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I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle.

 

10/21/11 6:59 pm

Jason’s “Brainwash” era is no more

I’ve decided to end my run of seven years of involvement in the Brainwash Movie Festival, effective immediately.

I’m proud of the work I’ve done to improve, enhance, and run the festival for all of these years. However, it’s now time for me to follow other pursuits.

I started helping Dave out in 2004 with one very simple goal: to add a couple of pieces to my print design portfolio (a flier and a program). Somehow that grew into maintaining and redesigning the website, as another portfolio piece, and a way to help out a friend. Then, we lost a couple judges, so I started helping judge the movies. And every year I did more to promote and run the thing. At that point, a couple years ago, I reasoned that I was so involved that I might as well get some kind of minimal material benefit (a tax break, and it ain’t much) from participating in the festival, which led to my having become a partner in the business. As I remember it, it was after a whole year of Dave pressuring me to become a partner that I gave in and committed myself to the festival (committed as in “asylum,” not as in “marriage”).

I have to admit that during that act I was ambivalent and had a fair amount of trepidation. I knew that Dave wanted to ultimately develop a fictitious, episodic tv series (now webisode series) about the film festival, and make money by doing so. I just wasn’t convinced that I could really help pull it off, nor did I particularly want to. For some reason, though, I went along with the idea and therefore spent many grueling, frequently middle-of-the-night hours in 2010 working on the series.

It wasn’t all bad. We had meetings, wrote story ideas, figured out which shots we wanted, and spent hours putting some stuff on video. (We also had nights that lasted until dawn, and grueling physical labor, and arguments, and tedium.) What ultimately came out of 2010’s effort was a mostly incomprehensible 23-minute curiosity (of which only 4 or 5 minutes ended up being our own footage — the rest consisted of a couple of the best movies from 2010’s festival). The few that watched it reportedly said that it accurately captured the feel of the drive-in festival. However, apparently none of them understood the underlying plotline, which (of course) was that aliens on a distant planet who survived by consuming stimulating intellectual content intercepted from other planets were literally being bored to death due to a lack of such content — and that Hollywood was aware of this and was keeping the quality of their movies deliberately low in order to (I guess) commit genocide. Therefore, one intrepid alien sent his hench… alien… to earth to harvest independent film content so that their race could survive.

Silly? Yes. Clever? Yeah, I’d say so. Doable? Absolutely not, 100% no way. Not with the team we have (or, rather, had). But we actually created something, which was something. And now, I move on. No hard feelings — it’s just time for a new chapter in my life. In the meantime, check out Brainwash when it comes around again!

(Published more than three years after writing it — I guess it’s no longer “too soon.”)

Filed under Culture, Life, News, Uncategorized (and tagged with , ) on October 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm
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