March, 2007 Archives


Get Out of Bed!

by Pj in Random

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BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA ARIZONA – We have finalized the documentary trailer. We even sent it to the crew and friends for feedback. So far so good. The suggestions for adjustment have been minor. Now we are completing the feature trailer. We will be sending them to HBO. Yes, we are very excited.

As we work, sometimes…, okay, all of the time, we are engaged in conversation. Today we were talking about how people solve their problems. As you can imagine, filmmaking and film editing is just one problem after another. Cyndi told me about a book she read that said people solve their problems in one of five different ways. I can never remember the five ways of solving problems. So, today we made up a word so I could remember them. The word is … Oh heck, I forgot! (Guess what, that is one way of “solving” your problems. Get confused. Get very confused. If you can’t figure it out and don’t know what to do, you don’t have to fix it!)

HV_smallSlide.jpgThe five ways people “solve” problems …

Get Sick (go all the way to dead)
Get Confused (go all the way to crazy)
Get Angry (go to all the way to murder)
Get Depressed (go all the way to suicide)

The fifth way to solve the problem … Actually solve it. Do what needs to be done to solve it. Why, you might ask (as I did) doesn’t everyone just solve their problems? Because, the book says, people are unwilling to solve their problems if they don’t like the solutions.

She elaborated and said, “Pam, think about it. When people have a problem they either become depressed and won’t get out of bed to fix it, or they get sick and won’t get out of bed to fix it. They get confused and can’t figure out how to get out of bed to fix it. Or they get mad and determined not to get out of bed to fix it. Finally, most people get sick of being in bed and finally figure out they have to get out of bed and fix it.

We laughed. (It is particularly funny because Cyndi spent most of January wallowing in some sad place, frustrated with what to do with the films. A little time and distance from the experience … and watching all of the footage from beginning to end as I had originally suggested … made it possible to attack the problem.)

But then, I said, “What about the people who do the “Yeah, but, I can’t change it. Yeah, but, I can’t fix it because blah, blah, blah What about the “Yeah, buts.”

peopleLie.jpgThat’s his second book, she says, The People of the Lie. People who refuse to change or handle their problems and blame other people for what doesn’t work in their lives. She always has an answer to everything to support her theories. I think producers are like that. Or teachers, maybe. I am going to put on my headphones so I don’t have to listen to her elaborate on this anymore. Or I’ll be having a problem getting my editing done on time!

So what does this have to do with anything? Not a heck of a lot. Except that filmmaking is a big problem solving fest. And there is the issue of friends and people emailing us and asking why we aren’t blogging like we used to, so I am committed to one of us posting once a week. ( Your turn Cyn!)

I also wanted to tell many of you thanks for your friendship and support these last few months. I had a big problem! Sometimes I got depressed about it. I was definitely sick of it! And often confused as to what to do. We won’t discuss the anger issues. Alec still has remnants of my bite marks! Ultimately, we got busy and solved it … and we feel pretty proud of our documentary trailer. The movies are coming along well, too. Funny how that works. If any of you are interested in viewing the documentary trailer, email us and we might just send it to you. If not, well you choose which of the five methods you’ll use to solve that problem.


Piece of Work

by Pj in Random

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pic_editing_1.jpgBY PAMELA JO BOWMAN – MESA ARIZONA – We are in the editing process. We spend all day, every day (and some nights and weekends) editing these two films. Everything takes longer than I think it should. I believe it keeps getting stronger each day. We put it to bed at night and in the morning we recognize new ways to go back and tighten it . Sometimes taking a “film break” can be another way to discover answers to film editing situations. This month I spent time watching how other editors edit their films. I “sacrificed” some time and accompanied my husband to 4 movies. One historical drama, one coming of age movie, one love story and one I can’t even remember. I looked it up and it would be better to forget that I spent money on it. Oh the sacrifices we make to hone our craft!

AMAZING GRACE, in my opinion, was worth the time and money. I enjoyed how they sequenced the scenes and the story. The casting was right on. I believed in the characters and so I was drawn into their story. The music, the scenery, the shots, the detail. Truly beautiful. I also enjoyed the history lesson for my daughters.

WILD HOGS on the other hand, well, do we need to even address what, in my opinion, was a story that could have been and should have been a coming of age tale for baby boomers past, present and future? I just don’t think there was strong character development. I wanted to like it. I wanted to like them, but all I saw were the actors trying to act…on motorcycles.

SONG AND LYRICS was just fun. I could discuss character development and lack of romantic connection, but I really wanted to just enjoy a film. It has been such a long time since I just relaxed and enjoyed the fantasy. After experiencing GHOST RIDER, I suppose anything would seem good. After all doesn’t everyone need a love autopsy. Doesn’t everyone want to find, “A Way Back Into Love!” Oh yea, “Pop, goes my heart!” Sometimes silly can be a fun and life affirming experience. Drew and Hugh ooze with silliness and it is contagious.

As far as GHOST RIDER. Saying nothing is writing too much.

What is true is that before Zambia I would go to movies and I could tell I wasn’t getting into them as much as I used to. After Zambia, my family has become exasperated as I editorialize every movie experience. I analyze the actors, the lighting, the storyline, the sound, the music, the detail, the shot angle, the subtle story in costumes or food or wall decorations. As I discuss the films with friends and family they berate me about dissecting every scene and character and basically ruining the movie experience. I realize that a really good movie is done so that I don’t even notice the seams or actors or music or detail. I would be drawn into the story and the characters. That is what I want to create, a completely absorbing experience for the moviegoers. It is their ten bucks and I want to earn every penny. I want a CASA BLANCA experience. I want a GREAT GATSBY or a GONE WITH THE WIND or a WIZARD OF OZ. I want my own yellow brick road. I know it will take time and experience, but once you have had that moment in a movie that touches your heart and changes your life, well, the feeling is enchanting and empowering. To create that experience for others is exciting and alluring. It is becoming the wizard behind the curtain. It is enabling others to recognize their own heart, their own brilliance, their own courage and where they truly belong.

So back to the editing process where everyday we think, “why didn’t we get more B roll or shoot that at a different angle or where is the story?” We kick ourselves, but we also are taking notes and learning. We are getting better at this. We have moments where we are creating our own OZ. For me editing is just one more step in the process. It is fun to be able to see the story develop and unfold. It is fun to learn. I giggle with joy everyday! It is a joy to place the pieces together and watch a piece of work evolve into a work of art.


Getting Ready for Tribeca

by Pj in Random

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BY PAMELA BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA — Today, our press credentials to the Tribeca Film Festival were approved. This festival is in New York City. Manhattan. The Big Apple. I have never been to New York City but a year ago I had never been to Africa, either. Manifest and whatever you want can be yours. I have always wanted to go to New York. My grandfather was born there. I want to look up his history and see his house. So I am going to believe that this will happen and then it will.

According to their website, “The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center. tribeca.gifConceived to foster the economic and cultural revitalization of Lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. The Festival’s mission is to promote New York City as a major filmmaking center and allow its filmmakers to reach the broadest possible audience.” The sixth annual Tribeca Film Festival (my first, however) will run from April 25th to May 6th, 2007. The Festival is anchored in Tribeca (that is the triangle below California) and takes place in additional neighborhoods throughout Manhattan, featuring film screenings, special events, concerts, a family street fair, and panel discussions.

In my experience, good motives breed an environment for creativity and acceptance of new ideas. Even though I graduated in journalism and enjoy covering the indie films and their creators, it is the production of my own ideas and the sharing of my own creative thoughts makes me want to attend this festival. I am excited to learn from others who will share their filmic vision and have inspired one of my own.


Clear Your Head, Clear Your Schedule

by Pj in Random

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BY PAMELA BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA — I love this time of year! I can eat my breakfast on my porch …for two days … and then the nasal drip begins. My eyes get puffy and the allergy breath nauseates even me. I would love to be able to scratch my brain! sunshineGirls.jpg Anyone have a brain scratcher? Knitting needles? Really long q-tips? So the allergy medicines are purchased and I am back on my bike riding to work. Today I made Cyndi take a break and go outside just to sit in the sunshine. We can only stare at those monitors for so long. I keep going over to the Lakes’ pool before work, during work, after work. It’s not like watching exercise gurus on T.V. I actually swim while I am there! The exercise is invigorating and motivates me to get my work done so I can go play some more. The truth is that I feel like I am playing when I work, but looking out of the office window at the beckoning sunshine is … just … well … more than this girl can take!

I am convinced that finding time to play outside helps the work progress. We are getting things done. We are almost meeting our deadlines. Believe me, this is an improvement! Last week, Cyndi’s family was here. There was a phone conversation she was having with her sister because, apparently, she was supposed to have met them at a restaurant. “I am almost there. I will be right there. Really! I am just exiting the freeway.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was still sitting at her editing desk! Even if we aren’t actually making a deadline, Cyndi thinks she is! She always thinks she’s going to make it.

With all of the pollen in the air, my head is so stuffy, I can barely remember what day it is. So spring has sprung. Ain’t it great? Hope you indie filmmakers are making your deadlines. If you’re struggling with allergies, let me recommend Benedryl. As a child of the 70’s, I’ve always been told drugs can be a wonderful thing! They make it so much easier to love this time of year … and meet your deadlines … for real!

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