Just like sex in public places...

Chico Pereira's short documentary Polaris is one of the latest Bridging the Gap films, premiering this week. Here's his account of how it was conceived...

Remember, you’re just a fecking bar tender
–said the drunken plasterer.

Apparently when someone says in LA that he is an actor, the other person asks him in which restaurant…

These days, life appears to me full of bridges and gaps, and I find myself jumping over water puddles more often than I would like… One of the main reasons for entering Bridging the Gap was exactly that: to walk the bridge that separates the life of a mature student (point A) from the dream of becoming a professional director (point B). Curiously, point A has vanished from sight, even though I haven’t moved. I extended my school time as much as I could; I became part of the furniture, but in the end, I got termites, and they made a bonfire out of me in the courtyard…

I don’t have much of an idea where point B is or how to get closer to it… Should I be driving the city up and down, in search of an ever changing array of super urgent things that are needed for a shoot, things that rarely get used anyway? I don’t think I‘ll find point B that way… During my 30th birthday celebrations I developed a driving phobia and now I’m incapable of getting off a roundabout… Last time I spent a month on one of those… It was the most dynamic time of my life… Alternatively, I could try to get closer to point B by spending time thinking of small gags that could have the format of a TV or radio commercial.  Maybe I could pitch them in elevator rides and secure myself some earnings that way... I wonder whether my lack of gag ideas is related to the lack of elevators in Edinburgh...

It’s also unfortunate in my situation that the question "What are you doing next?" is so overwhelmingly present at film networking events… These days, the sound of the future makes me swallow a drink in one go. Thankfully, networking is full of free wine… Instead of a nice and easy small chat, "What are you doing next?" usually provokes a rather existential answer on my part, that makes the other person look around in search of someone else a little less heavy-handed… Rather than talking about the future, I find more peace of mind talking about the weather, or about Madhur Jaffrey’s curry books.

According to the wisdom of Wikipedia, post partum depression could affect up to 25% of women. I can’t tell you whether my mother suffered from it after having me, mainly because she was so sad at the time that she wouldn’t talk to anyone… But I think I might be suffering a variation of this just now, something that we could call post-film-deliverable depression. The sequence goes like this: you spend several months of sexy foreplay with a film idea, falling in love with it; then you go and propose it through 'the pitch#, which is basically a group of people deciding whether this marriage is a good idea or not… If everything goes well, if "well" can really be used to describe the pitch, then you are officially married to your film idea and need to have the baby, the film, soon… fast fast… No more foreplay... Rather quick shags in public toilets… Excuse me love…

The process of making a film is intense, passionate, full of ups and downs, doubts, bursts of hope, bursts of fear… Just like sex in public places… Once you have gone through this journey, moving back and forth from thinking that this film will make a difference to feeling that it will actually be rubbish, the film gets delivered… I haven’t figured out why yet, but the trauma must come somewhere around there... One hypothesis is that the trauma is called deliverable list. (If you have been commissioned to make a film you know what I’m talking about. If not, just imagine being hungover and trying to sleep on a Ryanair flight, that would do for now.) That list never ends, so the last stages of the labour are rather a continuous feeling of please-get-me-out-of-here. After that, a kind of emotional numbness…

I know that I’ve emptied myself through the creative process and I feel some cracks inside now… Silly; but maybe… If my soul seems to leave me a bit, hopefully it’s because some of it has been transferred into the film… Come and see please…

Polaris and the other Bridging the Gap shorts are screening on Wednesday 27 June 2012 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Info and tickets. 

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  • commented 2012-06-25 18:31:14 +0100
    As a Brocher, ah hae tae gie it a lookie!
  • published this page in Latest Posts 2012-06-25 18:01:40 +0100

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