This week I started a filmmaking class at Austin Film Works. It seemed the right thing to do. I have a miniDV camera, I’ve taken a course on film editing and bought the software, I’ve learned a bunch of movie-making jargon, bought a screenwriting package, come up with an idea for a short film and exhausted Amazon’s supply of books on filmmaking, editing and writing. In short, I’ve done everything except actually create something.
Our assignment for this first week was to fill in an online survey, listing our favorite films, books, best and worst movie this year, etc. Its purpose is apparently to help us pair up with someone else in the class for future assignments. I see the logic in this but am filled with dread at the thought of having to choose a partner or worse, be chosen. Brings back too many memories of school sports and waiting pathetically while first the girl in the wheelchair and then the one with the club foot were selected before me by the supercool team captain. My instinct in this kind of situation is to grab the first lunatic that makes eye contact with me, just to make sure I’m not the last.
That’s why listing my top ten films is so important, it will define my level of social acceptability in the class and I really don’t want to be on the B team reserves again. So this was my dilemma. Should I be honest and list Terms of Endearment and On Golden Pond or go more for the critical appreciation angle by including a bit of Hitchcock, some David Lynch and at least one obscure European piece that’s really deep because it’s about death and chess and stuff.
In the end, I went mostly for truth and hoped my list was sufficiently eclectic to not freak anyone out. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory; Angels with Dirty Faces; Secrets and Lies; North by Northwest; The Pianist; Carrie; Educating Rita; Best in Show; Heavenly Creatures; One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
However, I think my big mistake may have come in the listing of my favorite book. Having never read Jane Austen, or is it Jane Eyre, I never know, and figuring that my extensive book collection on the Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley and the Kray Twins might not play so well, I decided on the book that I love as much now as when I first read it: The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne. Wow, I can already see the line of potential partners wanting to talk to me.
Filmmaking Postscript: I hate artificial deadlines. At film class tonight we were reminded to complete and submit our online ‘profile forms’. The same form that we were supposed to complete LAST Friday. So now everyone else gets more time to ponder on which classic movies will add to their credibility while I’ll have to preface everything I say with an explanation of why I didn’t list Paper Moon and Ghost World in my top ten movies. Oh because I’m the four-eyes square who did her homework on time.
Isn’t four-eyes a stupid insult? I mean wouldn’t four eyes mean an extra eye to each side of the existing one? How can a piece of glass be an eye. Still, I don’t suppose Karen Pagett, the girl we called Flea Bag in primary school carried her fleas in a bag. She kept them under her woolly pom-pom hat.