Ain't NOTHING easy about Sunday morning...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Idea Man

I've always been into the idea of a Renaissance Man. As the consummate answer to the double consciousness, my mother very aptly coupled our lesson of the Italian Renaissance with lessons on the Harlem Renaissance. As a result, I've always had it in my mind somewhere that as a black man, it's my responsibility to also be a Renaissance Man. In fact, I get a mental image of da Vinci chipping away at a marble block while whistling Ellington's A-Train...

And I'm rapt.

I can't keep my hands to myself. I'm everywhere at once. I can't get enough of creating.
It's patently obvious, but the polar opposite to living destructively is living creatively.
And if Satan destroys, then God creates. If demoniacs destroy, then Christians create.
Those not yet openly allied are simply flitting aimlessly somewhere inbetween.

Yesterday I pitched a book to a publisher and today I've gotten word that they're interested.
It's non-fiction and, truth be told, I intended to word the pitch so that they'd be more interested in the subject of the book and not me. It's a book about a person and his work. I happen to know this person, and I was really pitching as if to say:
"Hey, you guys should really offer this guy a deal because he has an incredible story to tell..."
I suppose that kind of thing is unheard of, and they assumed that I wanted to write the book...and they don't mind.

The funny thing is that, as with most of my brilliant ideas, the 'subject' of the book is oblivious to the fact that any of this is going on. So I have a semi-ethical dilemma on my hands. I could legitimately write this book, and do a bloody good job at it and nobody except you would be the wiser, or I could call the guy up and let him know that if he's interested in writing a book that he's already got someone salivating. If I write it, I can't see any way to do that short of moving to Philadelphia to do it documentary style (and then why not actually SHOOT a doc while I'm at it??). This of course flies in the face of my plans to move to Hollywood. And I want to move to L.A. (This is where the second part of the dilemma should go.) But there is no real downside to having dude write his own book. That was the original idea after all. But now that I've had a chance to mull it over in my brain, I've kind of decided how it should look, and the format it should take. Maybe he'll let me consult. It'd be quite an exciting book, and the beauty part is that it has a quite dronish (at times) built-in audience who'd suck it up, not to mention the publisher's own commercial ubiquity.

But that's the spirit of the Renaissance...What's wrong with giving birth to ideas? I don't have to tell you that there are those automatons who have scoffed at me for not delving 100% into one craft. I dare you to box me in...boxes are so laughable. When I was doing spoken word I had a pretty dope (pretty short--5 lines) poem about being boxed in. I've always liked jacks better than kings anyway. It's not that I haven't delved into one craft 100%, it's that I've delved into MORE THAN ONE craft 100%...and somehow some people find that profane. It's my finger on the shutter/pen/key/e-string/hammer/teat/focus ring/ isn't it?


I didn't mean to get so worked up. Look sharp. The written word just saved you someone else's vicarious tounge-lashing.

I am/
no regards for the box...
paper chains/

as featured in one of my very primitive audio projects "Paper Chains" copyfreakinright Temple University 2004

Monday, October 17, 2005

Relevant TV

Okay, so maybe I'm a little bitter.
Almost exactly a year ago, I sent Relevant an email telling them how awesome it would be for them to have a section of the website devoted to short films and other videos for people to watch and discuss. They replied with a kind email stating that such content was hard to manage and inconsistent with Relevant's priorities as a company.

Today, Relevant TV launches.

Just you wait. Someone's going to invent the digital mirror next.
That's right; pixels that reflect light. It's my idea, but you'll see it soon.

You heard it here first, folks.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Writing in LA/ Shooting in NYC

** This is a dupe post from my page.

So for those of you who don't know, I'm moving to L.A. next summer to write.
The plan is to take a reputable month-long acclimation/refresher course (which happens to be Christian in orientation) and then to try to get some film and tv assignments. The program I'm applying to is well known for helping good writers find work after they complete the course. I might try to sell a script or two. But that's the plan--move to LA, get paid to write.

The problem is, as most of you know, that I'm also a filmmaker. But I'm a snob. I LOVE the east coast. All my stories take place on the east coast in big cities or on small farms. I lived the east coast, I grew up with the grit and the mug and the attitude of the east coast, and that's what's in me.

My ultimate goal is to start my own production and development company so that I can hunt down and nurture kids like myself who have stories to tell to touch people where it's right. I don't think I want to do that in LA. I think I want to do that in New York. Mind you, I've only had limited work experience in New York. The bulk of my work has been in Philadelphia as a student/freelancer/photographer/poet. I've done CRAZY experimental run-and-gun guerilla video work (I eschew film) and I thrive on the vibe. But it's not conducive to your health as an artist or as a Christian. I nearly went stark raving while I was in Philly (close enough for people to think that I was either going nuts, or possessed by a demon). Moving right along.

Moving to LA is something I want to do for myself as a 22 year old developing human/Christian/artist. I want to get a real apartment (not a studio in the sex district, or a room in the ghetto), sleep on a real bed (not a futon), have a dining room table (one that doesn't fold up and go behind the fridge), and actually celebrate God/Love/Art. I don't want to hate myself for not being poor, or eat ghetto chinese food at 2 am because I didn't have breakfast til 5 pm, and haven't been able to stop eating since. I want to grow up. I want to get cable, and decide for myself that I don't want to watch it. I want the freedom to have woodchuck apple cider in my fridge without feeling like I'm going to go to hell for drinking it. I don't want to give away my car because I'm ashamed of being able to pay for private parking. I want to like myself again. I don't want to feel like less of a man, or less of Christian, or less of an artist because I'm not all up in someone's click.

Granted, a lot of these issues are not geographical in nature, but I really want to take advantage of the fresh start to...start fresh. I'm more than familiar with the "anywhere but here" mentality, but that's not what this is about. I just need to change, and be on my own with God and whoever he puts in my path. I'm thankful for my past, but I'm looking forward with anticipation to my future.

And if I die here in Texas tomorrow, that'll be fine too. To live is Christ; to die is gain. It's crazy, but true.

So to tie it all in, the goal is to write for money, build somewhat of a reputation, and then to take the money and the reputation back to the east coast to open a NYC studio.

And I sort of feel bad for being so money-driven...but I've been around the block in most media cirlces and I've rarely been paid anything near my worth for my art/craft. Once I got 500 bucks for 8 hours of shooting and consultation on a public art project, and another time as an actor, I made $150.00 for a one-night show about tolerance and respect (2 wks of rehearsals)...I also got a school hoodie for that one. Big whoop. Thankfully, I have a stable family that has always supported me and the literal need for money has never been a problem. There have been times when money's been really tight, when I've had to forgo a semester of school, or when I've had to work at home (isntead of traveling or bumming around) during school breaks, but by-and-large, I haven't felt the poverty bug that getting paid for my work has honestly never been a priority. But now I look around, and I have goals of doing bigger things and I think it's time for there to be a dollar ammount attached to the projects I do. I'm also keeping the possibility of getting married in mind. But fear not. Hill City Parable will always be your Daddy. The free Hill City Parable Projects will always be there. I could name a few high profile ones that I've just completed, but that'd be grimy...And I might be ugly, but I'm not grimy.

Man, this would have been a nice podcast. All things in due time.
Peace and octopi.

Adam Tillman-Young