As I begin prep on a new pilot in Los Angeles, I harken back to a conversation I had with Haskell Wexler, ASC in 2007. I recently came across a transcript of it and was taken by his sentiment, which is something I have touched upon in this blog on several occasions. While you might detect a little more depth in this moment, I’m taking it as a challenge to broaden my perspective beyond the usual nuts and bolts of what a cinematographer does. I’ve tried to live up to it for quite some time, with varying success; let’s just say that a certain degree of maturity is required to cut through the distractions and really meet his expectation.
Right now, there’s no question that I have reached that epic tipping point.
Wexler’s words can apply to any occupation, in any walk of life. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. But I’d also like to hear from those of you for whom the following paragraphs resonate…
“The journey is the destination. So much of our lives are spent working on films, and what counts most is the friendship – the camaraderie, the teamwork, the respect we have for each other. Certainly, we want to work on films that reflect something decent, something good, that exposes something wrong. We think of ourselves as artists. But most of the time we are doing routine things and sharpening our skills.
We are not finding a cure for cancer, we are making entertainment movies. I tried to concentrate on communicating in images. It is a responsibility to society and a responsibility to yourself. What is meaningful in life, what lasts, is not something you can see on a clip reel, it’s not what you can read on a resumè. Making a successful film is not the destination, getting an award is not the destination. What’s important are your personal priorities.”