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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 – I have noticed that every time I go to the roof and smoke a cigarette, I have some epiphany for my film.
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 have been in LA for three weeks now and only have a week left before leaving. I mentally run myself through what I must do the next day: I have rented a car and have a list of locations I am going 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 my project and how I got here. My presence here seems to spike his interest, as though my own determination to travel around the world to pursue a smilar dream as his was rekindling within him a spark he hadn't felt in too long. He asks if I have been filming a behind the scenes. I haven’t. Shame, he says, you should tell your story. He gave me his number, asking to meet the next day, and left.
I stubbed out my cigarette, headed back to the apartment and started writing this journal.
I - PRE-PRODUCTION (Sept 2013 - March 2014)
Chapter 1 - Deciding to make a film
Chapter 2 - Coming up with the idea
Chapter 3 - Budget & Equipment
II - PRODUCTION - THE LIVES (April 2014 - Sept 2016)
Chapter 4 - Helsinki (April 2014)
Chapter 5 - Jerusalem (May-July 2014)
Chapter 6 - London (Aug 2014)
Chapter 7 - Los Angeles (Nov 2014 - Jan 2015)
Chapter 8 - Paris (April 2015)
Chapter 9 - A Making-Of in the Making-Of (Sept 2015 - June 2016)
Chapter 10 - Pornichet (Nov 2015)
III - THE INTERVIEWS (2015)
Chapter 11 - Why interviews?
Chapter 12 - Giorgio Coricelli
Chapter 13 - Michael Gazzaniga
Chapter 14 - Robert Kane
Chapter 15 - Alfred Mele
Chapter 16 - Bob Doyle
Chapter 17 - Daniel Dennett
Chapter 18 - Max Tegmark
Chapter 19 - Galen Strawson
Chapter 20 - Barry Schwartz
Chapter 21 - Thoughts on Free Will
IV - POST PRODUCTION (March 2016 - Sept 2017)
Chapter 22 - Editing
Chapter 23 - Music
Chapter 24 - Sound & Color Correction
Chapter 25 - Artwork & Copyright
V - MAKE OR BREAK, 1ST ATTEMPT (Sept 2017 - April 2018)
Chapter 26 - First Festival Atempts
Chapter 27 - Kickstarter Campaign
Chapter 28 - Universities
VI - THE PERFECTIONNISM TRAP: "ONLY THE BEST WILL DO" (April 2018 - June 2021)
Chapter 29 - Natalie Portman
Chapter 30 - Brit Marling
Chapter 31 - Myriam Ajar
Chapter 32 - Re-shoots and re-edits
Chapter 33 - Good enough: final thoughts