted to make at all.

Then there is the writing.  After the two big video projects (One Day On Earth and the Dead Can Dance video), I need to get back on finishing the first draft of my novel! 

A plan has evolved.  First I will re-emerse myself in the novel through this month’s National Novel Editing Month, and then I will finish the first draft during April’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

This is something of a change in direction for me.  I haven’t looked at the thing since the first week of December or so, so I knew I’d have to go back and at least read the draft I have so far, but then I discovered that a group is running  NaNoEdMo this month (National Novel Editing Month).  My first reaction was that I did not want to get bogged down with editing the first 2/3 of the book before I’d written the ending…

Yet, since there will have to be some reading this month anyway, and that will be accompanied by some red inking and notes…  So yes, I do have a fair amount of editing to do this month, one way or the other, before I feel comfortable resuming the actual writing.   

A late start, yes, but NaNoEdMo is on.   I am still setting this up, but I know this so far.  There will not be any attempt to reach some crazy goal.  I am not going for a “win” here.  I will try to get to the end of the draft with a bunch of red inking and some minor notes, and that is about it.

So why participate in the first place?  Well, NaNoWriMo was a wonderful experience where I could interact with other people who were having the same experience I was with their artistic efforts.  I haven’t had that sense of community with my last two project and, well, I miss it.

Sure, I post a lot of crazy manic stuff about my projects on Facebook, but no one there really can relate (or cares that much, let’s be honest!).  But with NaNoWriMo, people did relate because, in those forums, they were all going through the exact same thing…

This is all in prep for the April Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ll be using that venue to finish the damn book.  This is cool because, unlike November’s NaNoWriMo, this event has variable goals, and I can set them to meet the projected length of the novel.

Right now I am aiming for 110,000 words.  That will involve some significant cuts during NaNoEdMo and a rather economical run to the end of the novel.  I am worried that it will be hard to fit it all in in 30K words, but there may be up to 20K that I can trim (10K is more likely) this month.

So, I am looking at up to about 50,000 words to churn out in April, but I think it will go quickly, once I am settled back into the world of the book and, from where I left off to the end, everything is practically written in my head already.  It is just a matter of banging through to the end.


Camp NaNoWriMo:

Dead Can Dance Video:

Olafur Arnalds Video:

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