Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Learning to let go

Hi MAVAs....I wanted to give a little update and share some advice that I have been given that I think is quite lovely and pertinent. My project has been quite up and down, I was finding it very hard to feel enthused about my subject when I first arrived, and was regretting not choosing something more exciting that would have provided more of an adventure. Things really picked up for me when I filmed the wiccan winter solstice at the stonehenge - something I was so apprehensive about beforehand that I didn't sleep a wink the night before. We were blessed with clear (but windy) weather despite a howling storm all night, and the ceremony was lovely and because of relationship building in the days leading up to it I was granted special permisison to go within the circle and film details of the ritual that other photographers present weren't permitted to do. The day was brilliant and re-kindled my interest and confidence. The following day filming also went well, but I missed a couple of key moments when I switched the camera off (intentionally), thinking what was happening was not important, and that was sad, its hard to let go of what you know you missed. But even worse, when I watched the solstice footage several days later, I discovered that for at least 5mins I must have turned the camera to standby by accident, right when I was filming lovely details of the fire, holly leaves being passed around and other things that would really lift the film from just people standing around which the majority of my film seems to be, plus a very interesting in situ interview. I've been feeling rather devastated and very despondent about my filmmaking skills ever since, but my friend Kate has sent this advice that I think is useful for anyone who is having probs, as I'm sure I'm not alone (although not with not hitting rec, I'm sure you're all more competent than that!) :

Come on Ana - remember Nanook!

When Flaherty lost a year's worth of filming in a fire, he just got back on that sledge to the Arctic and staged it again! [NB I'M NOT ENDORSING STAGING ALTHOUGH I'VE HAD SEVERAL OFFERS FROM FRIENDS TO DRESS UP AS PAGANS AND LIGHT A FIRE!)

Of course you must suffer adversity - this is the way plenty of great art (and scholarship) is reached.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting I'm making great art at this stage, far far from it, but it is good to remember if we are feeling challenged, that this is still a learning experience and does not have to be perfection.


kelly said...

Oh no! That sucks! If it makes you feel better, I didn't film a meeting until the organizer mentioned half-way through that it was the last one for the summer. We're learning, damn it!

Jana-Banana said...

That is so apropos right now! I am having a hell of a time at camp - things started well but i work 16 hour days and am getting treated like slave labor (i will explain more later but basically they want my really great photos for development, they want me to be a great counselor, they want me to do programming with kids - they want everythign from me w/out really being treated that well....
)...everyone (ok not everone but alot of fuck-tards) has a huge matry complex and is egotistical about who works harder than who...i'm thinking about quitting and leaving 2 weeks early - b/c i'll ahve enough for my dissertation and fuck them anways...anways your advice is really great right now. and we are always learning.... i love and miss you.
xoxo, Jana