A Partial Letter, Catching An Old Friend Up To Where I Now Am

.... Still trying to make independent movies, but with each new day it seems more and more like an antiquated process. I am sure future anthropologists will not know what to make of the digital remains of the indie film scene. Will it feel more like a religion than a business? The "passion industries" is a nice phrase for cultural creation that is only within the reach of the young or rich; camouflage comes in many colors.

I have had a good run, producing more films than virtually anyone else. And I believe better films (okay, maybe I am biased, but..), and ones with more consistent returns, but damn! It is harder now to justify investment or commitment than ever before -- even when the tools have improved and the talent pool grown like never before.  Film, like all the culture economies, has been turned on it's head, but unlike the others, since the work at the top still delivers a return, our leaders and corporations act like business is as it's always been.

On the other hand, I am still creating things. I do get to do a fair amount of excavating too, trying to make the process more transparent and open. I get to feel good about that, but it is very frustrating watching what I love crumble away. I see many people with their fingers in the leaks, but few that want to build a new city higher up on the hill, let alone those that want to make that new one run on sustainable systems with open access to all.

I am lucky. I got to do what I loved when I was young. I made that commitment and by the time I grew up (maybe two decades after I was an adult), I was not only using my labor in service of what I loved, cared about, and prioritized, but understood how fortunate I was and fragile it all was, and gifted with that I could demonstrate my passion and commitment to another person by the time I encountered that someone I wanted to devote myself to. Still though we don't get the time to celebrate all of this; even the thirty minutes we find at the end of the day seems like an incredible feat to achieve. There's so much to fix. I have never been one to need perfect; I can love the cracks and the leaks -- I find them the personality of a place, but I need life's handyman to come in and sand down some rough edges.

I feel under siege by "weapons of mass distraction", working like I have several start-ups -- and admittedly I do -- but at this age I am working harder than ever, and certainly for less return. The pull towards more time to reflect grows constantly. I want not just my work, but also myself and my life, to be a reflection of all that I love and care about.

I am well. I have ten or so movies I am trying to make. It is a bit heart-breaking that some may never happen. There was a time when I had confidence that all my projects would get made. I was wrong, but I think the confidence was well-earned. I have earned more confidence since then but the world has changed faster than the industry, and it doesn't pay the same dividends that it used to.