I've found that one of the best places to start a project is at the end.  I mean, imagining what the finished product is, what it looks like, what it sounds like, how it makes you feel, etc.  I even give these imaginary films titles.  Sometimes I start with titles and go from there.  An intriguing title can open the door to a great idea. But this tactic only gets you so far and you can all too easily fall into a vortex of thought redundancy.  Inevitably, you have to actually DO something.

No matter how many films I've completed, the process of starting a new one is always the same. Every. Single. Time.  Never once have I had a lightning bolt epiphany where I suddenly have all of the ammunition to go ahead and just make something. It requires action and elbow grease. Just make something.  While making things, you find out more.  It's a process of discovery. The more you dig, the more you find, the more you fall in love. That doesn't happen with thinking alone.

But still, even after 52 films, I force myself, for some reason, to feel like I have to start at the beginning.  With blankness.  But experience has taught me that this just doesn't work.  Zero multiplied by any number, no matter how high the value, is still zero.  You can imagine all of the possibilities for a project, sweat structural details, get real nitty-gritty with bits that may have been living in your head, think about actors (I don't but maybe you do), think about music, think about minutia all day long.  But until you manifest those ideas with an initial vomiting, it's not real. You gotta vomit. Vomiting sucks but it's so crucial. There aren't any beings on Earth that enjoy vomiting. Ever hear a cat vomit? Sounds like someone is plunging a toilet full of gelatin. Then the cat's face expands like they're falling from an airplane while being choked. Then, suddenly, it pours out and it's a mess.

Cleaning up that mess is really the "beginning" because, usually, there's a gold nugget in there just waiting to be riffed on.  Sifting through the vomit is a dirty, dirty job that usually happens behind closed doors. The process is really ugly. I hate when movies show an artist's process with beautiful sunlight pouring through the windows and dissolve after dissolve of them just banging it out as if obstacles don't exist.  It's bullshit.


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“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

- Jack London


My initial vomiting are the following images.  I've collected over 100 painfully obvious Google images that are meant to supply some kind of inspiration, even if just to get me in the mood:

Other inspiration comes from reading.  I selected a few books from my shelf that have to do with greed for power, revenge, dystopian control and primal control. As I read, if something strikes me as pertinent to the concept of The King of Spades, I'll write it down. Here's my initial reading list to help stir the pot:


The real work begins when you've got to start organizing your ideas.  I work in Notes, both on my phone and on my desktop.  I prefer typing ideas so I can easily edit, delete, move, copy and keep them compartmentalized. Writing things down is nice and romantic and all but, for me, much less efficient:



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The moral of this story is that organizing what you've consumed is necessary but it's useless without taking action on the bigger goal.  Right after Labor Day weekend I'll be starting production on the first film.  I have no idea if it will work or if it will end up making it into the album.  But, who fuckin' cares, right?  It's an insect ballet that I've been thinking about for quite a while.  Very anxious to dive in.