A sudden flash of bright flame and then a slow burn – that’s the way I’ve perceived events to be unfolding over the past four decades while pursuing my life’s higher purpose. Sometimes it appears to me that patience and perseverance are the only character assets I possess, especially during slow burn seasons. In slow times, when it feels as though my will to press forward is being nullified by circumstances and situations which are seemingly beyond my control, I know from experience that it’s time for me to turn inward. I turn my perspective within for a while to touch base with my mind, body and spirit. By taking an honest look at my motivations and desires – by appraising the level of self-esteem I have in the current moment – by making sure that I’m not feeling superior or inferior to anyone else, but instead just being my truest self – I can usually conclude whether I’m off on a tangent or still on the right path. And when, eventually, I turn the focus outward again, I find that there never really was an impediment, and that the only thing that was slowing down the fire had been my own self-defeating thoughts and actions. Then, right on que, there’s another flash and the life-force burns brightly once more.
These past three months in Saint Petersburg have been a whole new level of slow burn, but in an entirely positive way. If you’re a new reader on this blog, you may not know that three months ago, just as I was just starting out on a cross-country road trip, I was involved in a car accident that relieved me of my only vehicle. My dear daughter Victoria picked me up on the east coast of Florida and transported me to the west coast. I’ve been holed up in Mike Elwell’s warehouse studio ever since that fateful day. It has been an absolute blessing being here near my son Christopher and all his friends. We’ve all shared some great quality-time together. Chris and I even managed to work together (creatively) on a couple of projects. But now it’s time to be moving along. I’ve procured a new ride and I’m preparing to depart St. Pete, probably next Wednesday morning. There are still a few things that I need to accomplish before I get back on the road. Hopefully that road takes me back to Hope during late June and all of July this summer. I am intent on making the “Florida to Maine Expedition to Gather Film Content” a reality (please visit the GoFundMe page I’ve set up if you feel it in your heart to support me on this extremely important trip – https://www.gofundme.com/manage/crosscountry-expedition-to-gather-film-content). The trip will be as low cost as I can make it. I’ll be sleeping in the van most nights or pitching a tent, while also relying on friends and relatives for an occasional civilized (indoor) sleepover. Some of you may know that I have secured the funds for tuition at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I will be entering the Graduate Film and Television program as a Fellow to the college this fall. The fellowship award was one of only two offered to graduate students each year. It will pay for half of the tuition and federal student loans will pay the other half. Rather than going back to Savannah now, to rent a room and pay board throughout the summer, I am planning to spend June and July on the road, gathering documentary film content (mostly in Hope, RI). From the road, I intend to secure a room in Savannah via the internet, preferably for August 1, and return south during late summer to get ready for classes. This transition I’m now making between fine art and film has been a long time coming. I started dreaming about a career in the movie industry well before I left Rhode Island in 1996. In fact, that was the whole point of moving our young family to Florida to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design. Pamela and I decided that I should pursue a BFA in computer animation and then I could make a lateral move into prop design or animatronics where I could put my sculpting skills to good use in show business. In the now, I’ve set my intentions on becoming an independent filmmaker. I am to become a writer, director and producer of surreal documentary films, the most elaborate of which, will be a factual documentary on the creation and installation of Grand Providentia Projections around the world. There will be a fictional version of the story produced simultaneously. The two stories will run parallel, merging plotlines and characters until the audience is unsure what is actually happening in the real world. It may seem like I just released the ultimate spoiler for this surreal documentary, but I can assure you that if it is done with the right amount of filmmaking finesse, the intrigue will only be enhanced if the audience knows that it is on them to figure out what is real and what is movie magic. That’s just one of the beautiful things about making pictures move.
My first film, titled “Return to Hope” is on YouTube. I will be adding a new film during the coming weeks that is focused on the bronze sculpture featured in the film. The new patina is nearly complete (one of the finest patinas I’ve ever produced) and I’m putting together a promotional short film to show off the process and end result of the repatine. I will sell this one-of-a-kind bronze casting to pay for the road trip and help me to pay for books and living expenses at SCAD in the fall. Once I publish the promotional film, I’ll return here to announce it and leave a link.
Thank you for reading here! I am truly grateful for your presence and for your support.