On the weekend I made a kaleidoscope. It’s not very exciting, but then that’s the point. Slow, gentle movement.
I’ve started doing pen-and-paper edge flow planning sketches as well as more advanced concept art for Ktish, the so-far elusive main character of The Quiet One. I’m doing rough storyboards of interesting scenes from what’s shaping up to be an epic story, searching for something that’s not completely impossible for me to turn into a short work some time this century.
But mostly I’m getting through this list of movies recommended to Colin “Sintel” Levy by Martin Scorsese at speed, plus a few extras by the same directors. Tonight I watched the four hour cut of Abel Gance’s Napoleon, on the weekend I watched Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up and Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bete (Beauty and the Beast). I’d already seen Metropolis, Seven Samurai, Nosferatu and Breathless. Someone tried to show me Aguirre once but it was too soon after seeing Fitzcarraldo (or possibly Herzog’s Nosferatu) and I suspect I wasn’t ready for another Herzog-Kinski flick juuuuust yet.
All this movie watching is maybe sort of procrastinating in a way, compared to sitting down after every day at work and getting on with pushing the project ahead some more. But in another way it’s self-education, and it’s a good foil to all these books on film theory and film making I’ve been tearing into – the films are concrete examples of film making for the starving viscera instead of reading what other people wrote about editing and cinematography decades ago.
I’m not in such a massive hurry to produce something-anything that I’m jumping on the first good-looking idea that comes along. I know I’m making steady progress in the character and story department, even if the scene I spent nearly a month inventing languages for and recording may end up not being used for anything. The time wasn’t exactly wasted – there’s a big foundation of knowledge and creativity being built up along the way.
When I was writing music, like many other composers I did hundreds of little sketches that never developed any further. Some were for learning purposes, some took an idea and ran with it, some even made it onto CDs. It turns out even undeveloped snatches of pleasant sound can make appropriate backing pieces for Blender experiments at a moment’s notice.
Even if I don’t know what I’m going to use some of this stuff for, it’s important for me to keep making it and to have some faith in the process. It’s plain old useful to have techniques and footage and other stuff in the bank, waiting to be rediscovered for some unforeseen purpose…