The thing about being an independent filmmaker is that I’m going out on a lot of limbs — scooting along those branches into ever-more breakable territory. Some of it is simply logistical and mundane: How much more credit card debt can I handle? How many “work trips” can the family endure? Some much more emotional: Forging these intimate relationships with subjects, asking to be ever-more close with the camera….and still not being clear what will come of all this, not being able to say, “Yes, your story will be told. Yes, this will mean something important and your life might even become a bit better.”
Andrew and I submitted our materials recently for two grants - and we are waiting to hear back. It’s going to be a long wait. We probably won’t hear until sometime in September. And who knows how we’ll be feeling by then. Some days, I can wrap myself up in confidence and imagine checks jamming my mail-slot - all debt being washed away and then some. And some days, I an also see quite clearly the other possibility - the rejection, the no’s….”I just don’t get it”…”what’s this got to do with Me?” ”why should we care?”
There is freedom here still - in the waiting place - because we get to make the film we want, we get to go out on more limbs, exploring all the ways that we can tell this story — how a town and a people and the poverty they endure can be captured to make people care and think and maybe even live their lives differently.