December 4th, 2008 Just remembered tonight that I got a phone call from a staff member at the IFP about my fiscal funding application that went through for a documentary project about my dad; he was in the only band to play Woodstock and not get famous, and now is trying to build a solar boat in New Zealand to create a model for independent living through renewable green energy. The IFP man on the other end of the line seemed positive. I became very optimistic for a moment and allowed myself to drift off into the fluffy blue sky clouds of shooting a film on someone else's dime, which is a popular fantasy of mine. Milton Talbott I think was the man's name. After a short and exciting introduction in which we examined the synchronicity in which I had tried to contact him for details right after he'd read my application, he asked me a question I should have probably seen coming. "Who are your donors?" He asked. "My donors?" I repeated. "Yes," he said, " who did you have in mind to fund your project?" "Oh," I sighed, "you don't do that?" So, I was in bed with the stomach flu, or maybe I was up on a ladder plastering... everything went vague with an of course not flashing before my eyes and we discussed maybe talking the following week about what to do with my $100 dollar money order, because they at IFP didn't provide film funding, only the bank with which to filter through donations, either from families or corporate sponsors, tax free.
It's been about a week, and people have been flitting in and out of my mind who might have money in my life who could donate, but I keep getting psychic "no's" everytime I think of a person who even remotely has anything to do with cash in my reality. Fiscal funding is for big corporations who are commited to giving to artists. Who are these foundations? Where do I even begin to look? Are there any green corporate givers? These are the questions I have to ask before I talk to Milton again, who I'm sure has a big question mark on a post it firmly licked upon my application. And, by the time I get answers, will my dad already be finished? Alive? In New Zealand? Given up himself for lack of sponsors for his project as well?
On a more terrifying note, I find out in two weeks if my screenplay, "Baby Jim," has made it to the Sundance Writers/Director's Lab. My lower back hurts just thinking about it. I'm not sure if it hurts more over the possibility of not getting into the lab or getting into it. Tonight, a friend said there are support groups for lottery winners, that success can really do in your head. I believe it, because my relationship with winning is pretty poor. I need to take winning out on a date and treat it nice. I remember the day I got the letter in June saying I had made it through the first round of applicants and onto the next phase, through about three thousand screenplays to roughly ten percent of that number. I had just finished reading, moments before, two rejection letters from the Nicholl Fellowship (a $30,000 dollar award for winning screenwriters), one for "Baby Jim," and the other for another film I'd written, "An Uncivil Period." I had literally just finished swallowing my heart when I opened my computer glummly and read the email from Sundance in my inbox. I had no idea that all the big film contests were so succinctly timed, as if they'd all been briefed by the same NASA team. Really impossibly weird. But, hey, I was willing to take one bit of good news in exchange for two pieces of bad within the span of five minutes. My father used to say, "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all..." which is where I had started to go, and then had to WHOA NELLY! Reign it back in. Failure: something I know I would like to explore further, as in an inherited family dialogue, which I'm not sure I want to be fundamentally aligned with in my secret little girl hope heart. An ex-boyfriend at the beginning of the year said, "you make your own luck." I find out on December 17th if I go to Utah for the Writer's lab. I am here to expose myself against my better judgement, but with my better judge of judgement, no one judges the judge better than the judge... But, that's enough out of me. How do you film luck, is what I'd like to know. "If it's not film, it's not real." Werner Herzog, Of Walking In Ice, 1974.