When our friend Martin was in pre-production for a film, everytime we went to his house for “spiritual guidance”, I’d see a new gadget or gizmo he designed and built so he could get certain shots. I was (and still am) also in pre-production for a film and it kinda makes me nervous.
I do not have any gizmos or gadgets or fancy camera apparatuses, but I do have lots of time spent daydreaming, some fragments of a story pieced together in Celtx, and a friend who was hankering to do something “artsy, fartsy.” (Not to mention a husband, daughter, some cute cousins and friends who agreed to take part in this insanity.)
I also have some ideas of hanging upside down from a tree and a funeral pyre with imploding trinkets. Some ideas about a paddle-boat and saran wrapping a very expensive camera that doesn’t belong to me. I am not afraid to ask and I am not afraid to take no for an answer. I am not afraid to keep going until I get something close to want I want or learn to want something new.
I know wanting and have learned to make it my friend. Not like the wanting in Psalm 23, more like the desires in Psalm 37. When I am making something it is the ultimate kind of wanting and I like it and I can’t keep God out of it. He’s taught me to do my best with the least amount of materials provided.
With everyday living, the least amount of options the more inventive I am forced to be. The two skinny days before a pay-day, I can come up with a new spin on a quesadilla that peaks my kids interest. I can forage in the freezer to find clean (but toxic, I’m sure) leftover snow mixed with a cup of strawberry ice cream I bought at the 99 cent store and a bit of milk. So on a hot day, while we’re schooling outside we feast on cold slushes and fancy quesadillas and make it a kinda fat day instead.
So I remind myself, when I am feeling inadequate in the film department, that this can carry over. We have filmed a few scenes so far and so far I love them. The sparkly bird Zoe brought me in the middle of the shower scene-- I couldn’t write that more perfectly.
The pink, dime-store necklace I found in the parking lot at church that I stuck around my neck for three days somehow made it into the film,--prominently. I re-wrote three scenes to incorporate it. When I spotted a boxing ring in the middle of a field, 100 yards from a small white clap-board church, it got a scene, even though I haven’t asked permission and decide to guerrilla film-shhhh.
So when I see the fancy, stuff in Martin’s garage or go to festivals and see films that make me drool with admiration, I just remind myself most of the artists I know were wishing they had more money, time, equipment and talent, too.
What I got is what I got and I love it:
Hanging out with people I know and even love and telling them what I think hearing what they think and seeing how it fits together to make something more, better, real-er, truer . . .
Watching it grow, from snow, to ice cream, to a slushy dream just because it was lean times and we wanted more.