Closure. Its a simple enough idea, but it doesn’t always come when or how we expect. As an editor and as a filmmaker, it’s an idea I’ve been wrestling with for a while. You invest yourself in a certain story for years, but when is it time to close the book and move onto the next project?
When I first read the script for Heart of Now, an art house indie drama, I was struck by the story’s beauty. I just felt in my gut that it should play at Cannes. It just seemed like the right fit to debut and launch this particular story. I was of course a novice to the whole process at that time. I had huge expectations for the film and believed that everyone would feel as strongly about the project as I did. We submitted Heart of Now to Cannes and several other of the top tier festivals, and I was devastated and confused by the rejections. I didn’t get the instant gratification that I foolishly expected and believed I deserved.
Knowing of these rejections when we had our cast and crew screening I felt like I should write the closure blog for the film then, but I wasn’t ready yet. When the film had its premiere at the Dead Center Film Festival I also felt like that would be an ideal time for the closure post, but I just didn’t feel satisfied and couldn’t bring myself to do it. We played a few more festivals but the closure that I wanted eluded me.
Eventually I gave up on the idea and moved on to cutting other projects. I ignored it, but never really forgot it. So here I am, a couple of years later from cutting that film and several months into cutting my second feature, the film that most people would prefer to hear about right now and yet, here I find myself writing about Heart of Now again. Blogging about my editorial process has been a great method for me to process what I’m learning and it also has served as a type of therapy. The closure post has finally brought itself to the surface once more, but this time I feel I’m ready to write it.
Heart of Now is finally out on DVD which is nice, and then this past week it made its appearance on Netflix Streaming. I didn’t think that this would really affect me much, but when I saw the orange emblem glowing back at me from my TV screen I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. It felt like what parents must feel when they send their kids off to college. I was so happy and moved to finally know that people could easily see the film if they wanted. And I think thats all I really wanted all along, an audience to see our work.
The lessons that my first feature have taught me have been invaluable. And I am so grateful to have a more realistic sense of the process. Being an indie filmmaker is hard work and with each film comes a long road. There is no instant gratification in independent filmmaking. To be an indie filmmaker you better make sure that you love it. I wouldn’t change the path of Heart of Now for anything.
For me closure did not come at picture lock as I originally expected. Pretty much nothing happened as I originally expected with this film. Except the fact that we will be screening at Cannes this May after all. Not screening in competition mind you, but screening at the film market. But that is good enough for me. Like they always say trust your gut 😉
And there you have it, closure.