Thursday, May 16, 2013

Life in a Box, Again.

Today is my writing day, which means that at 10 o’clock I stop whatever I’m doing, walk into the office, sit down, and write. All day. Which means no blogging. Blogging is writing, but it is also a way to avoid the real writing. I hold my blogging to a certain standard but otherwise it has no demands except that I write what comes to mind, unlike the big projects, which have a scale and depth that bring their own demands.

I would blog every day if I had time. There’s always something I want to talk about. I’m still trying to write about my first wedding anniversary (I will, it’s coming), but today I have to keep it short.

Maybe you know that I (along with many talented collaborators) made a documentary film several years ago called Life in a Box.. It’s very good. But for reasons I still can’t grasp we were never able to sell it. It cost our investor/patron/fan over $200,000, screened in several festivals, but not a single distributor was interested. It may be the single work of my career that I am most proud of, yet no one other than friends and family and a few fans have seen it.

So we tried for a couple years with no luck, and we moved on. But the attorney who represented the film recently made another push and found some (very mild, I think) interest from a couple distributors. But in order to make the film ready to sell, we have to spend another several thousand dollars. We have to have something called E & O insurance, in case anybody sues us. I’m not sure why they would, but you have to have it. And we have to pay to use a Johnny Cash song that appears in the film. (No, it can’t be removed. I wish we’d been rehearsing one of our own songs that day when the camera caught that argument with great light and sound, but we weren’t.) I think it all adds up to between $10,000 and $20,000.

Since we’re saving up now for adoption expenses, we can’t even think about spending this much, even if I thought it was wise, and I’m not sure it is. How do you know when to cut and run? When you’re an artist, there’s a feeling of undeniability when you reach a certain point with a piece, I think, because the work feels so absolutely compelling that it’s easy to overlook the fact, the fact, that there will always be so much more art than audience. There is vastly, exponentially, more great art lost and forgotten than experienced and preserved.

I don’t know. I’m thinking about a kickstarter campaign? I have no idea if there are enough Y'all fans out there -- if I can even figure out how to reach them -- to make it possible to raise that much money. I have lots of cool Y'all memorabilia I could offer as premiums. I hate to think of this film never even having a home video release.

Okay, it’s after 10 now, time to write. I'm writing a play. Hopefully more than 25 people will someday see it. Here are a few clips from Life in a Box.

1 comment:

Tom Knechtel said...

Steven, "Life in a Box" is wonderful. While I don't have the big bucks that your patron had, I would definitely contribute to a Kickstarter campaign!