Sunday, November 25, 2007

the tortoise and the hare

Well, we finally did it. There were a ton of naysayers along the way, including my own parents! And it only took nine years to do it. But here we are! Jeff and I finally finished production on the DVD and I'm staring at boxes of them as I type. It seems weird to be at the end of this journey...but in many ways, this adventure is just beginning, since we're self-distributing the movie. My friends probably cringe at this notion, because I've already invested close to a third of my life in this project and, frankly, I think they're tired of hearing about it.

Jeff and I are continually subjected to the question, 'When are you going to be done with this film?' and 'Why don't you guys move on to the next project?' Well, first of all, we're deeply in debt. So we can't even think about making another film until we have more to eat than the dried up garbanzo bean that we found behind the stove last week. Secondly, anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I don't do anything half-assed. I usually go for the whole ass...I've pretty much done everything myself on this film from fundraising, researching, shooting, logging, promoting, negotiating, etc. How could I walk away now, when I've worked so hard up to this point?

Ever since we premiered ABEL RAISES CAIN at Slamdance in 2005 and unexpectedly won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary, I swear that this film has taken on a life of its own. There were so many unexpected twists and turns, high points and moments of desperation. We made mistakes along the way, but we also made wise decisions that I'm happy for now. No, we never received a 6-figure distribution deal (as my parents had hoped), but my dad DID receive an 800-person standing ovation at our HOT DOCS premiere in Toronto, and that was priceless.

So, taking this film on the festival circuit has been one of the best experiences of our lives. We truly had no idea that this documentary would do as well as it has, so far. BUT now the hard work has just begun...because self-releasing a film is one of the scariest, riskiest things Jeff and I could do, especially when we're looking for things to eat behind the stove.