May 12, 1996

We had brunch today with Alex's old friend Jana, a costume designer who offered to give us advice on the production. She turned out to be a fountain of knowledge on a variety of filmmaking subjects, and she might even be willing to work with us if her schedule isn't too busy this summer. Though she is well beyond our level of expertise, Jana was awfully tolerant of our backwardness, and took pains to pass on as much information as she could.

Meetings with professionals like Jana have always been difficult for me. Most film people have trouble believing that you can make a movie with anything less than the level of resources to which they are accustomed. When I hear an expert say something like, "Don't even think about shooting without a carpenter on the set at all times," my usual reaction is to withdraw emotionally and to cling more tightly to my amateur status. I started out with that reaction today, but I managed to suppress it. I could see that Bill and Alex were engaged by the idea of kicking the production up to a higher level, and Bill was even inspired to start thinking about raising money from outside sources. Why not go with the flow for a while and see what our options are? Having ambitious producers means that the burden of upgrading the production isn't all on my shoulders, and it's easier for me not to indulge my self-defeating tendencies.

Afterwards, Robin and I did a steadiness test on my CP16 camera to see if it produces a stable enough image for us to use it. It was fun to klutz around with changing bags and light meters again, and I think we executed the test satisfactorily, though we won't know until we develop and print the film.

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