Bye Bye Butte (for a while)

In another day or two I’ll be out of here, at least for a while. It’s been now three and a half months since I pulled into town and set up in Marshall Gaddis’ redoubt up here in Walkerville.  A busy three and a half months getting ready to shoot Coming to Terms, drawn into doing a thousand photos of Butte – easily enough for a handsome portfolio or book, and myriad other things.  Actors starting arriving in August and things got the usual hectic (and fun), and we managed to get Terms done a little quicker than we thought, and jumped into a shot at another one.  Mulling that latter one as there isn’t really quite enough to call it a film, so Ryan and are are talking resuming in LA early next year.  what we have seems a bit too good to let it drop there.  Meantime I’ve taken a few kind of trial runs for the coming 12 months of travels: seeing the Subaru works OK, and that I’m physically up for roughing it in the manner I can afford.  Sleep in the back of the car or tent when the circumstances are nice, since I certainly can’t afford the apparent $50 a night minimum for cheap motels.  After a run to Glacier Park, front axles of the car got replaced, and a 10 day trip as far east as Devil’s Tower through some real high mountain passes afterward seem  to say vehicle is OK for the journey.  And a week of camping, including some very cold weather, seems to say my gear and my body and psyche are up for it too.

See http://americanplainsongs.wordpress.com for notes on these trips, part of a large project to last perhaps 3 years.

A week and some ago, with the film virtually done (some little things to do with sound, perhaps some “invisible music,” maybe a tiny bit of visual editing), I wrote everyone a letter.

Hi everybody

I am rendering a god awful compressed file of Coming to Terms to have in LA in time for the Sundance deadline.  I will also send them a note and let them know I will be sending a DVD and BluRay, since the film relies so much on aesthetics and the ridiculous files acceptable to IMDB’s system, that Withoutabox uses as the uploading one are utterly terrible.  I trust they will look a the better version.

Anyway it’s basically all done.  I will go through it again and mix a bit more carefully (need to understand CS5’s Audio mixer better), and perhaps a few minor color etc. adjustments.  I very much like the film and think it works as – vague as it was, as usual – my thoughts imagined.

Want to thank you all for bearing with me, and for great performances, all of you.  Great ensemble work.  You can see it best in the least conspicuous places: the shot where you all arrive at Jame’s house – the body language, everything, readable at a distance.  Ditto with the shot in the house, the awkward silence, the “can we pray” etc.  All just sings.

Anyway thanks so much.  I think it has a good shot a Sundance (new director there trying, supposedly, to steer it back to more “indie” ways.)  And if not there, then Cannes, though that seems far away.

I am going to put a 6 gigabyte render, that is good, into my Dropbox and invite you all to take a look and give me feedback.  Please.

Meantime I’m at Marshall’s to end of this week, and then head slowly to Port Angeles.  If anybody knows someone in Spokane or Seattle game to put me up a night or two, would be helpful.

Awaiting word from Firenze, Italy, doc fest if invited there with Narcissus Flowers.  If so – should find out tomorrow – I will go if they foot the airfare/hotel, which they used to do, but maybe money is tight so….  If so latter part of Nov. [Update: Firenze said “non.”]

Hope all’s OK with you all.

Drop a note.

best
jon

PS:  I will shortly be putting up a petition aimed at getting Ray Carney to return Mark Rappaport’s films to him.  See cinemaelectronica blog for full story on that.  Please sign blog and get everyone you know, especially in arts/media world, to sign on.  thanx

So now it’s sit back and see if anybody wants to show the film.  My record on this the last 10 years has been so awful (most films done showed at one, or perhaps a few festivals, an in person screening or two, and…. ) that I don’t give it much thought.  If there’s any thought to give it is an internal question – why the hell do all this, out of my pocket, to make something a few thousand people will see?  Part of it, I concede, is my own fault: I’ve refused to bend to the demands of our wonderful “market economy” where you try to figure out what is popular, appeal to it, and then, hey hey hey, “get rich.”   I never gave a damn about getting rich, and I certainly don’t think I’ll be changing my mind.  Coming to Terms is among my most uncompromising films.  Just ask the actors!

While in Butte, as mentioned also shot a good piece of another film, and as I never counted, hundreds of shots of Butte – mostly houses and buildings.  Certainly enough for a handsome book or something.  But again, my utter lack of instinct for making a buck makes me wonder.

Butte houses

It’s been a great time and I’ll be back.  Meantime it’s a huge thanks to Marshall Gaddis, friend of decades, without whose help we wouldn’t have made this film – or “these” once we get to the other one and finish it.   Thanks Marshall !

So long Marshall.  And so long Walkerville and Butte.  See ya next time!

As the rest of the story of this film unfolds, we’ll note it here – the real finish, festivals, screenings.

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