Buying a new camera is an exciting prospect, and not just because it would be a new gadget to play with (although I won't deny that there is that element to it). This sounds enormously ostentatious when articulated, but rolling The Early Mixes into its production stage has made me feel extremely relaxed and confident.
Yes, I sound like one of those pretentious beret-wearing motherfuckers talking about their "calling" or some shit, but I've had a period of some self-doubt before The Early Mixes that has gradually faded as the project progressed. We're almost ready to start shooting, and I know what I want and I know what I need to do to get it. I also, surprisingly, have a great deal of people who are interested in helping out* and may have a larger crew than I ever have used before, which will be extremely convenient. While most of the volunteers aren't experienced, I have fortuitously enough reconnected recently with an old friend who was at school with me, and I think that with the proper guidance from myself, my cinematographer and him, everyone will be useful (I've done this before).
I'm excited, and not for any big artsy fartsy reason, but just because filmmaking is just a whole lot of fun.
Royal S. Brown once asked John Barry in an interview if there were any movies that he would have liked to have scored. Barry responded that he would have loved to have composed the music for Cinema Paradiso, not because he had any reservations about Ennio Morricone's score (quite the contrary, he spoke of it with great admiration), but because he loved the film and felt very close to Totò (Salvatore Cascio/Marco Leonardi); his family were film exhibitors and he too grew up with the cinema pervading his childhood.
I am usually pretty up on film music re-releases and expansions, so it was with some great surprise that I discovered that there is a legitimately expanded (as opposed to one extra alternate cue) version of the Cinema Paradiso score! I find it ironic that it was the composer grousing about the release of this disc that drew me to it; I actually think his album assembly is an excellent representation of the score, but I have found in pursuing other Morricone expansions that even in the Salon des Refusés there are these magical moments that may indeed not have fit on the respective LP but that I wouldn't want to be without (the version of "March of the Beggars" from Duck, You Sucker! heard in the film during Juan and Sean's first meeting springs to mind). And Cinema Paradiso is one of my favorite scores. A sentimental favorite, perhaps, but a favorite just the same (so is the film; I appreciate either version for different reasons).
There was a retirement party for several of our managers and technicians, the most prominent of which was the manager Derek, who was one of the old guard. He was, quite simply, not only one of the most easy-going managers I'd ever met, but one of the most easy-going people in general. I'd never really been to a retirement party before; I made a brief appearance at my old manager during my leave of absence, but I was ejected five minutes later by the second liner who hated my guts (some of the things shouted on the picket line back in 2000 must have hit pretty close to home). While there were four people that were leaving, Derek was the only one who was really admired; the others were toasted briefly but he was the one who was asked to make a speech. It fleetingly crossed my mind that the disparity of affection wasn't necessarily fair, but an interesting lesson about reaping what one sows.
I didn't drink at the party because I have to wake up at a decent hour that I may meet several friends tomorrow; we're going to the Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet. I need to be awake to do this and moreover I do not wish to see emo Danes whilst nursing a hangover.
There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last - the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.- E. B. W H I T E
"Here Is New York," 1977
* A woman has even volunteered to do a full frontal nude scene for me. There is no place for such a thing in any of the projects I'm working on right now (damn it), but this is definitely a resource to file away for future reference as she has a body that would immediately raise the marketability of any film.