Monday, March 26, 2012

works/progress/administration

So the first thing is, I have been commissioned to produce a video piece for the Harakiri exhibition at CentralTrak. It has always struck me as more of a think tank than a gallery (at least as administered by art/architecture tastemaker Charissa Terranova)—the sort of place that hosts symposia with Michael Fried and W.J.T. Mitchell, and work by artists like Gabriel Dawe.

So what exactly am I doing there? This is the question that wears my nails to the quick as I try to figure out what sorts of things I want to say with video. The potential to embarrass myself here might actually outweigh the prestige, which is saying a lot.

Meanwhile I sift through the remains of the festival push for Hayseeds and Scalawags. The Dallas International Film Festival (along with countless others) didn’t want it, but the program head liked it nonetheless and wants to send it to a new festival in Oak Cliff (silver lining? I’ve always had a soft spot for fledgling venues). The question of the next project is so complicated, because this last one took a lot of work and money and has yet to show any real returns—except now as a producer I’ve got chops. Post-production houses are calling for my advice. I’m making lists of resources for other filmmakers getting into DIY distribution. I have a solid grasp of the legal needs that accompany a larger budget (the goal). So which project do I pursue? How do I avoid another “flop?”

I’ve also thought about abandoning production for the time being and devoting some real time to legwork as an actor—studying, practicing, reading plays, auditioning. I’ve got a feature under my belt (with some good work in it), but not one that is likely to be seen. Respect your art, right?

But I’m also a writer, and my creds at the moment are decent, but few. A series of essays and reviews at Reflection's Edge. A piece at Daily Science Fiction. A featured reading at the Secretly Timid podcast. My short “The Sleepers” has recently been accepted by the new market Kzine (from the publishers of KIMOTA, which got some love from Datlow in one her Year’s Best anthologies). I’ve got several shorts in the works, including a piece about the Etruscans, but the question mark comes in a message I got from a friend who is now a fiction editor at Baen, telling me in his tough-love voice that he expects to see some novel ideas from me (as in, fleshed-out workable ones) in the near future.

This is an in if I want it (and have anything remotely appropriate for that publisher). But you’re beginning to see the problem, right? So much work to cover, and not nearly enough time. Priorities have yet to suggest themselves. Tackling all of this is spreading myself too thin, and none of it is low-hanging fruit.

I’ve joined the masses of people who have this problem. What will we do?

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