Sunday, May 17, 2009

I spoke to Franz Otto on the telephone

learned some things about him, like he has four children, still plants and supervises, sometimes takes his daughters out to plant with him (they are in elementary school), loves tree planting, etc.

I am going to visit him and shoot footage of him planting trees.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I thought I would be able to whip out my camera and shoot at odd moments

And the film would reflect a lack of planning, a spontaneity.

But if I carry my camera all of the time I run a high risk of fucking it up. So I am afraid to have it all the time.

Moreover, if I schedule things, and shoot them, I am shirking my responsibilities as a planter. My boss will not be happy.

Is this doomed?

I don't know. I think it will have to change. I am now thinking a lot about Franz Otto.

I thought it could be like participatory observation documentary, but that would require an even smaller camera - a coolpix or something.

Hoping to interview Patrick (aka. "Cheese") the other crew boss at some point today to ask him about Franz, etc. Hoping to explore wow planters give meaning to their work and lives. Planters being people who don't quite cut it in "society," maybe. Think that is interesting.

Cheese is funny, besides.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Franz Otto: "Yes, the legend is true"

I want to find Franz Otto so i can make a short about him in the spirit of Werner Herzog's films. Here is the only photo I can find of Franz.

He seems like "the guy" as far as tree planting goes. There are german people beside me. I am at a small cafe in 100 Mile House called the Chartreuse Moose.

Read about Franz

Posted on this message board looking for Franz.

Things I've Shot So far

1:30 interiors of a small plane
2:00 interiors and exteriors of a run down motel room (where I am staying)
35:00 a safety meeting where my boss talked about bears, injuries, other stuff
15:00 the owner of the motel talking about his life, how he hates tree planters, how he is moving to asia, while standing in front of and stoking a small fire behind the motel

I guess I am shooting "24P" because it just kinda happened

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I saw Hunger and thought it was __________

Originally I thought it would be enough to shoot a bunch of scenes of planting out of order, snippets, like Paul Chan's videos "Baghdad in No Particular Order," and "Now Promise Now Threat." These scenes would look a lot like the stuff on my viddyou page. The idea was that it would accomplish the following within the narrative:

1. Expose the process whereby the money for the film was earned by showing the filmmaker embedded in a work environment.

2. Provide new images to people who have no idea what tree planting is and who might be interested

3. Lull people a little bit into the rhythyms of work, underscoring themes of work, how watching a film can be thought of as work

I particularly like work that addresses the conditions of its own existence, or the process of it's own creation - I like BARR or Andrew Kuo.

I couldn't buy a camera without going planting, and that seemed a good starting point for a film in my head.

Now I am thinking that there should be a loose momentum to the planting parts. Instead of trying to capture a "reality" I would stage a "realistic" narrative.

I have ideas for scenes that would not require too much from the actors - but I am not sure of the willingness of my collaborators. I suppose time will tell. The finished film still seems out of focus to me.

This is both good and bad.