31-12-2005

Analogous to the year is the odd number of odd places I have spent the night. In a camper in and around Copenhagen. In the basement of my boss’ Frederiksberg House, getting up for a late filming night. At work, after a late night’s pre-production meeting. In my car at one point, I seem to recall. I’m not adverse to it; I don’t much care where I sleep, if it’s not at my home I know I won’t be getting any sleep to speak of anyway, tuned in to the channel of neighbourhood sounds. But it does hold some symbolic value, which I’ll no doubt have covered in the year’s conclusion. Where did I find the time to write that, anyway? ~~~ Thursday and Friday spent at Funen, in Nyborg, at the outlaws’ house where V and the girl had stayed when I needed a severe break to work on the film. Took care of the little one as V did her course in Copenhagen, travelled back and forth. Snow came on in buckets, nothing like what I used to call a snowstorm but it seemed to perplex(?) the country non the less. Drove back during the Friday, the Nissan a real trooper on its Summer-tires and all. Saw us safely back, V moved to Copenhagen once more and I toiled around with the kid until the chance to put her to bed and drop this note arrived. ~~~ So, tomorrow the page turns once more. Two-thousand and six. Will drop by some of V’s friends in Holbeak, if the little one’s feeling up for it, and spend the New Year’s Eve there – sleep over, another strange place I’ll wake up in. Should prove at least mildly amusing. ~~~ I have little to add I have not touched upon in my conclusion. Wouldn’t do it again. I look forward to a year of regain. Of time, of finansial means. Of love. Especially the latter. ~~~ Tomorrow Sunday. Am hoping for a quiet day. ~~~ I remain hesitant in regards to writing this conclusion of the year, for several reasons which I shall in the below attempt my best at describing. If possible; in as much as many, of not most, of my hesitations are based on that which I cannot truly comprehend, and thus shy away from decyphering. Also there’s an element of masochism involved herein; I did put myself through a lot, and some of it I don’t bear to re-evaluate. I must, of course – there are no lessons in not doing it. So, without further ado, here goes. 2005. ~~~ …But where to begin? Chronologically seems the wiser choice, I’d hate to prioritize the stuff. What came first? ~~~ The Pre-production. In all honesty, I got a headstart well into 2004, where the script finally came together of sorts, and I was introduced to a number of people intent on helping me realize it into a motion picture. In retrospect they were all in odds of gaining somewhat themeselves, which to a certain degree explains their reson d’etre. I hope I was able to deliever. Some fell out, some came through – in any case it seemed like a head-start, for which – given issues at home – I remain grateful. So much time. I have found myself in a movie theatre only once this year, where in earlier times my thrift for the big screen was measured in handfuls per month. There has been very little actual ‘fun’, possibly for lack of a better word (inspiration = better), involved with this year, in its entirety. I concluded from early on I was to be void of entertainment to a substantial degree, if I were to come through on my vow to myself – and so I succeeded in engrossing myself in work on the production with every single available minute at my disposal. Fewer, much fewer, than I would’ve liked. But that’s a story for a below paragraph. Meetings were held, phone-sessions every single evening when I had gotten back from work and played with our daughter for the while before she was put to bed. A stressful time, remains so to this day for the same reasons. Much studying – the how, when, where’s. Engrossed myself and emerged with a battleplan, tons of digital yellow post-it notes I was able to peel off the screen, one by one, as the chores wore down. Phonecalls, to many to mention. How many emails did I come to author, ten thousand? Printed out enough scripts to have me fired if ever the firm were to find out I used their printers for my own purposes. Setup a production company, registrered with the IRS, got myself an accountant, and company account at the bank. Everything by the book. Called a number of actors, somewhat celebrated ones too, sent them copies of the script and my assurances to boot and from most received positive acknowledgements – I take it, in as much as they agreed to star in the film. Time passed – the puzzle came together. Laid down a budget and started spending money – a lot of it. And for what? Fulfilling a dream I’d nurished throughout. Had I been less stubborn I would’ve called it quits – the opportunities presented themselves often enough. The homefront was rather shaky – with V’s mother acting up, V reacting on this. What a circus – took up too much of my time and energy, and is part of the explanation why my love for her has faded somewhat. Too many feelings, always in your – my, i.e. – face. As the puzzle came together, so neared the days of principal shooting. Sacrifized the holidays towards it: my time to try my hand at directing; the actors, the production crew, the production in general. In even more retrospect I should’ve brought more guys. But I was ill equipped – only in manner of not having time enough – to handle them all. Found enough trouble with the ones I did have on board, would hate to have to second-guess a larger crew I would probably have had to handle singlehandedly anyway. Two points to consider: I’m not the best at surrending control, and especially not so when my entire financial (mis)fortune is at stake. And secondly, I think I did land at some kind of general population as far as low-budget production crews go, and that experience tells me now [it’s over] that having more people on board would’ve proven disasterous if they had not gotten along well, which I had no way of foreseeing. I think I got it right; for one thing, the period of shooting came to a succesful end. Given the tempers I speak of in the above, I know for sure I would’ve seen unhappy faces abandon the production without further ado, if not they had felt their contribution matter, felt properly guided. So that’s a sign of good faith towards the kind of leadership I choose to exert. I chose diplomacy above dictatorships – I wouldn’t’ve gotten away with else, not with this kind of production. When it was time to take charge, that is what I did. One day I remember vividly, and feel excited about taking credit for (enough as to single it out here), when my camera-man, sound-guy and continuity-person got on the bad side of a bacterial infection, narrowed down to being the effect of a bad pizza and coke. Hence I operated the camera myself, put a production-assistant on sound and directed from behind the camera. And, no, the end-result of that bit of intermezzo was hardly worth an award on technical merit, but I found a perfect sense of legitimacy about my moving to the forward ranks and directing the battle from there when I saw the others – those left on the set – regard me with a reassured confidence about the day. Where before they had been in panic about what to do, when to call it quits, etc. Would’ve liked to return another day, but there was no budget to support this and so I had to make – and did – the best of it. That’s what I would look for in a leader: One who is the diplomat, allows others their say and supports them and makes the most of their potential within the group, yet steps up to bat when a singular direction is required towards progress. I always wondered that about myself, I was – or least could be, for a spell – a worthy leader. Now I know the answer, and am happy it’s in the affirmative. Now, this is not the same as to concern myself with the notion of being a natural leader, for this I know would be untrue. I’m much too reticent a fellow to be a natural leader of men. I value a solitary state too much, and I near desp having to talk to those I do not know, find joy in that. A natural leader is a much better salesman than I could ever be. Be as it may – I now recognize a po
tential in myself to command, and act the commander, whenever a given situation calls for it. And that’s a grand experience, and ability, to hold. ~~~ I don’t wish to go into details about each of the individuals involved, or even a select few. Why, because I’m physically tired with this year and has but the desire to get this conclusion over and done with. Two, because those I have taken to and choose to visit with again I’ll maintain close ties to, and get to learn them better and pen one or two words about them better over time. They were, most of them, good people. If somewhat temperemental characters. Around the end of shooting I had had it with those who seized every given opportunity to assert themeselves on others’ behalf. Possibly this goes with the territory, in the creative community which is putting together a motion picture. But’s it’s not a welcome working environment with yours truly, and I merit myself for having stood it out, even taken charge of it, the while through the essential part of the production. Diplomacy held the day – and almost always will, for that matter. Those I found less prone to self-asesrtion, are the same individuals I should like to keep close this day and age, and already have taken in charge to call, and befriend. My number of friendships have rissen, not exclusively in recognition of my lowered standards. I have been meager when it came to taking that word into my mouth, ‘friend’, but these days I so value those friendships I have and work at maintaining them. My World would certianly be a lesser place without them. Such is the power of a project such as this, it binds people together in the hardships they face, and the scars
they receive, and am able to share for the years to come. I am very proud of having created and executed such a project, and more so of having gained from it, friendship-wise. This was never a priority with entering into the project, but I gladly accept it now. ~~~ Much work still remains to be done before I am even able to allow others to regard the finished product. Will take me well into the new year, even. This provokes not changes of the fact how the bulk of the realization of my dream to capture on film a script I had written was accomplished this God’s given year. I am happy about the result. Movie history was not made, far from’t. But my history, that’s a different matter. I did expect to gain in experience, but not to this measure. I am greater for it. Wrong phrasing. ‘My reach is greater’. Better. I regard this year on the same level as that of the millenium year, where I set out to test my body, to see how far it could go. This time around I found the desire to apply that same test of stamina to my powers of will, of discipline, commitment and preserverence. The result, I think about the same: I came across, welcome knowledge this, I came across my limitation – ever so slightly below my maximum, i.e. Running until I had nothing left told me everything I needed about my body, its strenghts and weaknesses. Putting this production together, from the initial notion up to and beyond the point of the punctuation mark which will end this sentence, told me all about my mental strenghts and weaknesses. Only one comment have I to that – not wanting to touch upon the obvious of how much use I will find in this detailed knowledge, I have only this to say – it is very few people in this World who finds the chance to go where I have gone, and I for one chose to appreaciate, and value, the opportunity I seized. And apply the wisdom in its outcome, whenever the chance arrives. ~~~ Enough about the film. Will there be others, probably not, I do not desire to contemplate this, not this instant. Time to touch upon other matters, also contained in this year near gone. ~~~ I am at times unhappy about this marriage I have entered into. No official vows have been given, so I speak in symbolic terms when I talk of the matrimonial state. The fact remains my love for her has faded somewhat. Certianly not enough as to have me harbor thoughts of a divorse, so to speak. But I absolutely hate to admit to increasing thoughts of said unhappiness, without a end in sight or at least equal notions of how to reverse these feelings. I suppose the test (perverse, probably) would be my response to her question of ‘do you love me still?’, of a response to which I am still uneasy. Her declerations of love have decreased in number, as with mine, and the question above is not one she would bring up to better her situation, or elsewise. Why am I unhappy, several explanations hereto. First and foremost, her demands on my support. She has yet to find a balance in her life. Old conflicts emerge, her brother’s death plagues her still, her mother’s antics and her mental blokade in concern to regular day-jobs enters the scene. It is not a question of the year near gone being the cause; rather our entire period together. And now, in a time where I have very little, if any, personal surplus at my disposal, any demand made on me finds me unable to brush if off, akin previous times. The financial concern is a vital one, in this regard. She has no income to speak of, thus is unable to accomodate the bills that go with occupying an abode such as this bungalow we inhabit. I have financed a motion picture and am, for the very first time, dead broke. My salary pays the bills, but barely – some months lesser so, sadly. She insists she is unfit – mentally, I can only gather – to even entertain the very thought of a regular, thirty-seven hours a week day-job, which would easen the burden on me as the sole provider. I find that unreasonably hard, on my mental health. She cites her desire to tend to our daughter, so she will not need to be parented by two people both holding jobs; but I suspect her basic fear is of a different nature, i.e. an unwillingness to enter into obligations too big for her to handle. All that emotion… I don’t know how to deal with it. She hold nothing back, all is shut out in a bombartment of emotions. Am I supposed to take all this and stay on course, I don’t know how. I just need some peace of mind, but it’s so hard to come by. Why must I deal with everything she deals with, also? Unhappiness has crept in, and decided to stay. How do I shut the door on it? ~~~ I would not much care to go through this year again. For the same reasons I would not like to deliever the same results as corresponded with the abovementioned year two-thousand, where I peaked in my running efforts. It is simply too hard to push and stress myself to such limits; can only be performed so and so many times before the body or mind no longer acts the forgiving part. I did manage to fulfill a life-long desire, and create – in the truest form of that word I can think of – a motion picture. Written, produced and directed by – yours truly. Set my desire straight. So what is there, now, to look for, which challenge would rival this one, I overcame? I can think of a few. Of being the best father I can be, for one. Main priority. Of making sure every day is a learning experience. Though few challenges would rival the filmmaking one by measure of intensity, many would rival it measured by longevity. There is so much to know, and learn. One can learn about oneself from regarding the World, and one can learn about the World from regarding oneself. Stressing my body, running, was an example of the latter. Making a film, an instance of the firstmentioned. I had gotten extremely good at the latter, but emerge – by way of this year – somewhat further abled in learning, by adding perspective, regarding scenes and those occupying them from different angles than the obvious ones. I would welcome the opportunity to take this perspective to use, and continue to form stories around it. I do not suggest I will once more take on a project as sizeable as this; simply state there will always be the written word, for me. I thrive by it; the inspiration derived herefrom fuels my desires in equal part of the chemicals in my veins. I strongly believe it makes me a better person; a better father. ~~~ I would like, if I may, to lay low throughout the next year. Work on those parenting-skills. It is time to fuel on inspiration by way of books, the movies, conversations. All have I neglected to a point I wouldn’t thought imaginable. That’s the way I see the year upcoming, as a chance to wind down from a high. A calm after the storm. Emotional turmoil – I need quite in my life, and jump at the chance to seize it. So I close the file on the year near gone. I wouldn’t have been without it; but remain glad it’s over. Until I find it’s time to turn into the wind once more, I’ll enjoy the break I’m hopefully granted. And build myself up from damn near scratch – always welcomed that notion. So be it.

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