We officially premiered Blumenthal last night in New York. The 120 seat auditorium was sold out early in the day before I could think to grab a ticket. It ultimately didn't matter too much as I wasn't interested in sitting through the film, but just liked the idea of walking up to a box office and saying, "Two for Blumenthal!" I may just have to go to another showing this weekend to exercise that right.
That's what this was all about right? Make a movie, sell tickets to it, people watch it. In theory that is a series of actions rooted in objectivity and simplicity. If you've been reading this blog for the past three years, you know that's not the case.
Write a feature to see if you can write something worth shooting. Shoot a feature to see if you've shot something worth editing. Edit something to see if you've edited something worth sharing. Share something to see if it's entertaining. Entertain people with it to see if it's worth anything. Find out what it's worth and get it distributed. Distribute it and get on with your life and career.
The target moves. And keeps moving. It moves so frequently and consistently, that I now know the truth about goals as an artist. They transcend any individual project. You can never really finish a project, only abandon it or let it abandon you.
In my dream of dreams, I wanted to make a movie worth seeing that could be seen. I believe I've done that. But how, after all this, could I possibly not want to sit in a cinema with a paying audience to relish in the success of all of it?
I don't have the answer, but three years ago I would have never believed that I'd want to forego that culminating experience and instead just be content with "Two for Blumenthal."
After all the forced self-reflection during countless Q and A sessions I think the only explanation is time. I wrote the film in six-ish weeks over three years ago. Since then, in addition to all of the experiences chronicled in this blog, I've had two children, moved across the country, travelled the world, written multiple screenplays and teleplays, and seen this film more times than any person should ever see anything. I suppose it's inherent, but I've spent exponentially more time thinking about Blumenthal since writing it than when I was actually writing it. Because so much time has passed, and so many other things personally and professionally have happened since its inception, it is nearly impossible for me to draw a connection between a New York Times review (that I have no business reading) and a blog post about coming up with an idea for a movie.
That disconnect is irreconcilable and inevitable. The "About" section of this blog asks and answers, "Why make a movie? Because I love telling stories just as much as I love seeing and hearing them." That's why Blumenthal is being sold to the public now. Not because I wanted to watch it with strangers, but because I wanted to tell a story. The process of making Blumenthal was complicated, but watching a movie should be simple. Because of my relation to it, Blumenthal is complicated for me to watch. If I feel that way even at the high point of this whole journey, then it's a good sign that it's time to set this thing free.
I've told the story I wanted to tell. Now go watch it for yourself.