Light at the end of the tunnel!
Yesterday, I was surprised and delighted to hear my editor tell me that she thinks we have nearly finished the rough cut of the film. I wanted it to be finished by the end of December so that we could begin the work of polishing it up. It's the 9th of December and the end of the month just seems so far away, especially with Christmas coming up. As you might imagine, I don't look forward to that holiday. On the one hand I wanted to use this editing process to fill up all of the empty, potentially sad times during the holidays. But on the other hand I did not want to spend Christmas looking at images of my missing son.
In my daily call with the editor, Anne Stein, she proudly announced the progress. "Finished" I nearly screeched? Well, almost... She is happy with it; she says, "the story's arc is there now." I swallow. It is very hard to be the writer, director AND the subject of this film. Arc, I say silently to myself... We're talking about the death of my son, the virtual end of my life. This is not a story... And then I snap back into writer/director. She sent me the first 1/2 hour (a totally different cut from the one I screened a few weeks ago) and is sending me the second half hour today. "Wait a minute," I say. "I haven't put in enough of what is happening now, 3 years and a bit later... the happier bits, the part that might give hope to others." She explained that even though we haven't included everything I wanted (I have more than 100 hours of footage, current and archival), the message is clear. I don't know because I haven't watched the second half yet. But I'm really happy with the first half. Happy... well, that is a bit strong. I cry inside (I've learned to stop shedding tears so openly) each time I see my shining son. The first half is really painful for me to watch. But I am happy because we used a lot of footage that he shot himself, which includes the only videos that exist of the two of us (when you're a family of 2 it is hard to have shots with both people - think about it). My little partner in life is my partner in death too. He would love it that we are doing this film together.
The film is supposed to be about seeing light at the end of the tunnel, albeit a dimmer light. It is like that now with the film. I will add in some more footage, a few more scenes that show what life is like now so others can see that it really is possible to live after a loss like this. I have a very rich life now, richer than most I would say. I cultivate it so carefully, nourishing my days with activity, intimacy, creativity, great food, new people and whatever other ingredients will help me continue growing my new self. I want others to see my recipe in hopes they might find their own. I got used to seeing in the dark. So the light is a bit scary at times, a bit too intense. But as with this project, the light at the end of the tunnel creeps on me. Suddenly it is nearly finished, or at least its rough cut. Soon my film will be polished and perfected and will turn into a final cut, unlike me. I, on the other hand, will always remain a rough cut because the movie of my life moves too quickly to be finalized... until the end, that is.
So, the good news is that I'm even closer to the finish line. The bad news is that I'm a long way from achieving my financing goal of $20,000. If I do not receive contributions of an additional $16,000 in the next 2 weeks I may not be able to finish the film. That would make me sad. You backers have already given so generously that i'm not going to ask you for more. But if you can think of anyone else who might be moved to see a project like this be finished, or who would love any of the very foodie rewards, please send them a link to this kickstarter campaign.
I promised to share some excerpts from the film. Now I'd like to introduce you to Shaka, the actor. This is a little clip from his 35 minute one man show performed in Edinburgh about 11 years ago; "Pimp Dreams." It is a coming of age story. Little did I know then that it would be his authorized autobiography. Enjoy... Soon you will be able to see the entire play.
Thank you again for so much support!