Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Every Documentary Ever

"Look, we can't win without it."
"No one will even care!"
"Because? Because it ties the entire thing together!"
first, we need a plain or sparse background.
A dilapidated brick wall,
an alley or street with no traffic,
a cityscape
a field
a couch with a picture on the wall that we can only see a corner of."
"It helps if the background is slightly out of focus."
"The person needs to fill the frame."
"Hey, you have to start with a full shot, then tighten
to a bust; head and shoulders man!
Head and shoulders!"
"It doesn't matter what you say, just speak slowly."
"No... No... Look Towards the camera, but not AT it!"
"To the side, at the ground, it really doesn't matter."
"...just keep filming for another minute or two of this..."
"Ok, it's coming..."
"Alright, now let your words trail off, and then don't say another word..."
"And... FREEZE! Remember, towards the camera, not at it."
"Now, tighten the shot so their face fills it... good..."
Okay! Now just say a few more words
and pause
but emotionally."
"I've told you, it, doesn't really matter what!"
"Here it is!"
"Now just stare off; ground, side, whatever...
remember, your too emotional to make direct eye contact..."
"Hey, shake the camera a little!
Make it try to auto-focus
zoom in and out a bit
come on, act like a professional!"
"Perfect!" "Now, slowly,
slowly, slowly...
look up
and look DIRECTLY AT the camera.
And just stare..."
everybody keep holding...
...keep holding...
and... cut! That's a wrap!"
"Best money shot I've seen, I KNOW we'll win again at Cannes this year!"
"Okay, now we just put that at the end of about
minutes of edited B reel footage
and we have ourselves a winner!"

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


My grandpa was a child during the Great Depression.
He was the youngest of twelve.
His mother died after he was born.

In his early 20's; an alcoholic with what
would now be considered a sex addiction,
a wife, and a child.

He tried to kill himself twice;
once was with poison.
The other time he shot himself in the chest.
Aside from the alcohol.

Then he found god, returned home a saved man,
made a happy loving marriage. Had three more children.
Became a preacher. Devoted his life to god, family,
and the church, in loosely that order.
He died happy, an old man.

Nearly 100 years later, and yet another depression.
With each step I take forward, I slide back two.
Just like my grandfather did.

My grandmother died of Parkinson's disease.
My other grandmother died of Alzheimer's.
Even as a child, I always trembled and shook.
Going to sleep, I can feel the memories,
my life, my mind, slipping, slowly erasing itself.
It's worse every year.

But, I am grateful for being able to forget.
Because I have not had an honorable life.
And only recently have I begun to figure out
what it means to be a good person.

God saved my grandfather.
But now, a century later,
the echo's of the past grow louder.
In me, my genes, my life.
Their addictions, their issues, their legacy's.
But this is a different time;
there is no god to save me
from myself. And with each step forward
I slip farther back into the past
following in their footsteps.