"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Walking the Red Carpet

My sampling of the New Hampshire Film Festival made me regret I wasn't able to participate for more than a single afternoon. Well, there's always the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) film festival coming up next month. And next week, the opening celebration of the new independent cinema, a very exciting development and one I've supported for years.

Can you tell I've got nostalgic for my work in filmmaking?

In rainy Portsmouth yesterday, after a quick sidewalk chat with my friend the filmmaker, I hastened to the Music Hall Box Office to pick up my ticket. And there I found the official red carpet.

It had evidently been used Thursday night, when my friend's film was featured on the Music Hall's big screen. I wanted to attend that showing, and the after-party, but I had a conflict--moderating the Diocesan Council meeting.

In case you need to know, or didn't guess, the official garb for a film festival is basic black. That's what I was wearing, along with everybody else!

A good crowd turned up for the screening, which took place in the lower level of a restaurant/club. Good in size, and good in responsiveness to the works. It was a double bill--a 17-minute feature came first.

I'm biased, of course, but I thought my friend's documentary was extremely well done. I knew a lot about it, the story of how it came into being was familiar. Sean was still filming his subject, the Jesus Guy, an itinerant street preacher who dresses in a white robe like Jesus, when we worked together producing an informational film. But it's so exciting to see the result, and during the Q&A afterwards we heard how it's being received at other festivals around the country. And what the Jesus Guy thought when he attended the premiere. I'm still astonished at how Sean shot about 70 hours' worth of film to create his 66-minute documentary. Editing was always one of my favourite aspects of creating (with novels, also), but that's a lot of material to assess, to arrange--to discard.

The rain is gone now, the air is crsip, the trees are bright. Alas, I had to spend the morning and early afternoon at a political summit where we strategised for Campaign '08. I've only served half my term, and I'm supposed to be planning for re-election?

Can I finish writing my novel first?

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