Los Angeles, Monday, December 22, 2014. 4pm. I was supposed to meet up with a friend, but at the last minute, she cancelled. So, with the evening now free ahead of me, I decide to go up to the roof and smoke a cigarette. I’ve never been a smoker, but for some reason, I have taken up the habit these past few weeks. No more than a few a day. I know it won’t last. I don’t particularly enjoy cigarettes, but it gives me a reason to go to the roof and stay there for 10 minutes. I sometimes get the feeling that it stimulates my brain.
So I sit down on a chair that has been left here and gaze ahead at downtown Los Angeles. I start thinking about what I’m doing here, about my film, about the past 10 months during which I have been pursuing this project. I've been in LA for three weeks now and only have a week left before leaving. I mentally run myself through what I have to do the next day: I rented a car to go to a list of locations I need to shoot at. This leads me to start stressing about the next step: I haven’t yet shot a single second of footage on Skid Row, which is precisely what I came here to do. Time is running out. My mind wonders a little further down the road: what’s next? I return to Paris, and still have to go back to Helsinki and London. I estimate I’m about half way through the filming.
A neighbor comes to the roof and sits next to me – we chat for a few minutes, he asks me where I’m from, what I’m doing in LA. When I tell him about my film, he seems intrigued. He moved to LA from the Midwest to become a filmmaker too, but has found it so hard he's considering quitting to become a chef. But he wants to know more about how I got here. My project seems to spike his interest, as though my own determination to travel around the world to pursue a similar dream was rekindling within him a spark he hadn't felt in too long. He asks if I've been filming a behind-the-scenes. I haven’t. "Shame," he says.
He left and I never saw him again, but he got me thinking. I could write about this whole journey. For myself, first, as a means to remember it all and capture my own experience. But also for others who, like the anonymous-aspiring-filmmaker-chef on the roof, may be interested.
I - PRE-PRODUCTION (Sept 2013 - March 2014)
Chapter 1 - The Beginning: How I Came to Make This Film
Chapter 2 - The End: What's It About and Why
Chapter 3 - The Means: Budget & Equipment
II - PRODUCTION - THE LIVES (April 2014 - Sept 2016)
Chapter 4 - Helsinki: Land of the Nice and Snow (April 2014)
Chapter 5 - Jerusalem: A Holy Fever Dream (May-July 2014)
Chapter 6 - London: Camden Pub Crawl (Aug 2014)
Chapter 7 - Los Angeles: From Beverly Hills to Skid Row (Nov 2014 - Jan 2015)
Chapter 8 - Paris: City of Lights and Magic (April 2015)
Chapter 9 - A Making-Of in the Making-Of: Brice de Nice, 3 (Sept 2015 - June 2016)
Chapter 10 - Pornichet: Home Sweet Home (July 2016)
III - PRODUCTION - THE INTERVIEWS (2015)
Chapter 11 - The Issue: Freedom in The Modern World
Chapter 12 - Giorgio Coricelli: The Regret Master (Jan 2015)
Chapter 13 - Michael Gazzaniga: The Brain Whisperer (Jan 2015)
Chapter 14 - Robert Kane: The Libertarian Free-Willer (Jan 2015)
Chapter 15 - Alfred Mele: The Agnostic (Jan 2015)
Chapter 16 - Bob Doyle: The Information Philosopher (Feb 2015)
Chapter 17 - Daniel Dennett: The Wizard of Cambridge (Feb 2015)
Chapter 18 - Max Tegmark: One of Many Many Max Tegmarks (Feb 2015)
Chapter 19 - Galen Strawson: The Happy Determinist (Feb 2015)
Chapter 20 - Barry Schwartz: The Motherfucker Knows Choice (June 2015)
Chapter 21 - Thoughts on Free Will: A New Model?
IV - POST-PRODUCTION (March 2016 - Sept 2017)
Chapter 22 - Editing: The Puzzle From Hell
Chapter 23 - Music: The Key of Collaboration
Chapter 24 - Sound, Narration & Color Correction: New Senses
Chapter 25 - Artwork & Copyright: Beauty & Headaches
V - RAISING AWARENESS (Sept 2017 - April 2018)
Chapter 26 - First Contacts & Festivals: FAIL (Sept 2017 - Jan 2018)
Chapter 27 - Kickstarter Campaign: FAIL (Jan - April 2018)
Chapter 28 - Universities: FAIL (Except MIT) (Jan - April 2018)
VI - THE PERFECTIONNISM TRAP (April 2018 - June 2021)
Chapter 29 - Narrator Attempt No. 1: Natalie Portman (April 2018 - May 2019)
Chapter 30 - Narrator Attempt No. 2: Brit Marling (May - Nov 2019)
Chapter 31 - Narrator Attempt No. 3: Myriam Ajar (Sept - Nov 2020)
Chapter 32 - Re-Shoots And Re-Edits : Getting It Right (Nov 2020 - June 2021)
VI - MAKE OR BREAK (June 2021 -)
Chapter 33 - Good Enough Is Good Enough
To be continued..