This might be a strange blog post. But I thought it was important to talk about staying inspired. I think when you’re self-releasing, no matter how crazy the schedule, you still have to find some sort of balance. Otherwise, before you know it, burn-out will find you.
For me, that balance comes in different forms:
1. Movies (of all things)
At times, I just have to step back and watch some movies. Try to catch up with those movies I missed during the year. Usually, I’m doing this at home, between tour stops, via Netflix. Some recent movies that I finished watching and said, “Yeah, that’s why I’m doing this” were a pair of documentaries: Grant Gee’s Joy Division and Chris & Don: A Love Story. I also caught Sugar at one of the theaters where The Last Lullaby is playing. I was really impressed by this second feature. Movies like this refuel me and remind me why I set out on this road in the first place.
I read whenever I can. Recently (and I know I’m late to the party on this one), I caught up with the Polish Brothers’ The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking: An Insider’s Guide to Making Movies Outside of Hollywood. It’s one of those books I wished I had known about several years ago. It’s definitely an invaluable resource and speaks much truth about the insanity we’re embarking on as moviemakers. Another book that’s become a recent favorite companion is David Thomson’s Have You Seen…? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films. It’s a great book, I think, for locating some gems from the past. And Thomson has such an interesting perspective on things and a wonderful voice on almost any movie he’s discussing.
I’m not an original chef. Almost everything I cook comes from a recipe somewhere. But very few things give me as much pleasure as being in a kitchen and putting a meal together. I’m sure this feeling has increased with being on the road so much lately. Recent fave cookbooks include Tom Fitzmorris’s New Orleans Food and Alfred Portale’s Simple Pleasures.
Other fave ways to pass the time and refuel are reading my weekly subscription of the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles, hitting some tennis balls here and there and taking a walk with my fiancée and dog.
This week I’m headed back to San Jose, California for a one-week run at the Camera 3 Cinema. I’m really looking forward to this trip. The whole community in the area has been tremendous to me and The Last Lullaby.
Meanwhile, this past week, we had two very gratifying outings: a run in Des Moines, Iowa at the Fleur Cinema and our screenings at the Brooklyn International Film Festival. In Des Moines, Max Allan Collins joined me for two very memorable Q&As. And being in New York with the movie, well, very few things compare to that rush.
I still don’t know where we’re headed after June 18th. But, some balls are in the air, a little balance has been restored and, truthfully, this uncertainty is no less uncertain than anything else has been in this uncertain process.
After living in Los Angeles for seven years, Jeffrey Goodman returned to his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to direct The Last Lullaby. Co-written by the creator of Road to Perdition, and starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander, The Last Lullaby was filmed entirely in and around Shreveport and financed by 48 local investors.