You reflect. Make smart decisions, tough ones, ones that want to break you. But you move forward. Always move forward. We are moving forward. With your help. I make movies. We make films together. Its a team effort, a collaboration between the storyteller and the audience. One is nothing without the other. THOSE LIGHTER FLUID DAYS will get made. I promise you all that.
This past weekend was bad. I mean, not pretty at all, like curled up in a ball buried under my covers for half the day, semi-conscious and fighting for every moment of willing myself to go on” sorta bad. As an Artist sometime you can talk yourself into thinking things are way worse then they actually are. I was losing that mental battle yesterday. The stress of my job, crowdfunding, and vainly attempting to perfect a script I’d been working for almost 2 years had taken its toll. I had locked everyone out but the voices in my head wouldn’t shut up. I felt like I was legitimately going crazy. I hadn’t really slept in over 72 hours and was starting to lose it hardcore.
I broke. There may have been pills involved, way more then is healthy and if it weren’t for the care of my Mother I probably would have done something very stupid and very selfish.
So here I am Tuesday evening, camped out on my bed with my laptop, working on business sponsorship proposals, hoping to sort some stuff out with my Director, talking to a real estate agent about location scouting, and trying not to lose my mind. Safe to say, its an uphill battle. This going to sound cliche but I’m gonna go for it anyhow, every time I open the Indiegogo campaign page for TLFD and rewatch teaser, letting the lighting and angles Matt set up create the desired atmosphere and Torey knock the socks off that monologue, I get this grin on my face I can’t wipe away because I know any sorta sh*t that I have to go through to pull this film off will be totally worth it to see truthful words come alive. Honesty resonates deep. Its weird when your words become something other then just words, you know, they take on a life of their own.
I’m blessed to have the opportunity to make quality films, blessed to have people willing to come on the journey with me, and ultimately whatever battle scars are secured through the toil, it’ll be ok.
The question was bound to come up. And I won’t say I wasn’t looking forward to explaining what exactly the title of my next film actually means. THOSE LIGHTER FLUID DAYS. A bunch of words that don’t usually go together. Its kinda funny how titles slowly take on even more meaning to those involved and to the characters themselves as the production develops and everyone is forced to delve deeper into the emotional motivation of the whole piece.
For those who are curious, TLFD was not intended to be biographical but its sorta ended up that way. Bits and pieces of Bree’s struggle have slowly surfaced in the lives of yours truly, Torey, (our female lead) and Adrian (Our fearless Director). We can all pull from personal experience on the many aspects of what The March Family and Emerson are going through. Its actually slightly uncanny how close to home it all is.
As for Torey and Adrian’s part in the “Art reflects Life” scenario, they can bare their souls whenever they see fit. My soul on the other hand is already on the page. THOSE LIGHTER FLUID DAYS is by far the most vulnerable piece of screenwriting I’ve ever displayed in public. The sentiment that Bree expresses, the weary “stuckness” of her situation is something I’ve battled through on so many different levels. I suspect with the way the teaser has been received with such a hearty flurry of support, I’m not the only one who gets it. I choose Lighter Fluid for one main reason, Lighter Fluid in itself is not a volatile substance. Its only when a spark is applied that is has the ability to illuminate/enlighten or simply devour and destroy. But on its own, its not really worth a whole lot. In my mind, people can translate quite similarly. What are we really worth if we don’t choose to engage in the world around us? Its going back to that whole idea of LIVE > EXIST. Sometimes we let ourselves fall into apathy because, lets face it, life and people can just suck. Its so easy to convince ourselves that a self-contained defensive mechanism littered existence is the safest way to go. Ok safe maybe, worth living? Hell. No.
What can force us from our bubble, push aside of our walls, and go ahead and risk actually living, falling in love, getting our heart broken, creating, falling, failing, picking ourselves up again and helping other to do the same. These are questions Bree finds herself asking.
She’s battered, close to broken, she’s the Vessel, and the Fuel but she’s searching for the Spark.
Will she find it? August will not come soon enough.