Last weekend to catch LAKESIDE .
Lakeside Premier Announced
A letter from our Director/Producer Donnie G. Reynolds
Jay Lake has passed.
After years of work, it is with great honor and enthusiasm that I announce the premier of LAKESIDE: A YEAR WITH JAY LAKE at probably the perfect place in space and time: in the Pacific Northwest during the Hugos!
We have spent the last two years struggling to cut a movie that captured both Jay’s spirit and reality.
With the benefit of a great set of advisors and from some of our online supporters, now we’ve got it.
Making this film turned from a great idea into a great responsibility. At long last, I think I’ve served my role.
I can’t wait to share it with you.
#jaylake #worldcon #Sasquan #Lakeside
Well, two failed cuts later and we still don't have a good film.
But we're not giving up. We've gotten a lot of good notes and suggestions from other producers and directors and we've recently seen a documentary that proves out an earlier concept we had.
I think it will work. Without requiring additional footage.
It's a tedious process, but we have a lot of footage to use and we know what we have. Today it looks like we can finish it mid-summer 2015.
Frankly, we needed some distance from Jay's death to look at this footage in a much more objective way.
There is no happy ending for this film. The best we can do is make it interesting and let him tell his story in a way that respects and honors his journey.
For those getting DVDs, etc. -- you will also get the version of the film Jay Lake saw at WorldCon. It is a awkward cut, edited in a week after returning from New Zealand. But it's the first cut and you can see what Jay saw.
If you're getting this update, you know the backstory. Or most of it.
When Jay and I sat in my living room discussing this film in the Spring of 2012, we discussed a very different kind of documentary. He had "no evidence of disease" and was looking and feeling better than he had since before he had cancer.
I thought he had beat it, I really did. We even discussed how we could make his scan in August of 2012 more dramatic.
In the course of about 7 weeks (elapsed time) from doing some initial filming in Texas and then following Jay to Portland for JayCon, it turned out I had most of the movie we had discussed spending a year on (we thought this project would lead into a non-fiction project he was working on).
I have hours and hours of great footage of Jay and his family telling the story of baby Jay, of his meeting his future wife, Susan, on a rogue trip to Mongolia. I have wonderful stories about Jay, Susan, and Bronwyn.
I told Jay when we resumed filming in August (month 3 of filming) that I thought we were almost done.
But we weren't.
After Jay's scan result came back in August 2012, my priority as a filmmaker was to tell the story of the end of Jay Lake's life. It was a horrible responsibility but also a unique opportunity. I've never seen stuff like some of what we've got.
The fact that the film was taken over by his battle with cancer (which initially was an interesting third of the planned feature) was natural-- it wasn't to be ignored.
As cancer became the focus, interviews dried up. Nobody wanted to talk on camera; nobody wanted to cry.
I didn't want that either.
Things got more and more... well, fuck cancer.
At any rate, outside of the year or two we followed Jay Lake around the world we got a beginning and an ending. The biggest thing missing is the most obvious and the most critical to introducing Jay Lake to an audience -- his writing career.
A number of people didn't want to or were unable to talk about Jay on camera after his cancer returned. But it's not much more than a nice, sad home movie without Jay's spark.
Yes, I have maybe a hundred hours of Jay on film. But I need Jay to talk about the cancer stuff and his pre-writing life. And it's just too boring to listen to Jay talk about Jay (unless you're maybe me or Lisa) for too long.
So, try as I might, the film simply isn't done.
I am going to put the film on soft hiatus until I can get the interviews I need about Jay, his writing, his crazy adventures, convention stories, etc.
Now is too soon for too many people to start pressuring them to talk on camera.
I can wait.
We don't need anymore money to finish the film. Just need a few more faces and voices.
Before his surgery in January of 2013, Jay and I discussed how I could finish the film if his cancer progressed. We knew that I would have to finish this film without him.
And I will.
It would be brilliant if we could finish it in time for a Sasquan (WorldCon 2015 in the Pacific Northwest) premier.
Jay saw an advanced cut at LonestarCon (WorldCon 2013) in San Antonio (the sad home movie I mentioned above). I don't like that version but all of you who bought in at the appropriate level will get a copy of that film.
I'm going to clean that one up a bit and keep the title.
However, the "real" documentary isn't done yet.
When it is, it'll be worthy of the fascinating character Jay Lake was.
We will update you again when we have an update.
We will update Lakeside soon. For now we pause to grieve.