Or… “Man Lights Blog.”
It’s been a question bouncing around my head for the last week or so, ever since I set this up – what’s the point of having a blog? What insight could I possibly bring to people that they can’t get elsewhere? I don’t really know yet if blogging is my thing, although I was surprised at how quickly I took to Twitter. But the beauty of Twitter is that it can only be 140 characters long, whereas blogging is just a license to be a blowhard at your three friends, isn’t it?
And I have to start by saying that most “personal” blogs bore the living shit out of me. There are obvious exceptions, and some have led people to a wider audience or even got them lucrative book or movie deals, but most of them are a study in naval-gazing. Blogging is free, of course, but I am a slow reader and I can’t be bothered to slip and slide down the idiosyncrasies of your purple prose for its own sake. Some people need to blog or write in order to douche their brains, but I don’t need to drink the runoff (you’re welcome for that image).
Of course there are great blogs out there, ones even I read like Stu Maschwitz’s Prolost blog. It’s pure nerd-porn for someone like me to read about the newest camera, color correction software, etc. out there, and frankly I’m annoyed at myself that I didn’t start a blog like that years ago when I was writing the “Tech Talk” column for Backstage. But the truth is that the world of high-tech (or even high-quality low-tech) filmmaking is only a part of what wakes me up in the morning, makes me want to yak your ears off. Also, years ago blogging was called “maintaining a website,” and although I find myself in that position as well today, this is something I have tried to avoid. Assiduously.
Which brings me to the subject matter with which I’m going to start out here because it’s the single longest-term and most intense subject of study in my life.
But remember how I said I think personal blogs are a waste of space? Mine would be too (and still MIGHT be, don’t lose hope), but really I’m not going to bore you too much with my memoirs here. I DID consider doing a blog like that – memoirs-of-a-guy-who’d-worked-on-a-bunch-of-low-budget-movies-you’d-never-heard-of-and-one-you-had… But seriously I don’t think anyone wants to hear about my experiences putting stage blood on a woman made up as a dead hooker in Alabama, or for that matter putting blood on James “Roscoe P. Coltraine” Best’s head in Senoia, GA. Or how I decided to quit doing makeup while putting fake blood on a softcore porn actress’ head on the Battleship Alabama. Yup, she really cured me of wanting to be a makeup artist, but you don’t care.
This isn’t to say that I’m going to elucidate aspects of directing that haven’t been done by my betters like Harold Clurman or Judith Weston. But I suppose that’s my point – I want to help people find those books, find those computer programs or tools or whatever. Some of the things that have helped me learn a thing or two over the years, some of the things that are coming out as I do this. I’m hoping to build a resource here that I wish I’d had before I got too far down the road.
My ultimate two-pronged goal here is to discover (and rediscover) some of these things that could help someone trying to learn how to direct save themselves from a few long nights, as well as to create discussions with people who are trying (as I am) to establish themselves and find an audience. I might stoop to editorializing or memoir here and there, but hopefully it will be to make a point in the larger world of what I’m here to do.
So since this is a manifesto, I should lay down some principles. I’ll keep it ultra-simple:
1) I will try not to bore the reader with technical mumbo-jumbo, again leaving the high-tech nerdspeak to my nerdy betters. Tech when it comes to aesthetics, that’s another story – so be prepared to click some links.
2) I will be very clear about things I’ve personally used/read/done/studied vs. things that just SOUND cool.
3) If ever someone should deign that I’m worth having free products given to me in return for any kind of endorsement, I will make with the full disclosure.
And I’m going to try to keep it short. Hence I will sign off here. Here’s to hoping to build a blog made of content, not (just) of narcissism.