This weekend I popped in a dvd of Shakespeare in Love. I had only ever seen it once before-- when it came out um, fourteen years ago-- the hell?
Anyway, before I roll down the grassy hill into the time continuum of things past and how the hell fourteen years can feel like, I don't know-- a few months back?--- I will stay on the point I came in to share here this morning.
As many of you know, I am nobody's savvy movie watcher. Things I will never be mistaken for is a "dvd whisperer." In the face of technical malfunctions, I tend to weep and rend my garments. And so, when I was misguided enough to choose to watch the "extras" first and then, upon realizing it was really poorly done I tried to revert back to the main menu, but was repeatedly thwarted. (Don't judge: I did everything right. The dvd and laptop were in a conspiracy against me. Fact.)
The upshot of all this technical mayhem is that I was forced to listen to a bunch of stories about how this movie (that ended up winning 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture) got made. And you know what? Turns out to be a rather interesting little parable, for me at any rate.
According to what the producers and writers shared--- this film almost never got made. In fact, it began life at Universal Studios with Julia Roberts in the lead role of Viola Lessups-- can you imagine the JOY of the writer? He must've been hopping up and down and up and down and then probably taking his clothes off and jumping into swimming pools all across Hollywood because how else could he contain the JOY that his beloved story was going to be made and with none other than the highest paid actress in the world?
But that's not where they begin the story. The story of the film you and I have seen starts when the script is sitting on a shelf marked "dead. never gonna happen. sorry about that."
Apparently, the production plans blew up into a million smithereens and, boom. Not so much with the nekkid pool jumping.
Of course, things happened. The script found its way into another producer's hands who then began bringing it all together and a fabulous director led the production in ways (that the producer fought, fyi) that delivered the film that went on to win kudos and provide a new catch phrase to millions of creatives, "I don't know-- it's a mystery."
Eventually, I found a way to get the "extras" stopped and the movie rolling, but as I watched it I remembered a similar story about the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to the making of The Wizard of Oz that kind of blew my mind.
Couple all of this with my visit to downtown Providence yesterday morning to watch some friends compete in an Iron Man race and my brain has been stewing on process, process, process.
In the moment. In the moment. IN the moment.
I watched these AMAZING ROCK STARS of human beings as they headed into a 13.5 mile run after swimming across a lake and biking for some crazy ass distance-- and as each person crossed the finish line I couldn't help but to burst into tears. I was so inspired. All I could think about was what it must be like to be in such a challenge of endurance. Where does your brain go? And, when it is over-- despite the pain and the struggle, the disappointments and the reality of running on endless miles of pavement in 90 degree heat-- isn't there a point where they realize how deeply alive they felt in the midst of it?
Isn't that what drives them to do it again?
I don't know. I have never competed in so much as a 3K in a golf cart, but I can tell you I was deeply, profoundly inspired. And it felt to me such a physical representation of the process creatives go through in pursuing their self-expression.
The ups, the downs, the moment where it seems all is lost-- only to cross the finish line a different person, with a different perspective than the one who began the project (what now feels like) a million years ago.
*rock stars: (Bill, Jess, Kyle)
* P.S. As if it weren't enough to do this amazing race, these three rock stars are part of a kit that races to advocate for WATER.ORG. All money they raise goes to this excellent organization. Did I mention that I was inspired? Yeah-- to. my. toes.
comments powered by Disqus