It's done. Wrapped. Sticking a bow on it as we speak. Vinyl. Shit - what a crazy ride this has all been.
Bukowksi said he used to write whole novels and poetry books in just two weeks because he was broke and needed the money. The quicker shit was written, the better the chance he might eat soon. That's kind of how it's been with this. Get it made, get it out, get a sandwich.
But truly, this isn't a money thing. It never is. God knows the amount of times I've waxed lyrical on the subject of being a filmmaker to make money. It simply doesn't work that way. You want to make money, you go be a banker or a bank robber. The arts are for those that can stay hungry longer than anybody else.
So what do I have? Is it something I'm proud of? Something that I would be glad to put in front of producers, critics and audiences? Damn right.
Sometimes, being impatient forces you to make all the right decisions. By just committing to getting to New York and filming inside of two months, it made me write from the stomach and cast from there as well. Now, as the film is locked, with an incredible soundtrack provided by Gillian Leigh Visco (who also plays Marta in the film), I know what we have is just what I set out to make - a simple but affecting film, riveted with superb performances and weighted with truth.
I have given myself no time to second guess the quiet storm in my chest, the itching decisiveness in my belly. An idea flashes through your head, you know it'll work, you just go do. None of this approval of others bullshit, this design by committee stuff. Just knowing what is right for every moment I am in and making that happen on screen.
I'm more confident in what I am doing now than I've ever been at any time in my life. Maybe it's because in watching Vinyl back, I have seen my life, my head, up there on that screen. I hope I've left it open enough for others to recognise some part of themselves, some aspect of their own bullshit, right there for them to connect with. My man Tom Sawyer kept saying to me throughout the shoot, 'What comes from the heart goes to the heart.' He was right. He often is.
So, I've picked up the slack on the Laundry short film, and that's pretty much done now too. Fuck, in the last 2 weeks, I've locked an 80mins feature and a 35mins short. I really need those sandwiches.
I'm working on the distribution of aspect of Vinyl now. I know. Maybe I should take some time to breathe, right? But I've got some things to fix in my life, just like I everybody I guess. And doing this, putting my fucken heart back on my sleeve and just making shit come together again, it's awoken a part of my soul I'd let slip - that part that makes me the best person for the job of running my own life. So rather than slow down, I need to keep that spinning wheel momentum going. Let some of that blood red passion seep into other areas of my life. No more 'okay' bullshit, or 'getting by' junk. I have to face up to all the things that other people seem to handle just fine, but me, as a messy-headed nowhere-man vagabond-in-training can't seem to get a handle on.
People let the love out of their lives too easily. I'm not talking about fucken Valentine's card, pre-packaged cuddly teddy bears and shit love, I mean the stir in your soul. The kind of love that pushes you along in ways you have no control over. I've always felt it in my work, in my projects, but it's often been drained out of other aspects of my life. From day-jobs (money is a pretty terrible replacement for passion, but so many accept it), to relationships (any port a storm sometimes - you'll accept all kind of conditions to just keep shit going) to finances (mine seem to be constantly battered). Maybe if I can just take a little of that full-spirited approach I have to my passions and apply them to the real world bullshit, things will start to align a little better.
When you live in your dreamy headspace, the real world can be a very alien place to be. I hope I can make sense of it once and for all.
There's one bit, at the end of Vinyl, where Luis (played by Luis M. Echegaray) is stood on a rooftop, just alone. It's simple enough, sucking in the world around, the building tops, the mottled cloudy sky, his tie flailing like a torn sail in the wind. But what's good about it is the distance. Stepped back. You see a man who is fucked, crumpled. Finally, for me at least, you just get him. You just understand this guy. It's taken 75mins of this cocky, gregarious, bull of man to finally be slain. Undone by himself. Writers are always haunted by their works, and this is just one of the many moments that makes me shift a little in my own seat.
After a while, the lines all blur and remember, what comes from the heart goes to the heart.