Last night I dreamt that Ash & I screened Paper Picnic for the first time. Feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and fear filled the scene. Somehow, during the dream, an audience of excited young film-goers experienced polarizing opinions about the project. What started as a fairly diverse audience ended up all female, as the men somehow didn't have interest in the story. Though I was excited that the women responded favorably in the dream, I was left frustrated by our inability to connect to a broader audience.
Obviously, the fears I experienced in my dream are a magnification of my real life insecurities. What brought upon these concerns, you ask? Viewing the latest edit of Paper Picnic, of course!
Finally the film is coming together, and Ash & I are in the position of having to plan our next move. As I watched the edit of our project, I was surprised at how it felt impossible to bring any semblance of objectivity to the process. Not only was I watching myself on the screen, but I was watching myself acting our writing on the screen. All I could see was the strangeness of my physical form and the strangeness of the text coming out of my mouth. Funny enough, though, I could watch Ash without any judgement. Imagine that.
How, then, am I supposed to assess our project when it feels way too close for comfort? Is the writing good enough? Is my acting good enough? Does the story make sense? Is our message clear? Will people connect to such a short film? Should we follow through with our initial dreams and desires and actually send it to Lisa?
The answer is, "of course!" At some point, we all have to let go of our work even when we are afraid that it might not be our best. We all strive for perfection, which is, of course, impossible to attain. What's the point of creating if we don't share our work for all to see?
Now my job is to trust that our writing, our performances, and our collaboration will blossom from an exchange of ideas into a final project that will somehow resonate with the people who are supposed to see it. If anything, this project will be an opportunity to contribute to a broader conversation about the always-evolving world of independent film. And at the end of the day, I can be proud of that.