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June 25th, 2003

invidia

Weird dreams last night.

Storms last night must have been intense. Rick came over late last night with a letterbox copy of PFD and we watched it, and then got involved in a discussion about baylor and child-rearing. I was up far too late, and managed a sleepification rather quickly, but still not enough, and the weird dreams came.

I had bought a car from someone, and it turned out to be a piece of crap. Rather than trying to pursue it, I was trying to abandon it, and to cover it up, I was looking to make it appear as if the guy I had bought it from was killed and the car burned.

Found a place to dump it, and was burning the evidence in a fire pit that slowly morphed into a washing machine in someone's apartment. They were understandably upset, but really prettty mellow when I explained to them that I thought it was a fire pit. Evidently it happens all the time.

Today I feel disconnected from just about everything, like I'm out-of-phase with reality. Every little noise, every little conversation is distracting. This morning when I looked in the mirror, I suddenly looked old. Not a great way to start my day.

With some reflection, I realize that I am jealous. I am jealous of youth, I am jealous of beauty, I am jealous of talent, I am jealous of the attention that you receive. I was supposed to be famous and be loved and adored by the masses, but something went wrong along the way.

I am trying to make it now, but it might be too little, too late. I don't really need to be famous. I don't really need to be adored. I should be above petty jealousy, and be happy for my friends that have achieved the levels of success that they have. And I am, really. There is just this part of me that is small and petty, kind of my "inner brat". And lately, my inner brat has been wanting to come out and play.

To try and get a handle on it, I've been trying to analyze what I want for success. What goals I want to achieve. And on the adoration scale, I want to be recognized for the quality of work that I do. That means I have to actually do something that people recognize and can see in a larger sense.

From a filmmaking perspective, that pretty much means I have to make a film. I've been working on other folk's films, and within a very small group, I am gaining recognition. But that recognition can only be as good as the finished product, because the vast majority of people watch films as a whole, they don't say "wow, that movie sucked but it sure was pretty".

And you can't make just one film. You keep making films. Each one better than the last, or you end up sucking.

So do I really want to base my sense of self-worth on what others think of me?

Hell, no.

But I don't have an internal sense of self-worth. I don't have a gauge to measure myself, other than comparisons to what else is out there. And if what I see out there is the best of what is available, my goals end up getting set pretty dang high. Yeah, I know I can't compete with a team of lighting experts and a cinematographer with 50 years of experience, but that's the yardstick I have to measure my progress with.

Last night we watched our very first video. The first project that I ever did. It was 1996, cut on a linear tape editor in SVHS. It was pretty bad, but even then there were some specific standout things having to do with technical editing and sound that were pretty impressive. It was more of a music video than anything, and it definitely had some herbal influences.

So it's seven years later. Within that domain, I've produced a spoof on a fishing show, a sales training video, had a business failure, done some successful commercials, shot a couple of in-house industrials, worked on a few short films and one feature, and are about to embark on another feature and more commercials. Most of those things have happened within the last year. And I've shown consistent improvement.

But is that enough?

Yes and no. Improvement is good, but it is not reaching my goals.

Goals are good if they are specific and reachable. Maybe mine aren't specific enough. Like "I want to make a feature film". Good, but before I make the feature, I should make a short film or two. And in order to do that, I need to set aside time to plan exactly what I want to do and arrange time to do it all.

(more later...)

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