Sunday, December 17, 2006

Director's Cut

You are driven.

Driven by a passion, a love, a desire so strong that it overrides each and every one of your senses. Your mind spins endlessly, twisting and turning each and every single possibility, leading to the agony in your heart, and the darkness that lies just beyond the reach of your vision.

I lie in bed, and I wonder.

It's deep into the early morning. In a short time, the sun will rise, marking the beginning of a new day, the beginning of one which will make a difference. A big or a small one. But a difference nonetheless.

I lie in bed, and I wonder.

I have been going full tilt for the past few days, finalising the preparations for my film. And, if it is possible, that tilt will be even fuller as I strive to make the film itself. A four-day shooting schedule has been finalised, the actors has been confirmed, the camera is ready to practically rock and roll.

And yet here I am, at almost 6 in the morning...and I wonder.

I wonder about the decisions I've made. I wonder about the angles I've taken, whether it correctly portrays that I intend to capture within each frozen moment of the film, flashing past the audience's eyes in a millisecond. I think of the actors, about their level of comfort with their roles, and wonder how much more detailed the storyboard could be. A little more time, perhaps.

A little more time.

I wonder if the other filmmakers go through this....this...sleepless, restless, life-draining existence. If Steven Spielberg agonises over every single detail in this way, or if he spends the night before a shoot watching the Seven Samurai, The Searchers, Lawrence of Arabia and It's A Wonderful Life, a list of films he apparently watches before every film he makes.

I think of Ang Lee, the guy who broke barriers to make Brokeback Mountain. Watch his visual excellence, then marvel at "he who never storyboards any of his films", including the visually laden special effects underrator that is The Hulk.

I think of Wong Kar Kai, who only outlines his movies, rather than script them properly. A process that Zhang Ziyi has described as "delightful" when working with the man on 2046, but a process that would have crucified me if I had tried to go into a film in the same way.

I wonder if he, if they, ever wonder of their ways. If they ever wonder at all. Or whether they step into the set on that first day, confident and poised that their every shot, their every thought, their every action, their drive and their passion is there for everyone to see.

I go into this film with almost 6 hours of sleep in almost three days. A most unhealthy of approaches. But it's OK.

I'm driven. Driven by a passion and desire that burns in my lungs, seeping through every single pore of my existence, to make this film to the best of my abilities. I have found my spark, the zenith of my existence, that which others have found, and I intend for it to burn me through.

For it is this spark, this fire that drives each and every one of us to do what we do. To push us through the dark hours, to break down that wall in our way, to force the strength in our veins when our minds, our body, our spirit tells us: "No more."

Our heart, our passion...drives us.

Driven, I tell you.

And after that...I...we...

...shall wonder no more.

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