Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Enschede En-ska-day

I am here FINALLY in Enschede. It took 4 trains from Antwerp to get here - but I'm here and looking for stroop wafflen. This is all to shoot interview with the founders of the Water Footprint concept - Derk and Arjhen. I told Paul we cannot have any talking heads in this documentary, which immediately caused Paul to argue with me and swear to make the entire doc talking heads. 'Why are we going to Enschede and shooting these people if not to have talking heads.' Good point, for research - I say and to start building relationships with people in this field. I was also hoping to maybe get a water field trip out of this -but we had to reschedule our interviews so they all take place in one day - making a field trip on this trip impossible. We can still do interesting things with talking heads but I would like it for either voice overs or dramatic content - I basically want more visual content than verbal content, I want some compelling drama, why is this a documentary and not an interview, book, podcast, lecture, or something else (laser light show).

In our first doc, Video Out I though it would be interesting to some how tell the story of VJing by producing a VJ type movie -this did not happen - but I think we made a compelling movie. With Lumia I had no structural asperations - I just wanted to make a second movie. The interesting thing about lumia was that it was a story about a piece of history and an artform that has no history, so it was an exercise in constructing a story and constructing a narrative. In retrospect it might have been interesting to make a Roshimon doc (I am using lots of Roshimon analogies lately) about the subjective nature of documentaries and histories in general - have different histories of light art and thus comment not only on Lumia but on documentary filmmaking- DEEP! too bad I just thought of that. Perhaps I should have been blogging while we made Lumia.

Then we made two features - The Discrete Charm of the Hipster Class (aka game theory, aka the system). This is still out has festivals - it does not seem to have the festival success as Lumia and Video Out - However I think it is a MUCH BETTER MOVIE! I think the reason for a poor festival run is 1) No name actors 2) strange format. We made DCHC as a bunch of very loosely related vignettes about games. All kinds of games: mind games, video games, games of chance etc. It was sort of unconventional, but I thought it was different and engaging.

Now we are finishing up our feature narrative about a indian financial analyst who people think is the messiah- its a comedy.

But about the water documentary... what will it look like. I am not sure. We may even end up making the documentary about the history of measurement (the water footprint being another type of measurement). This is a serious issue - we are using up the non renewable resources of our planet. There are other questions - who is being most affected by the problems of sustainability, what are their stories, what are the groups funding methods like the water footprint, carbon footprint, eco footprint - what are their stories. All these measures are couching the problem of sustainability in in the language of mathematics. This is the language of epistemic superiority (in the 21st). This is opposed to the language of ethics (or perhaps religion) that some instinctively feel is the domain of sustainability - we have a moral obligation not to destroy our environment - and we could probably look to different 'theories' utilitarianism etc. to defend this. The metrics of sustainability also appeal to the semiotics of economics. Economics is the king of policy, perhaps similar to sophistry (given a bad rap by socrates) in the Greek Agora. Economics drives policy. I hope that the efforts of the metricicians (mispelled neologisim - you heard it here first folks) results in large scale change. It is more than a mental game, it is really about the future existence of the human species. So what will the water documentary look like? I'll tell you when we get some more interviews.

Tonight I am finisihing Arjen's tomb I have to finish their tomb - The Globalization of Water - which I cannot start until I finish obsessively compulsively reading The Philosophy of Motion Pictures. Hopefully I will start on that tonight.

Also in Antwerp we we stumbled upon this beautiful church:

Ok feeling jet lag brain freeze - must log off

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