“Energy! O Energy!” is off to the Film Festivals

Great news!  EOE is screening on June 17th in Palmerston North, New Zealand at the 2013 Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival.  Along side Energy! O Energy!, award winning films such as If a Tree Falls and Fall and Winter will also be screened.  Check out the rest of this year’s selections here.  It’s an honor to be included in such an incredible program.  Congratulations to all of the films selected. Reel Earth 2013_Official Selection (1)

The Art of Finishing Something

This week was the host to quite a few finish lines in my life.  I finished the short film “Western Wandering”, I finished a fashion show promo video, and I finished my master’s degree in communication and journalism.  On one hand it’s a huge relief, but on the other hand, finishing something doesn’t always mean that you’re less busy.  In my case it just means crossing things off the top of a list and moving other things from the bottom up higher on that same list.

Even though I’m just as busy, there’s still a value in finishing a project.  A professor once told me that the worst finished project is better than the best incomplete project.  Finishing films is one of the hardest things I struggle with every day.  It’s not because of the work involved, but rather knowing when to let go.  My advisor Conrad Smith told me the other day that “Energy! O Energy!” has enough footage to edit for eternity.  He’s right.  The struggle is knowing when to stop, and realizing that you finally have what you want.  The footage has been shot and the story is in place.  Now it’s just a matter of finding what I want to use and using it.

I just finished my MA degree and a common question I’m being asked is, “what’s next?”  I wish I knew.  Like I said before, just because you finish something doesn’t mean that you’re done.  Right now I have a number of other films on the burner, and EOE is hopefully going to be complete by the end of May.  But then what, more school, projects to pay the bills, a feature film?  My answer is, all of the above.  Living is learning, which means that I never plan on being finished with “school”.  Who says the projects that pay the bills can’t be fun?  As for another feature film, there will be plenty of those as well.  The past few films have been low budget and made with the resources that I have.  These films were made out of pure passion and very little else.  My goal for the next film is to take the idea of passion, and combine it with the resources of a well-funded film.  Hopefully this is a recipe for a film that can reach a large audience and make a difference.  “Come on kid, that’s just crazy.  Do you really think you’re going to change the world?”  If I had a penny for every time I heard this, I’d have enough money to change the world.  It doesn’t bother me though because my idea of changing the world is different from that of the people who say this.  If someone watches “Western Wandering” and feel the emotions and the experiences of the adventure, that’s all I can ask for.  We tend to focus on the huge concepts and ideas in the world, but what about the individual moments?  The huge concepts are made from each individual moment.  If someone experiences one of those moments though one of my films, what more could I want?  Remember, knowing where to stop is the hardest part of finishing.

Going Out

The weekend started Friday by working on the story structure for EOE until 3:30 am.  The next morning came much too early and was followed with more progress on EOE.  With all of this work, I have been neglecting from my leisure time and haven’t stopped to smell the roses.   Saturday night I decided to take a break from editing and I went out.  I didn’t “go out” in the way that you may think.  “Going out”, to many people means going to the bars.  “Going  out” to me means venturing out into the world to experience something great.  The traditional expectations of going out seem boring to me.  I don’t like limiting my experience based on what’s popular or easy to do.  Whether it’s a bar or simply walking down the street, going out is an opportunity to experience the uniqueness of each moment in a setting outside of your house.

I took a drive around town just to see what was happening, to see what I wanted to do while I was out.  Living life means opening your self up to the spontaneity that it may bring.  Saturday night it brought me to the University of Wyoming campus.  It was freezing, the wind was blowing, and I was completely exhausted from the last few months of editing and shooting.  That wasn’t what was on my mind though.  The moon was low in the sky, spilling perfectly balanced light onto the symbolic Bucking Horse bronze sculpture of Wyoming.  I found my experience for the night.  At first I just looked at the scene and then decided to take a few photos to share the experience with others.  Here are a few shots of “going out” this weekend.  For me, it was incredible.  It gave me a well-needed break and reminded me that simply opening your eyes to the everyday beauty of living can be the inspiration that can’t be found anywhere else.

Mark


Energy and Politics

If you’re anything like me, all those lovely pictures of a snowy Park City in that last post distracted you. Winter in the West can be rough, and it can definitely cause some chaos around town… especially a ski town hosting one of the largest independent film festivals and celebrating the first good dump in FOREVER. But, for those of you that made it past the slideshow and read those last few sentences, you know that Mark had an interview with Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. So lets pick up where Mark left off, on the issue of politics. Well, politics and energy.

The day I’m writing this is not only the day Mark had the interview, but it also happens to be the day of the State of the Union Address. If you watched it, you will have noticed that about 15 minutes were devoted to the discussion of the future of our nation’s energy. I guess this whole energy thing is a pretty big deal…  According to our President, it’s one of the 5 biggest issues facing the United States right now. But let’s put the ultimate future of America and the human race aside for a second and ask a more simple question: How political do you think the issue of energy is? Are there sides? Do your political opinions influence the type of energy production you support? In an earlier post Mark replied to the criticism that he was “green” or an environmentalist (re: liberal) because he rides his bike. After getting to know Mark, you would soon realize that he rides because he loves it and couldn’t care less about what political stereotype is attached to pedaling a bicycle.  It’s funny how political lines can get drawn anywhere, even the type of transportation you choose. (For the record, I know lots of liberals that drive big honkin’ trucks for one reason or another; I also know a staunch Republican that drives a hybrid.) So, are solar panels Democratic? Is natural gas Republican?

Mark has approached this movie with what I consider to be a devout stance of neutrality. But that brings me back to my point; his neutrality towards favoring one type of energy resource has by default required him to detach himself from the political spectrum. I for one am extremely interested to hear what Governor Mead (R) has to say about energy in Wyoming. Maybe Mark can chime in here and talk about his interview… or maybe you’ll just have to wait and see it in the film.

Marty