Friday, August 12, 2011

Keep Me Where The Light Is

Image taken from

I dreamed I was at a movie theater.

I was walking down the hall and I found my Godfather, Ray, sitting in a directors chair in the middle of the hall just outside one of the auditoriums.

I asked him how the movie was. He had this mixed reaction of laughter and fear. Like it was the most amusing yet terrifying thing he'd ever seen.

He then seemed in awe of whatever movie it was he'd seen (not sure what it was).

He put his hand on my shoulder, looked at me directly, and said.

"You  have to start having nightmares like that."

My immediate thought was "No."

I cringed a little when he said that.

I woke up.

I realize he was implying that if I wanted to create something as great as what he had seen, that I needed to feel and experience the same kind of terror. And I get it. Write what you know. And if you're trying to create a nightmare, then you have to start experiencing nightmares.

I'm fond of horror. From a very young age, it was a symptom of being tortured by my older brothers. As we were one of the first families on the block to have cable tv, they almost always messed with me by putting on whatever scary movie was playing that month (Friday The 13th part 2, Salem's Lot, etc.) Stuff that they new scared the crap out of me.

I mean it is what you do to your little brother, and I was the littlest.

As I got older, horror movies became something I would dare myself to tolerate, because they scared me so much. I could even stand in the horror section of the local Video Library.

I forced myself to face it, embrace it, and visibly so in front of my brothers. Cuz if it looked like I was enjoying them, even loving them, then it was pointless to try to scare me.

Eventually I would truly start to appreciate them. I wanted to make movies after all, so it only made sense that I would find interest in how even horror movies were made. I got really curious about how to make monsters, murder, and mayhem, in that grandiose and cinematic fashion.

But the truth of it was, I loved movie in general. More so than horror.

Especially now, it has become more evident that it's really just the old horror flicks from the 70's and 80's that I revel in. And I realize that it's mostly for nostalgia's sake.

In reality, I'm a little sensitive when it comes to some of that stuff. Alot of the more recent bloodier, gorey, brutal fare, don't really appeal to me.

In truth, I look to horror movies that lean more on fun than shock.

As much as it may appear that I revel in the dark, it's the light that I love so much more.

The movies I love are the movies I want to make. Fun, thrilling, entertaining, inspired, enlightened, refreshed, child like, and dazzlingly brilliant.

And that's why I cringed when I was told that I needed to start having nightmares in order to create. Because inevitably I feel like my inspiration comes from the light. And the creative brilliance that comes from your highest and grandest dreams.

I stand by the phrase, "In order to make a beautiful picture, you'll need to use dark colors." But in truth, I love all the colors on my pallet., and the countless numbers of portraits I can paint.

I know, the light can't exist without the dark.

I just want to be kept where the light is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pandora's Box

The day my brother died, I was of course crushed.

I was lost for a bit.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that my world had fallen apart. But I will say it felt different. Nothing seemed like it was where it was supposed to be. My existence felt like it was rearranged. My entire history felt like a dream.

My brother Robert was a huge part of my world, my history, my childhood. Something that you thought would never be taken away, was all of a sudden gone.

When someone close to you leaves, you search for familiarity. You want something that feels like home. Something to take you in, tell you it's going to be alright, but not to your face. You want something to speak this truth to your soul.

And how the hell does that work. How do you comfort something so powerful and low as a spirit that feels broken. How do you mend that?

I found out how.  I started listening.

To Pandora that is. I have a couple different stations on Pandora. One I labeled "think".

I don't even remember what it was I had typed in to fill in that list. But as soon as I played it, I started hearing music that spoke directly to me. One song after the other turned out to be exactly what I wanted to hear, what I needed to hear, what my soul, my spirit, my broken heart, needed to feel.

I cried my eyes out.

Every song either brought me back to a time I forgot, a moment and a memory I had lost, or it spoke to me, agreeing with me when I needed to be agreed with, and more so telling me what I needed to hear when I didn't know what to think, what to feel, what to do.

Have you ever been lost in the woods or lost your way driving around? Do you know that despair you feel when you realize you've lost your way. Even if it's just for a few seconds. When you realize that you don't know where you are, and you don't know how to find your way out, or find your way back.

That relief that comes to you when you find your way, when you realize that you're not completely lost and you know how to get home.

That's how I felt listening to each song that came on. Each song brought me home.

I can't say it completely healed me. It didn't fully mend my broken heart. But it did speak to my spirit. It let me know that it was going to be ok. That my brother is ok. That we're all ok.

And I believe that. We're all going to be ok. As long as we can find a way to listen.

I'm not saying when in doubt go listen to Pandora. I'm saying when you're looking for answers, even to the toughest questions, you'll often find the universe telling you the answers.

If you're listening.

Holy Shit!

Damn. I got really deep there, didn't I.

Ok, ok, look, I'm not a Shaman, or a religious nut, nor am I a spiritual freak of nature.

I'm just a guy. Going through shit. Just like the rest of us, I mean we're all going through shit.  I'm just saying that, if you need a bit of guidance out there to get you through your particular shit, I believe there is something out there, something more, something bigger, that is conspiring to help you get through.

But you've got to look for the signs, listen for the cues. For me, that day it was Pandora. Other days it's a line from a movie, or a passage from a book, or a bit of a conversation I hear when I pass by someone at the grocery store.

Whatever it is, it's out there, and I do believe that it wants you to succeed. It wants to help you as long as you're willing to help yourself.

It's out there, I know, I've seen it, I've felt it, and I've definitely heard it.

Ok. What's going on with Redd?

Well, we've been shooting, and shooting, and shooting. And I'm confident we can get this all finished up by October and have a local screening in November.

Dealing with scheduling conflicts. My main actress may disappear off to college before we can get all of her stuff shot, so I'm trying to figure out a way around that.

It's getting horribly hectic by the minute, and I'M LOVING IT!

I can't wait to see this movie, and I definitely can't wait for you to see this movie.