Sunday, August 18, 2013

No Kind of Expert

By Laura P. Valtorta

It’s a spiritual experience when Marco and Dante head off to mass on a Sunday, leaving me alone with my MacBook Pro, a headful of ideas, and a novel to work on. I fill the bird feeder, set up on the dining room table, and put on some music – maybe the album Avalanche by Sonia Jacobsen, the saxophonist and composer who’s working on scoring my latest short film, Disability.

Writing is necessary. Even when I’m working on films and thinking about directing them and producing them, with all the hyperactivity involved in producing (the funding, the scheduling, interviewing, shooting, editing, and promoting), a filmmaker still has to find time to Make Art. Also run a law office.

Without art, we would be nowhere in the filmmaking business. I worry about Clabber (that’s not his real name). He is my partner in making these films. The one who does all the “Real Work,” as he calls it; The Real Work involves set building, shooting, and finessing the sound and lights.

Good old Clabber. He wears shorts and a baseball cap to work, but he’s so far from the land of Laid Back that once in a while it sends him a postcard. But that’s it. With a business to run, three small children at home, and several casually-clad employees to shepherd, he has very little time to write. I worry about this. Keeping Clabber happy is something I want to do. Because he’s a nice guy, and because he’s my studio executive.

Although I’m no kind of expert, I believe that Creating Art is one of the five pillars of happiness, along with Family, Work, Exercise, and Charity. Art is pure communication. Someday, when I’m not scripting films and writing novels, I want to learn how to take better photographs and paint portraits along the lines of Modigliani and Frida Kahlo. Art should always be a part of Family, Work, Exercise, and Charity. And vice versa.

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