The Prodigal Altar Boy

Thursday, September 8, 2011

TQ Project Updates

TQ Project Updates
Just because I haven’t been blogging about the documentary (The TQ Project) doesn’t mean nothing is going on with it.
In late August, Kathleen McBlair and Jean Klein of ScriptWorks Press published a collection of TQ’s writings, homilies and rants entitled “A Reluctant Malachi.”  The book was not a surprise because in May TQ invited me to interview Kathleen and Jean (as well as TQ) about the book.  I have a short YouTube Video from that interview.
While the book was not a surprise, it was a wake-up call.  My initial reaction to the publication was to make plans to shoot some footage of the book signing events TQ had set up to promote the book.  During the planning stages for those shoots, my heart just was not in it.  After a lot of prayer and introspection, I realized the reason I didn’t want to shoot them was I needed to move on to the next phase of production.  
TQ  picked up on this well before I did.  Even before the may shoot, he was constantly asking me, “Don’t you have enough yet?”  I would laugh and say, “Probably so, but I want to make sure.”  Looking back I see I wanted to shoot absolutely everything I would need to be ready for the next phase of production.  That works for film school, but not in life.  It is nearly embarrassing that in the midst of doing a documentary about a man of great faith, and spending hours  and hours in his presence, listening to him talk about God, scripture, faith  and Christianity, not much seemed to be sinking in regarding moving in God’s time.  
So here I am, out of the comfort zone of shooting and in the discomfort of logging and editing all the footage I have shot.  I got so involved (and evolved) in shooting I nearly lost sight of the fact that I still had the rest of the process to go.  A very good friend, Chris Schafer, told me to watch the movie “Exit Through The Gift Shop.”  Ostensibly  a documentary about a guy making a documentary  about street art, there is a scene where the protagonist  looks at box after box of tapes he’s shot, and realizes he’s shot so much he does not know where to start in the editing process.  
Before I can edit, I have to fine tune the  dramatic arc of the movie.  Yes, this is a documentary, and even documentaries follow the three-act format.  Crafting the dramatic arc of the story comes down to determining what it is TQ wants and what the obstacles are to that goal.  While I have my original thesis to work with, answering those questions in the context of the footage requires a refinement of that thesis. And I thought I was finished with that!
So, hang on as we move to the next level.  I will spend a lot of time analyzing what TQ wants (not hard, it’s all there), finding the supporting footage and editing that into 90-120 minutes of watchable film.  Now THAT’s a challenge.
Thanks for checking out the blog.  Leave comments and let me know what’s on your mind.