Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Feel the love - for Spider and Jeanne and Stardance

Having the Stardance Film described as "The Coolest Thing Ever" and Labeled "Things that do NOT suck." I would consider a compliment.

Check out this post from February 14th - a valentine to be proud of.

Creative Partner, True Friend

There are many degrees of creative collaboration - and I can't speak for Dance, because dance is NOT my art, but I can speak for film - and how one collaborates in film varies in the degree of involvement and focus.

I have always subscribed to the Auteur theory - that the director is author of the film.

This doesn't necessarily mean the director WRITES the screenplay (though the director can) but that the director is doing the equivalent of pressing pen to paper when the director MAKES the film. There are so many disciplines involved, highly specialized craftspersons and technicians and artists (often all three at once) working on a film - that the director must carefully select these artists and technicians and craftspeople - and get them to each bring their best game to the table, to concentrate on their art and pour forth their personal best to add to the final piece. It is a true team effort, and a good film requires an all-star team.

Through this team the director "authors" the film - In other words, the Director keeps and communicates the vision, guides the performance, specifies some details, but otherwise gets the hell out of the way.

In that kind of collaboration seeing the sum of the parts become something even greater is the biggest thrill for everyone involved. But there is another form of collaboration - when TWO directors collaborate - a dual role, and I am so blessed in this case to be co-directing this picture with Jeanne. I am proud to say that Jeanne and I have become good friends during these nascent stages of our collaboration, and we complement and support each other's talent and vision in this endeavor in such a way that I know our creative partnership in making this film will be as successful as Jeanne's creative partnership with her true-love and life partner Spider when they wrote the Stardance series.

Of course, we'll be authoring a film together instead of a novel. We each have things to say and communicate, we each have our own concentrations of vision, and the sum of THESE parts will make Stardance something even greater.

Humanity aspires.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Holding Up Visions

It's been awhile.  Jim and I have been hard at work with our post-flight media blitz.

Now that it's dropped back, we have turned our attention to the treatment.  Originally STARDANCE was written as a short 10 minute film.  When Jim came on board as my producer/co-director, we decided to make STARDANCE a large-format film, which means expanding its length to fit the 44 minute IMAX experience.  Working from an outline, the treatment will be a written condensation of our film.  One of its primary purposes is to help us sell our story to sponsors and investors.

So I'm asking myself again what vision do I want to put on the screen -- what vision do I want to hold up this time?  As an artist, I've always been interested in moving forward, in doing the next thing, in pushing the boundaries in new ways.  Much of my work has been a direct invitation to recognize and realize the deeper dimension of the silent bond between us.  In this film, I want to take the STARDANCE novels, and re-work them in a new way.  And I want to include my 35 years of Buddhist practice and study in a new way.

Collaborating with Jim on this film has been a true joy.  Our artistic lives share a transcendent compatibility that endeavors to create work that confronts us with the best we can be, the deepest we can feel, and the highest we can see.  We aspire to have our audience leave the theatre a little better than they were only minutes ago.  And his ability to think in pictures perfectly dovetails my own visual abilities.  During this incubation stage, his contribution of outlining our story for the treatment has been invaluable. 

When I began work on the original short film script, I named the protagonist, Treya.   She is named after Maitreya, the Future Buddha of all-encompassing love -- the fifth and last of the earthly Buddhas.  I feel we need to aspire to do all we can to bring the Future Buddha of Love here now.  Our world can't wait several thousands of years.  Iconographically Maitreya is depicted on a raised seat with her feet resting on the ground in a state of readiness -- ready to appear in the world to give us whatever is needed. 

Whether it's a dance , a poem, a novel, or a film, my work aspires to hold up visions that exemplify the best in humanity, reflecting our highest evolutionary potential.  Spider simply says we peddle hopes.

Whatever you call it, as Jim and I write the treatment, our intention is to accelerate our evolution with a picture of a new paradigm of humanity.  We ask you to hold that aspiration with us.