Sunday, June 19, 2011
OK, so I promised I'd recap how the filming went today, so here it is... though I have to admit, at this point, my feelings are mixed about it.
The drive up was about 2 hours, and gave me plenty of time to go over things in my head. I'm glad I did, since it gave me a chance to get my story together. I wasn't sure what was going to be covered, really, or if I'd be asked for the quick version and rushed out after ten minutes... so I pondered a lot of different possible questions and directions the conversation could go - and I'm glad I did, since we covered all of it, and more. We sat outside of the directors' home in this small, pretty walkway between two quiet rows of apartments, with the camera man, and, after setting the gear up, getting good sound going, fixing the white balance, and applying the right filters, we just chatted for about an hour. It was surprisingly relaxing.
He asked a bit about my background and my day job, then segued into how/why I started this blog, and then smoothly transitioned into the events surrounding the day I went to the mall to film that hot dog eating qualifier. I tried my best to be pleasant, interesting, entertaining, well-spoken, etc., when I thought of it, but really, most of the time we just chatted in a friendly, relaxed manner... which is where the mixed feelings start to come in.
Frankly, I don't remember everything I said. Not that it matters much, since through the magic of clever editing, I can be made to say just about anything. They seemed trustworthy and professional, I'm not saying I don't trust them. Yet as we chatted, it became clear that the tone of the film will be rather critical of the organization that runs competitive eating, and that made me a bit nervous. I am about as casual a fan as one can be, when you boil it down... and I really don't want to be presented in any way that makes it seem like I have any sort of legitimate opinion about the industry in general, or the governing body specifically. I'm just a random, detail-ignorant fan who happened to capture video of one of the industry "stars" cheating. That doesn't make me anything at all, beyond a curiosity, really.
So, I'm kind of nervous about how I'll be presented. There are a lot of passionate people in this realm of competitive eating, and I don't want to be used as a tool to further stir the pot, so to speak. That's all.
Again, I trust these guys, so far as one can trust people one has just met. Still, it's clear that they are privy to far more detail about the behind-the-scenes stuff, and the players and politics than I, and so I just don't know what to expect. They seemed very pleased with the footage they got, and the way I presented myself, and were grateful for my participation (just as I was very grateful for the opportunity). And likely, this is just me worrying too much, and making a lot out of nothing.
Still, part of me hopes you all forget about it for now, and that I could get a quiet chance to view the movie first before you all get to see it, just in case I've inadvertently embarrassed myself by stepping into the middle of something that I had no business messing with.
We finished up by going inside and watching the footage that I shot, and they filmed me doing some running commentary as the footage played. It was a bit awkward, but I see why they'd want to do it.
He said they were aiming for a late-August release, and that it will be in festivals, and hopefully in theaters for people to see. Apparently, it is going to be a big deal. Which makes me doubly-nervous. I don't want to come across as anything but a casual fan who happened to catch something controversial on tape, and not someone slamming the industry or particular people, as though I had a clue about any of it. That's why I wish I could better remember everything I said. I think I'm good. As a rule, I try not to say anything about a person that I wouldn't also say if the person was before me in the flesh.
In all, I was done in about 90 minutes or so. And in all the excitement, I didn't remember to take any pictures to post here. I had my camera in my pocket the whole time. I was just caught up in it all. It really was fun, and I'm glad I did it... I'm just concerned about how things will play out, and how I will be perceived when it's all edited together. If I come across poorly, I will be grossly embarrassed... so I don't want to hype it all up here, have you all run out to see it, and then have you be puzzled/disappointed... I'd rather make sure I'm happy with it, and then "remind" you about it... "Oh, yeah, guys, remember that movie? Yeah, it's cool, go see it, eh!"
Anyway, what's done is done. All that remains now is trust (in the director/producer) and patience. We'll see how it plays out.
Dave the Ambivalent