February 21, 2008

Deadlines are approaching

The 15th of March is the deadline for my Binger application - a date that has always seemed very far away, until I realized yesterday that it's only another three weeks! The more I learn about this school, the more I think I'm not qualified enough to make it in, which only makes me want to get in that much more. The biggest part of the problem in getting a good start on the application was how to approach the essays - the questions are simple and annoyingly vague - "the reasons and motivation for applying at this stage in your career" and "your key goals in following the programme." The reason I had a difficult time getting started answering is because there are two options for applying to the Creative Producers Programme- as a producer with a project i.e. participating in the programme with a writer engaged on the Script Development Programme OR as a producer without a project who participates in the programme to develop his/her skills in working with writers and directors while enhancing understandings of dramatic forms, style and structure.

The thing is, I do have an idea, and I'm quite serious about making it happen. However, I also realize that it's just simply not developed enough at this stage to sell anyone else on what it is I want to do (I will come back to this in a minute). It's a nice thought that I could take my brilliant idea to Binger, and they would say "welcome, let us help you realize this!" But realistically? I don't have a writer - I'm the writer. And the film is a documentary, and Binger does not seem to turn out a lot of documentary work. I considered just giving up on the idea of Binger altogether, but then I thought... well, why not go for option two? I mean, option two describes me a lot better anyway. So I am applying as someone without a project who wants to develop my skills. If I get in, whatever I can learn is only going to benefit me.

In the past several weeks, I have been soaking up everything I can (with what limited time I have) on video blogging, and getting a lot of great information from sites like Moment Showing, Ryan Is Hungry, and the Semanal Project. All of these places have links to tutorials for putting video up on the web and making better use of blogging software, and there's just something about this medium that is really, really speaking to me right now. I spoke about this a few weeks ago, and the reason I mention it again is because I'm starting to think of all of the different options I have as a future "documentary filmmaker." I don't need a team of writers to accomplish my goal. The project I want to work on is very, very close to my heart. I want to make it my way - and of course get help as I go along - but I don't necessarily think that workshopping it for 5 months at a school is really something that would help, in the grand scheme of things. My ultimate goal isn't to make money with this film, it's to try and change the world. And it's selfish as well - it's giving me a reason to stay creative and to start taking on more responsibility, and it's the driving force behind me moving back to Europe.

However, it's not going to be my full-time job or my only mission. I also want to work on other video projects, and honestly, I would welcome the opportunity to work on a film that is a bit lighter in subject than what I'm used to thinking about. One of the reasons I chose Amsterdam for my next home is because even just as a visitor in that city, I've noticed the very vibrant, creative, international community of people that populate the area. I know I'll find my place somehow, and as I work on my application to Binger, I'm also thinking about essays I'm going to be writing for graduate schools. I'm thinking about any other skills I might have, like working in tourism (I gave walking tours in Paris for close to a year), that might be worth considering again. I'm thinking about not actually settling down anywhere, but spending 3 months a year in NYC, three months in Sarajevo, six months in Amsterdam or Paris - everything is a possibility right now.

But ideally, Amsterdam will be my home base. And since I have plane tickets that put me there from April 23 - December 22nd, I'm going to have to work on how exactly I'm going to do that without getting deported. I have a plan for that (even if everything else fails) that I will go into in my next post.

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