Things are moving well. We have a great crew. Pre-production is progressing well. The actors are top-notch. But on this last day before we gather on set, rather than dwell on these logistical things, I'd like to share something that just happened on my lunch break.
A colleague and I left work to grab some pizza-by-the-slice at a little local place that we frequent. We were walking downtown talking about the frustrations of making this film when I heard someone calling to me. I looked up and saw my old buddy Justin. He works not far from my place of employment, and I've been meaning to stop in to say hi for the last two months. And naturally, I've just been way to busy to do it.
I met Justin when we were in third grade, and he was a huge part of my early filmmaking endeavors. All through junior high and high school and even into college, when we weren't playing "Super Mario Kart" or "GoldenEye," we were collaborating on silly little video projects. He's a hilarious guy and has great comic screen presence. I can't even count the number of movies we made together in those days.
But of course, the years pass, and lives take different paths. We keep in touch -- sometimes on Facebook or occasional birthday phone calls or texts -- but it's been probably three or four years since the last time we met in person. And today of all days ... the day before I'm on set for my first feature film ... that's the day I happen to see him on the street.
All the stress, all the chaos, all the uncertainty ... and then that moment. I felt like God just sort of patted me on the back and reminded me that this is the path I was meant to take. All those silly films all those years ago were leading to this day -- this time in my life and vocation. And in that moment, the frustration left me.
I'm about to take a huge step as a filmmaker. Yes, it's a very small film. Yes, it's a story with a small, niche audience. But the thing is, I'm producing and directing a feature. And how many of all those kids who play with their parents' camcorders in junior high make it to this point? Not many, I'd wager.
I feel honored and privileged to be working with the enormously gifted cast and crew that have joined the BLACK PAPER team. And I'm certain that this film, whether it turns out beautifully or horribly, will lead to even better things farther down this path.
Thanks to everyone who is supporting me and this project. I couldn't do it without you.