Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Most things I've learned, I've learned while making something"

is something Gever said. Or something like that, maybe not that exactly. And I've been thinking a lot about that. This isn't the best photo but see this little playhouse? I built it with my friend Kimberly. I really really wanted a playhouse for the backyard. Matt is a total builder and carpenter guy but I mentioned it to him several times and I could tell it just didn't take. Way on the bottom of the list of priorities. So my ideas was this (and luckily Kimberly was amenable to my plan): Kimberly came over every Tuesday evening. And we worked on the playhouse. It turned out to be a really great plan. Kimberly knew about as much about building a playhouse as I did, which was pretty much next to nothing. Matt thought we were going to make a gimungo mess and the whole thing made him kind of grumpy, so he was not a help at all, and this turned out to be great, because Kimberly and I had to troubleshoot everything ourselves instead of deferring to his authority. But it was really the Tuesday date that was key. If I had been doing it myself I know I would have gotten stuck at some point and probably given up.But every Tuesday here comes Kimberly and I just HAD to figure out the next step or how to move forward. And it really worked out. And everyone loves the little house we built and
always wants to build one themselves. And now I know how to do it and it's really not that hard. Like so many things that seemed infinitely intimidating but now that I've tried them I know I could do the same and even better.
I'm about to make a zombie movie this weekend with four twelve year old boys: a birthday party for one of them. I'm excited for me and I'm excited for them. I have loved movies and wanted to make movies since I was a kid. I actually did make a few movies with my brothers and friends over the years. And then probably got intimidated out of it and decided I had no know-how. Then about 12 years ago I took a film making class here in Austin. We had an assignment to just go out and shoot a short film. I learned so much from making that film, and one of the things I kept thinking was, "Gee, I paid $500 to have someone tell me I had permission to go shoot a movie. But I could have done it any time!" But it was well worth the $500 to get that little piece of info and more. And I went on to shoot lots and lots of little short fun movies with friends over the years. And I'm excited that these kids get to have that experience of, "Gee, whenever we want, we can go shoot a movie!" early on.
And of course this applies to anything you might want to do or try. Let go of your wish to have a perfect end product, because it might not be about that, it might just be like you're taking a class in filmmaking/cake baking/auto mechanics/knitting/what have you.... only you're giving the class to yourself. And you're saving the money so you can spend it on supplies. Cost efficient and oh so self sufficient. So go, git on with your bad self. Bite off more than you can chew. Mmm. Delicious lessons.


Kitten Muffin said...

Yay! Starting something without knowing how I'm going to finish it is how I operate :) It's really rewarding to just have at something and trouble shoot along the way. Right now I'm making something out of a glove, a hair band and some electrical ties. Not sure if it's going to work, but it'll be fun finding out.

I love the movie making thing! I've been waiting to start with that until my kids are about 5 and 6, but am really looking forward to it! I want them to have a bit more ability to do a kind of storyboard before I get them involved in it, so that they really feel control over it.

Hey! You can use a few of the bags in your plastic bag hoard in the zombie movie! Fill em with baked beans and stuff them up shirts, so they can be ripped open and devoured on screen! Is that a little too gross? Sorry.

Kami said...

Baked beans?!?? Gross!! EW! ECh! OK, adding them to my shopping list as we speak.