It’s been just over four months since we returned to Santa Fe, NM and began post-production on our film, Our Place on Earth. In this time I’ve periodically had the Tom Waits song, What’s He Building in There? pop into my head. I often speculate this is what people wonder about our process…
While our process is a little less sinister than the song’s protagonist, I sometimes feel as if we are tucked away, working in our little corner of the desert. While there is no secret to what we are doing – sharing success stories of communities taking action in the face of a changing climate— our current stage in the process is much quieter than the last. (Our Instagram feed has definitely slowed down, mostly because we assume our followers aren’t so interested in daily shots of our computer screens.)
The last couple months have required us to spend quite a bit of quiet time reviewing footage (a lot of footage) and applying for grants. All of which, in comparison to last year’s constant travels, feels like we have stepped knee-deep into molasses, wading our way to the shore.
We’ve also run into some interesting and unexpected challenges, which include:
- Being your own boss and team, all the time. (Coming from the public sector where you thankfully never make a decision on your own, I’ve definitely experienced decision fatigue.)
- It’s hard being creative all the time. Things that we think shouldn’t take a long time end up taking ages – again the molasses. For example, we are lucky enough to have connected with a fantastic web development firm here in Santa Fe (dsire.com), who are helping us with a poster concept (and depending on grants, hopefully more). But, who knew conveying the film’s overarching message to a viewer in the five seconds they take to walk past a poster would be so difficult? (OK, I knew it would be difficult, but our creativity well we pretty low when we approached this, which made it take even longer.)
So, what are we doing about all this?
Well, in an effort to make this stage of our process more interactive (at least virtually), we’ve decided to take a new approach – we’re now tracking our time and will be reporting out on our process as we go. Over the next few months we will release a series of blog posts about how we spend our time and how we are approaching this endeavor of making an independent film.
We’ll be sharing successes, challenges, and any unexpected turns we make along the way. As first-time filmmakers, we have a lot of questions – luckily the film community is a collaborative one with a wealth of resources available online (a shout out to No Film School – a tremendous resource). There is also what appears to be a growing movement of increased transparency and support for independent filmmakers (for example, the Sundance Institute is launching the Transparency Project).
We are excited to contribute to this body of knowledge by sharing our process and hopefully, provide a few answers to other first-time filmmakers.
To start, here is an overview of how we’ve spent our time over the last year plus:
We’ll add to this as we go, but a couple of general takeaways:
- We couldn’t do this without a supportive and extensive community of partners, family, and friends. (Behind each of the circles above is a wealth of support and generosity from a global community. We couldn’t be more grateful!)
- Fundraising takes a long time and is a lot of work. Just stating the obvious.
- Research, research, research! We picked one of the most complex and fluid topics to make a film about – but that’s why we’re doing it. We’re constantly looking for ways to make climate change discrete and tangible, which means we are never idle.
Our next post in this series will focus on fundraising, including an overview of our 2014-crowdfunding campaign.
That’s it for now – but we’d love to hear from you: how do you balance your creative process and the natural cycles of quiet reflection and external stimulation?
Ok, one last thing...
Check out our entire archive below...
- Jul 12, 2016 New Video: Puruvesi (Ice fishing in Finland) Jul 12, 2016
- Mar 5, 2016 Puruvesi Mar 5, 2016
- Jul 14, 2015 Almost, Exactly Average or: How I Stopped Worrying and Started to Love Crowdfunding Jul 14, 2015
- Jul 8, 2015 Summer on the Jukajoki Jul 8, 2015
- May 18, 2015 What are they building in there? May 18, 2015
- May 7, 2015 No Silver Bullet: Ecomodernism, Technology, and Path Dependency May 7, 2015
- Nov 11, 2014 Some Fish, Some Tango, and a Fiery Goodbye Nov 11, 2014
- Oct 26, 2014 62° 39' 00" N, 30° 08' 00" E Oct 26, 2014
- Oct 14, 2014 Bluefields to Wawashang - Final Nicaragua Installment Oct 14, 2014
- Oct 3, 2014 Monkey Point & Bangkukuk: Part 2 Oct 3, 2014
- Oct 1, 2014 Monkey Point & Bangkukuk: Part 1 Oct 1, 2014
- Sep 30, 2014 ¿Que Podemos Hacer Juntos? (What Can We Do Together?) Sep 30, 2014
- Sep 11, 2014 Reflections on Union and a Brief Respite with Cosmos Sep 11, 2014
- Sep 2, 2014 The Sea Will Rise, Barbuda Will Survive Sep 2, 2014
- Aug 25, 2014 OPOE in Antigua or, Tarantulas, LambLions & Plumeria Aug 25, 2014
- Aug 24, 2014 A Farwell to Union, Hello Grenada Aug 24, 2014
- Aug 10, 2014 I'll Have One Film Workshop, With a Side of Chicken Fever Aug 10, 2014
- Aug 4, 2014 Island Hopping - from Bequia to Union Aug 4, 2014
- Jul 30, 2014 A Sub, a Princess, Chicken and Bake - Another OPOE Week in Review Jul 30, 2014
- Jul 20, 2014 From Santa Fe to St. Vincent - OPOE's First Week in the Field Jul 20, 2014
- May 30, 2014 Fast Tracking Climate Adaptation–tapping our natural tendency to experiment May 30, 2014
- May 21, 2014 Reframing Despair May 21, 2014
- May 8, 2014 May 13th Campaign Launch! Help Build Momentum May 8, 2014
- May 5, 2014 Update - letter of support from USAID! May 5, 2014
- April 2014