The hands of friends

A week ago I once again discovered our interdependence. Because of my calling, I believe that this will be one of many such discoveries.

Film is a strange art form. Despite the amounts of prestige given to directors, there is never a single person who can be singled out as the culprit for a film’s success or failure. It starts with the idea that has to turn into words. The script is the loam on which the rest grows. Between the creative spark and the finished film, there are thousands of decisions made by people working towards some kind of imagined destination. A film is an organism. It can be twisted and guided into a shape, but the final product can never be exactly predicted.

Last weekend, I directed a 48 hour film. This entails getting a genre and other limitation handed to you on Friday night and handing in a finished film on Sunday. You have 48 hours to write, plan, shoot, edit, and finish a film. For those not intimately acquainted with the industry- this is ridiculously short. It forces a kind of headlong rush towards all aspects of filmmaking that’s almost comical.

You don’t sleep a lot. You work all hours that you are awake. People are tired and cranky and underappreciated.

And they never once complained.

I had been given the opportunity to work with people who are passionate about what they do. They did their part and then went the extra mile, without as much as a grimace. My own doubts were swallowed up in the experience of a working machine. I learned something again.

We are carried on the hands of our friends. I didn’t know a lot of the people before this, but after just a bit more than a weekend together I’d take any of them to war. Beside those working were the friends who just hung around, doing what was needed, smiling when I didn’t feel like it. It has been a profoundly humbling experience.

Man was not made to be alone. It is something experienced in the whirl of team sports, in the harmonies of a choir. Wherever two or more are gathered, we are given the opportunity to be something more than ourselves.

We are given the chance to be human.


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