Wrapping up work (for now!)

Today is probably the last writing day for this script. Monday and Tuesday I am gonna do some quick editing/improving and then hand it in to my producers. I’m totally pleased that it’s gonna get into them on time so we can continue getting more development funds hopefully. I still feel like the beginning drags a bit though, and it gets so exciting at the end but the beginning needs to have a few more exciting plot points to it. I’m not sure how to resolve that but there’s time.

After that I’m on holidays! I will have the rest of August and then most of September to take a breather. I’ve been working non-stop since spring and it’s been really good for me but also I am so so so looking forward to kicking back for a little bit. This next week I have a two day Mental Health First Aid workshop to go to at Miziwe Biik, and this fall I am doing Queer ASL 101 Classes. I’m looking forward to those two things. I’m not really sure what I’ll learn, but I am always up for adding new skills. And being able to care for people around me in crisis and have some rudimentary communication skills with Deaf people is a good thing.

I’m going to try and go for another couple of grants, there’s a Toronto Arts Council deadline and an Ontario Arts Council deadline in October. Last time I got a TAC grant I applied for half of what other people applied for as established artists and while I did get it, I also felt I should have applied for the full $12,000. I’m gonna hear from Canada Council this fall if they are going to support a research creation grant to finish my Unity powered video game A Bipolar Journey (better name in the works). I know either way I am gonna finish it because it’s a good idea, but it would be really nice to get some living allowance for a while and not worry too much for the winter about how I’m gonna eat/live/survive.

PLUS I still gotta do a dramatic short so that I can get directing experience. I’m wracking my brain trying to think of what it could be about. I kind of know, but also I am really not totally sure. And from being on Arts Board juries I know narrative work isn’t like, a high priority. If I could do a short that was a dramatic narrative enough to give me some directing cred and recognition when we go for more Telefilm money, BUT ALSO experimental enough to appease the arts board juries, I think I could do it. That’s a really fine line to walk. And I think they call those calling card films, which I DON’T want it to be, like I want it to be able to stand alone enough as a work to go have a life on the festival circuit and hopefully win some awards. My Executive producer and Producer think if I go that route it should have something to do with the feature we are working on. I just don’t want to distill the feature down to something that isn’t big enough in terms of visuals.

BUT I have a friend who works in Montreal at a VFX company and she offered to do some pro bono work for me if I need it. Which makes me think MAYBE I could do a dramatic short with the green fire fx?? Like if I can get even a deal on that I could possibly make a short that has the elements of my feature. I’d need to shoot in the prairies probably if I do the thing I want, which might be weird for the budget. But we’ll see.

Anyway, even though work is wrapping up for the summer in the next few days, there’s still a shit load of stuff that’s gonna need to happen this fall, like marathon grant writing, and taking ASL classes, and HOPEFULLY (fingers crossed) doing some Unity programming again and drawing and finishing this video game. I FREAKIN REALLY WANT to be able to do the video game, because it’s sort of outside of my field of expertise and such a random weird thing to do, and I feel like it could be a really solid interesting work. I’m kind of thinking of VR/360 things to do too, but that’s like, also in the future and not an immediate thing. I’m just trying to figure out how to apply my filmmaking/video artist stuff to newer technologies. Or new to me technologies anyway. I could do the game anyway, it’s just nice to think I could get some money to help.

Personally things BESIDES my career are pretty good. I am going on a personal trip to the UK in September and travelling Scotland and then a week in London. It’s been so long since I did a trip that was non-work related, so I am SUPER excited to just be a tourist. I’m connecting with some friends there tho, so not horribly touristy. But I know we are gonna do some touristy things in London for sure. Emotionally I’m doing pretty good, I’ve been noticing my moods seem to shift a lot in any day, but while I wondered if that was my mood disorder, I’m now leaning more on it being regular emotional shifts. Mood disorders are so weird. Because really it’s emotions, and it’s hard to figure out what are normal natural emotions (even extreme ones) and what are symptomatic emotions. I’ve been connecting on deep levels with some old and new friends and that’s been really nice too. I stay at home a lot and am shy so in some ways I come across as an introverted homebody, but also I really like having one on one connections with friends that are meaningful and that doesn’t really happen for me in a group situation. There’s probably more I could say but I don’t want to. My friend Riki is out of town for the rest of the month, and then I go away just before she comes back, so I’m not gonna see her for a month which sucks. But like, you know, people have to do things in their lives.

I’ve been getting accepted and rejected into/from film festivals on an almost 1:1 ratio lately, which has been super interesting to watch. It’s always the queer festivals rejecting me actually, which is super funny. Not ALL of them tho, but yeah, my production values aren’t high enough for them. That’s what I get for being a 2 spirit gender queer dyke punk video artist. Sigh! Or they just don’t get it. Not sure. OR it doesn’t fit their programming. I mean whatever. I am probably submitting to the wrong mainstream fests. BUT the festivals my current work is getting into is pretty interesting. I have given up predicting where videos will end up, because it always ends up at really surprising places. Like I did not expect an experimental super 8 film about disability and self injury would end up at Tribeca. What???! That still surprises me. There are a couple festivals I can always be sure I’ll screen at tho and that’s nice to know. And the Indigenous festivals show me a lot which is nice.

Someone I was pitching a project to told me it wasn’t feasible because there wasn’t enough market for Indigenous work, like it wouldn’t get picked up by territories other than North America for distribution. It was such a weird comment, and really not realistic. I know industry people believe that kind of racist crap (some of them) but also there really are Indigenous people all over the world and we don’t just want to see work from local Indigenous people. Like we do care about each other globally. It’s not like I only care about the Plains Cree people. Anyway so weird. Ha ha random.

Well, I should go wander off and chill out and prepare myself for my last ten to twelve pages of writing I need to do. It might take more than that. I might write all weekend. But I’ve been pacing myself and I think today might be the last day! 😀

2 thoughts on “Wrapping up work (for now!)

  1. Yeah, it’s so weird what some people think about what audiences would or wouldn’t accept. It’s much like Canadian films in general. In Canada we produce these great movies, shot in Canada but we spend effort setting them in the U.S. because of an idea that a U.S. audience wouldn’t watch a story set outside their country. I think that’s B.S. I doubt that people care where it’s set if it’s a good movie. It’s the distributors or marketers who are worried about any little thing that might lower their audience.
    We seem to have internalized Canadophobia.

    I remember seeing a show on APTN about the Sami in Scandinavia and they being referred to as indigenous. It surprised me because they are white. I learned that it’s not about skin colour but about displacement and history.

    Re. a short dramatic film idea. How about the story of your family name. The frostbitten hand. It would be period so there would be some expenses with costumes, shooting in the winter and all that but it’s a simple story so wouldn’t be too long to shoot.

    1. That’s a good idea. There are some other interesting stories I’ve been told about that era which might be a good dramatic short. I’m gonna have to start thinking! Thanks Clark!

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