Not to be short…

That’s it! I’ve had it! I’m not going to wait any longer.

After waiting an eternity (okay, two years) for Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard or some lesser known film maker to discover the genius of my several screenplays, I have finally gotten fed up with waiting for one of my stories to become a movie or television show. So, I am left with one option: write a short and make it my bloody self.

All my friends are doing it. (And before you ask, only my fear of heights prevents me from jumping off a bridge if my friends jump off a bridge.) So why can’t I?

Weekend before last, I jumped in front of my laptop and cranked out a screenplay for a 15-minute short film, based on an idea that has been sitting on my computer for about a year.

36 hours. 15 pages. Done!

Is it perfect? No, but that’s what editing and rewrites are for.

Is it funny? Yes. Quirky? Yes. Unlike anything else out there? As far as I can tell.

Can it be filmed? Okay, now I have to get outside advice.

So, last week, I leaned on my friends further down the movie-making-business chain. Friends with expertise in film production (not sure if these are the jump-off-a-bridge type).

This week, I expect conversations to begin in earnest.

Next week, with any luck, will start the conversation of “How in the hell am I going to pay for this?”

I fully expect obstacles and challenges, but I don’t care. I’m not waiting around any longer.

Life in black & white – Hawaii (big island)

Back in the days of waning days of film photography, I was always frustrated when I would see a shot that I thought would be magnificent in black & white (b/w), but I knew my camera contained film for colour photographs.

I hardly wanted to ream off a dozen or more photos just to empty the camera so that I could change for one or two frames of b/w photos…and that assumed I could find anyone who even sold b/w film.

Ah, bless the advent of digital photography and photo manipulation software. While I appreciate that it is not the same, I can now take a colour photograph and make it b/w with a simple click of a button. At the same time, I realize I still have a lot to learn about special considerations for b/w photography, e.g., appropriate light balance.

A friend of mine once told me, if you have a nice photo that just doesn’t pop, try converting it to b/w and see what happens. Wow.

A year ago, I put that principle to work while traveling through the island of Hawaii.

Sometimes the object you’re photographing is already black and white, so making it b/w may seem redundant, but I found it softens things and adds depth to the image, in this case, a blow hole in the lava rock (Kailua-Kona).


B/w is also great when you want to focus the eye on the emotion of the image rather than have it distracted by the surroundings. I loved the expression on the dog’s face. The most active I’d seen him all week. (Kailua-Kona)


Same scenario here. I think the b/w helps simplify this image, allows me to focus on the key elements: the man serenading the Pacific Ocean, the white cross of commemoration, the crashing waves dancing to the song. (Kailua-Kona)


I think b/w can also impart a sense of history to an old building that otherwise would simply look derelict. The rust and decay are still there, but become a patina rather than a sign of decay. (Hilo)


The treatment can also add a bit of emotion to an otherwise ordinary image. Whereas I took a photo of a woman standing bored while her husband and son fish, the image becomes that of a woman from any era, possibly considering the plight of her family. (Kailua-Kona)


Cannery Row was the first thought that popped into my head as I walked by the back of this building, but in colour, that thought couldn’t be realized. (Hilo)


I call this image “Porcelain”. I was on the fence as to how best to treat this image. In colour, the flower is a gorgeous cream, but the flaws in the petals told me I had to make it b/w. I should really show the colour and b/w side-by-side here. (Kona coffee plantation)


Damned smartphone! To me, that is the only flaw in what I wanted for this photo. An aging warrior rests in a pool surrounded by lava stone, weary of life (and checking his ruddy email). (Kailua-Kona)


One of my favourite images from this trip. To me, it looks like the little tree is getting reamed out by the big tree, a la “What the hell were you thinking?” In colour, this image is meh. In b/w, it speaks volumes to me. (Mauna Kea)


I wan’ my Obi-Wan

Hello, Universe? I don’t mean to intrude on your eternity and vastness, but if you could see your way to sending me a mentor, I’d really appreciate it.

I’ve spent most of my life training for the next thing, taking classes, meeting other students, learning from teachers and text books, but now I want to try things a little differently. I want my Obi-Wan Kenobi.

To totally nerd out, I probably want a Yoda, because Obi-Wans tend to go off on some damn fool mission at the drop of a hat.

And I don’t mean mentor like some man or woman in the corner office who has an “open-door” policy and wants me to check in every now and again.

I mean a mentor who will kick my ass when I slack off; who will challenge me to do more, no matter how much I succeed; at whom I will stand and scream that he or she is being a real hard-ass. Because that’s what I think I need to get better at my writing.

Now, I can get any number of people who will do all those things, but what makes a mentor different is that I will respond to the mentor’s demands whereas I would just tell everyone else to piss off. The mentor is the one to whom I stand in awe for his or her understanding and accomplishments in the universe in which I am trying to excel .

The mentor is the one who will open windows and doors I do not yet know exist. Who will help me find facets and capabilities in me I do not know I possess. Who will rip apart my views of the universe and help me rebuild them in a manner that will let me achieve more than I even now conceive as possible.

A pretty heady task for any individual. A lot of me to ask.

But until I made the request, I was not yet ready to take the next step.

I am asking.