Friday, July 30, 2010

Black @ Action on Film

On Wednesday July 28th, I felt like an era had ended when Black had its Southland premiere at the Action on Film Festival in Pasadena. Nathan and I were able to catch up with our lead actors Robert and Seriina and watch the film with a great group of family and friends. I want to thank everyone for taking the time out of their lives to not only watch the film, but talk with us about it. Just the day before I realized that this coming labor day will mark 3 years since we all made the 15 + hour drive to Oregon and shot for 7 arduous, humbling, and for me, life changing days. It was there that I realized that I still wanted to make films as an adult and it was there that I promised myself I'd make it a constant in my life.

During the Q&A that followed our screening, someone asked us to give the time-line of what it took to make Black. At first I was sort of amazed by the process as we related it. We shot it in 2007 and edited the damn thing for 8 months during the winter of 2008. During that time I lost both of my Grandparents and went through a crazy period of self-doubt that I couldn't believe was still possible after achieving what I felt was the best film Jason, Nate and I had ever been a part of. In my day to day wrestle with Black during that time, I learned that your art is intricately woven with your life in mysterious and oftentimes surprising ways.

Watching Black again the other night, I realized that without knowing it, I (I can't speak for the other guys) was coming to grips with major life changes in my own creative way, and that is why I still love the movie despite the fact that there are things in it I would never do again. Through my own creative process I found a means of answering the bleak questions I was asking myself at the time about death, what it means to share your life with someone and ultimately about the fear that can keep us from truly living in the moment.

As the three of us go forward with the next project, I can only hope that our experience in the coming year feels as RIGHT as those long days we spent on that harsh, beautiful coast. I was never more tired in my life, but I don't know if I was ever happier either. I think we all experienced one of those rare moments where we really didn't have to do something yet did it anyway because we simply had to. That's a damn rare achievement.

Self-doubt is still something I work with every day. Even now as we complete the first phase of our next great adventure in the world there are still days when there's nothing to keep me going other than the daily conviction that we simply HAVE to do it. That's what it means to follow your intuition and that's why I have to thank Jason, Nate, Robert, Seriina, Kevin, Jenny, Kathy and Jered for making Black with me. I'll never forget it.

I'm not sure of AOF marks the end of Black's festival run, but it was a great way to round out a solid year and a half of screenings. We are now going headlong into Northstar, a feature film that will up the ante for us in every possible way. We can't wait to show you more in the coming months, and I hope anyone who is reading this knows we are grateful for the support and help that has allowed us to chip away at our dream. We'll talk to you soon!

- Seth

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