Time to Sacrifice My 28mm


What do I do when I’m not being a director?

All right, I have a confession. I have done NOTHING even tangentially related to the film business this month. Well… in a very, very tangential way, I did something… I wrote a poem! The New Yorker just rejected it. Okay, so my mom liked it. And my friend, Vivian, in Arkansas. (I’ve shared it with you below.)

Let’s see, what else did I do in the cinematic realm? I… participated in the theater of life! Yeah, participated, reveled in and rejoiced in life. I spent quality time worrying about making a living. These intoxicating thought forms take a ramble through my grey matter way too often since I have become a filmmaker… I’m broke, oh dear, I’m broke, oh dear, what will I do? What will I do? I will NOT waitress… not yet… I’m broke… maybe law school… etc… etc…

I know, I’ll get my mind off my finances and conduct some research. I’ll go hang out with the flotsam and jetsam scattered around the local L.A. bars, commiserating the aftermath of the recent strike. Bend an elbow or two at Residuals with the “one that got away” crowd. “Oh, yeah, I auditioned for that. My hair was too short, the director’s cousin/girlfriend/manicurist got the role. I didn’t really want it. I wanted it, but was double-booked. My agent screwed it up.”

Or Cock N Bull. Nothing sexier than a U.K. dude with a lyrical accent, misting me with Guinness spittle while complaining about the dearth of roles on reality TV. (You might want to work on the accent if you’re going to be the next Oklahoma pig-wrestling champ.) Shit, am I confusing my Cock N Bull with my Cat N Fiddle? Must do more research. God, I hate that I’m such a bad researcher. Must hire me an intern.

Speaking of money and lack thereof… I decided to fatten my personal coffers (read: Pay my next month’s credit card bills.) I’m determined to sell everything I own on Craigslist. It’s either an insanely desperate attempt to fend of bankruptcy or a purification ritual leading me, ultimately, to the fulfillment of all my dreams. I sold off my camera lenses (including my baby—the ever playful, zesty Nikon 28mm—what memories—how my heart ached to let her go!) to a guy named Carlos. I should have had Carlos sign a contract with the promise that Ms. 28mm would only be used for the capture of absurd moments and bizarre situations. She would only be attached to his (camera) body in order to elicit the most ridiculous expressions of humanity. I should have quizzed this Carlos guy a little more thoroughly. Was Carlos committed to culling the deepest, darkest, silliest, most vulnerable moments from his subjects? But to be fair, had I been that committed in my photographic past? Had I ever been fully committed to the revelation of our all-too-human foibles and frailties? Truly, had I been? Ever?!? Only God knows. And the deepest corner of my unconscious… which, some might argue IS God. But I’ll leave that for my theology and Hollywood blog.

So, during this long, dry “no moviemaking” fast, I accepted a one-day gig at the Eclectic Theater Company, writing and directing for their 24-hour festival. It ain’t Hollywood… it’s LIVE Hollywood! Actually, it’s NORTH Hollywood, which, these days, is becoming a dead-ringer for the other H. All the participants in the 24-hour madness were out-of-work somethings with this special day of respite from unemployment, strike fall-outs and half-hearted tinkerings on their computers.

We creative types got to actually DO what we DO. Nice. At 8 p.m. sharp, we were given a line, a theme and a mandate to be funny as hell and turn over a 10-page script by 8 a.m. the next day. 8:15 p.m. I headed to Ciao Café in Sherman Oaks then, when they kicked me out at 9 p.m., I scurried into the all-night Solley’s Deli and wrote the last half of my masterpiece. Lousy food, loud neighbors, great writing. I clocked out at 1 a.m.!!! Next day, rehearsed till 6 p.m. The show went up at 8 p.m.

Granted, one of my two assigned actors dropped 69 percent of his lines (asshole), but the audience didn’t seem to care. I think I heard a chuckle halfway through. It was supposed to be a comedy! Yes, as much as I practice “acceptance of the moment as it is and as it unfurls in all its innate wisdom,” it was painful watching my 15-minute play sliced down to 4 ½ minutes. And they dropped all the funny bits. “What were all those boxes? What did they mean?” “Well, if that asshole actor had bothered to memorize his lines, you’d KNOW what they meant.” I didn’t really say that. And hey—I WAS KIDDING ABOUT THE ACTOR BEING AN ASSHOLE. He was fine. Just fine. I accept and celebrate his humanity.

So, about 37 people saw my play (including the actors and crew.) Okay, enough of this theater bullshit. Yeah, it’s fun, but who cares? I’ve decided to make my little comedy into a short film. With a feature under my belt, this should be a hell of a lot easier, right? Cast some A-List actors, find filthy rich investors salivating to associate with an award-winning film (aren’t they all in the beginning?) and JUST DO IT. Know any short investors? Tall investors? Race, religion, nationality, anything goes.

And if anybody wants to buy a Nikon F3 body, let me know!

BLANK SLATE
Erase me.
It seemed so simple.
Throw out every piece
and parcel of my once was
and clear the slate.

That’s what little
Ms. Feng Shui
would have me do.
Evacuate every corner,
purge every dormant
dust strewn fiber of
my world of sudden
negativity.. Huh?
THERE too?

Seems negativity is
EVERYTHING
one EVER did or said
or bought, or desired,
or yearned for, or
coveted, or attached
one’s heart or even
mind linked to
some how.

Seems negativity is
even when I hoped
he wouldn’t leave me,
and he left, but didn’t
break my heart, only
tempered it a bit.

Does THAT count too?
It didn’t kill me, right?
Ms. FS said sorry lady,
you must be pure
as a white, white dove
who still knows how
to fly, and has forgotten
why she ever thought
she couldn’t.

Eternally optimistically yours,
Anne

Anne Norda is an award-winning artist, writer, director and producer with one feature, Red Is the Color Of (Best Feature Film, 2007 LA Femme Film Festival), under her belt. She was born in North Hollywood, schooled at the Parsons School of Design and was a Fulbright Scholar in photography. She’s a Finnish and U.S. citizen and has lived in Paris, Helsinki, LA, NY and Bangkok. Her dream is to run a major movie studio. Or be a Pulitzer prize-winning poet and dedicate her life to art and the transformation of humanity. Whichever may come first.

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