The Princess goes to Straffan part 1

Perhaps ironically, the competition and barriers I am setting out to tackle make working on Wall Street look like summer camp. The stakes are much higher too because the currency is soul.

Documentary filmmaking is an uncertain, messy, un-businessy business and that’s why so many documentaries never get made. The sheer impossibility of the endeavor can grind a person down. And I was feeling it at the end of March; a little worn down; a little tired from the countless hours that have gone into this project since 2009; a little scared at the opportunity cost of my own labour gone; a little bit doubtful that I had anything to say.

It sounds like self-pity, but it’s actually just exhaustion.

Those of you who know me or have worked with me know that in the parlance of business, I’m a finisher. What this means is, that since I made a commitment to Simon Garland last summer, it doesn’t matter what obstacles were in the way. I would find the K Club, a castle in Ireland. And I would bring a show.

Now, I’m really glad and so I will tell you about why over the next couple of posts.

Thank you, everyone, for tuning in.  And may the Force be with you always.


3 Responses to “The Princess goes to Straffan part 1”

  • That was a good idea to make a commitment to Simon Garland, because if you don’t keep it you never know what might happen 🙂 (I remember his surprising me back in the old days.)

    Congrats on your persistence. Not only does it help with the goal at hand, but the skills you build as you overcome the obstacles will help you accomplish your future goals as well.

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Having just flipped though the Documentary Organisation of Canada’s report on the state of the industry, realistically speaking the skills I am building are not monetizable. Unless you count the field of Marketing, which is very specifically not my style. (God, can you imagine? No. Me neither).

    People, in general, seem to have an perplexing dualistic perception of filmmaking 1) based on an unrealistic expectations derived from a blurry Hollywood model rolling in money 2) an underlying misconception that skills-wise… their “kid could do that”.

    While I appreciate the pep talk, Rohan, especially from such a kind and gentile soul, the underlying complacency of the message is of some concern. ie “Don’t worry, she’s getting SKILLS”.

    If nothing else, the APL community can do the math, and knows what opportunity cost actually means, in short: 1 hour down means 2 hours up. Preserving culture and history is a shared responsibility and this, you shall see, is the punch-line for this particular chapter of the story.


    It sounds like you have a story to tell from the old IPSA days… Maybe over beer during the J Conference a the end of July. If you haven’t already done so, check who is coming.

  • I didn’t mean skills applicable to other filmmaking (or marketing!), but skills applicable to anything requiring surmounting various obstacles, i.e. most valuable things in life. Essentially, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. This reminder has helped me keep going through difficult stuff, along with “this too shall pass”, and consequently helped me achieve the goal at hand. Obviously I was not clear about this, for which I apologize: it was meant as support for your goal, not the kinds of things you mentioned which I now see were valid interpretations as well (I can see an even worse one too, which I won’t identify).

    * * *

    I’d be very happy to contribute whatever memories I have that are useful, over a beer or whatever. The J Conference itself is not applicable to me, though. It’s very expensive, with even the “banquet” costing $150 (the early-bird price was $120 which was still a lot). These days I work in the Internet startup world and don’t make much money, so I can’t possibly justify that kind of extravagance — yet I manage to go to lots of events. For years now I’ve only gone to “unconferences” and “camps” and other events which are either free or cost $10-$15, and if food is included (as it often is) it’s something like pizza or sandwiches, covered by a corporate sponsor (it’s not that expensive to cover cheap food). This is the norm in my field. I find myself really disconnected from an APL/J community that has failed to modernize, and your project is the only thing I follow (modernization is obviously not applicable to it!). Most of the people I associate with are in their 20s or early 30s, which is standard in the leading-edge computing world (and was the case in the APL world too before it got stuck), and “traditional” conference pricing does not work for them either: it’s based on the outdated assumption that only students need a price break because everyone else has a “real job”.

Comments are currently closed.

Analytics Plugin created by Jake Ruston's Wordpress Plugins - Powered by Laptop Cases and r4.