Be warned: things are about to get real mushy real fast. Currently, it’s been a few hours since Episode 5 was released. Errol is still madly editing Episode 6, which is turning out to be a massive episode. The whole insane project is winding down to a close and soon we won’t have to think much about deadlines, ADR or too little film footage. It’s hard to believe that just six months ago Errol came up to me and asked in his excited voice “Do you want to write a musical together?!”. This is the first time I’ve tried anything on this scale and I get dizzy just thinking about it.
This post is difficult to begin…so I think I’ll talk a bit about failure.
We encountered a lot of hiccups during this process. Schedules were botched, reminder e-mails weren’t sent, I’d be unsure if we’d ever finish writing, what we had written sometimes seemed incomplete, scenes had to be cut and added at the drop of a hat, it would rain whenever we shot outside, lines weren’t memorized, actors got sick, the footage we’d worked so hard to get turned out to be terribly out of focus, videos failed to render, edits had to be rushed and of course I’d get frustrated with my own performance.
But whenever any of these things happened, whenever I was at my lowest and most exhausted, wondering why oh why we had even started this insane project and picturing the multitudes of youtube trollers who would descend on us, I would open up Episode 6 again and read Dale’s speech. Then I’d read it again. Then I’d take a few deep breaths, and I’d prepare for the next day’s tasks.
Errol was pretty easy going about who would write what scenes, but when it came to that speech he insisted that he should be the one to write it. And he was right, too. This was the heart of the entire project: the idea that you write for yourself and that it’s okay to fail sometimes. For every great idea we have, there are fifty more that are absolute crap. But it takes those fifty crap ideas to get to that great one, and it is more than worth it. Errol believes this wholeheartedly, and so do I. We were always aware that our little “webseries that could” might not succeed but it was always worth the risk to us. I just freaked out about it a bit more :D.
Even though this was Errol’s idea, I very much needed to write this as well. I don’t think I realized just how much I needed to when we first started back in mid-July. I’ve always been insecure about my own creativity, and it’s something I acknowledged years ago and struggled to overcome. These were doubts I experienced in NaNo as well and ones that I always kept to myself. Many of Dale’s struggles came from my own struggles and writing NaNoMusical, writing about those fears and doubts that plague all of us, was my way of taking a few more steps towards my goal.
That’s not to say that it was all bad though. We were doing a comedy, after all. As much as I just talked about struggle and hiccups, this was an incredibly fun project to work on. Jokes were had, chips were consumed, creativity reached its pique. Words can’t express how proud I am to have been involved in this musical and how lucky I feel to have the talented and supportive friends that I do.
There are a lot of people I have to be thankful for. My cast: Luke, Blythe and our chorus and extras. They were patient and fun, willing to work the long hours, and turned in awesome performances. Kelsey, our director, who agreed to do this before even looking at the script and who still wanted to do it even after reading it and realizing we had no clue what we were doing. Barbara, our camera op, who we really could not have done this without. Dan and Whitney, our other camera op and AD, who helped us out during our most cumbersome shoots and made things run like a tightly run ship. The Elumir family, who put up with us invading their house twice a week. My neighbours for not complaining about the crazy people dancing down the apartment hallway. NaNoWriMo and the NaNo community for their amazing support and feedback and who continue to inspire me and teach me to never edit.
And of course Errol, who was the heart and soul of all of this, who is one of the most talented people I know, who put up with my panic attacks and gave me words of encouragement even though he had a mountain of other stuff to deal with, who always tells it like it is and never sugar coats, who it never occurs to not to try anything, who always had faith that we could do this, who has more energy than most humans should, who can write 10 original songs in 2 weeks, who always asks “Why not?” if I say I can’t do something and if I can’t give an immediate answer pushes me to try, who still somehow wants to work with me even after all the craziness I put him through and who’s become one of my closest friends.
There are probably others I am forgetting. There are probably more things I could say. But I think that’s enough emotion for me for one day. Time to start brainstorming for the next project. Thanks again everyone. Let’s see that writing spirit :).