There. It's done. Well at least for the next 24 hours. We got the first final cut (oxymoron) completed at the last minute just in time for submission to the International Documentary Film Festival. A few more tweaks -- and having to weather the idiosyncracies of non-linear editing -- and the Sundance version will be finished.
I think it's true that creative work is something both within and without us (to paraphrase George Harrison). That maybe the idea is ours, and also something that is floating in the ether, awaiting execution by some corporeal being. We don't really know what we have until we start putting it together. This is what the husband and wife team of Open Water discovered in the editing phase, and what're finally understanding.
Certainly, revelations have come to us in stages. Is it about searching for inspiration as we go independent ourselves? Is it to explore a lifestyle? Is it about the creeping/stampeding corporatization of our lives for better and for worse? Our need to re-engage with each other? No. Yes. Maybe something a little broader than that...
Yet another all-nighter slaving before the almighty G5, and I took a break by taking a speed-read of this excellent article ("Taking Stock of the Forever War") on U.S. Mideast policy gone wrong (a redundancy). This line jumped out at me:
One of 9/11's more obvious consequences was to restore to the Republicans the advantage in national security they surrendered with the cold war's end; their ruthless exploitation of this advantage and the Democrats' compromising embrace of the Iraq war has in effect left the country, on this issue, without an opposition party.
I submit that this notion of a lack of opposition in American life extends to far more than the Middle East. While my adopted Canada has always happily surrendered to the constitutional premise of "Peace Order and Good Government," Americans mistrust of institutional domination goes hand-in-hand historically with "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Somehow, Orwell's 1984 has disrupted this political philosophy.
It also jibes with what so many people cut from every possible political cloth told us along the way (Iraq, Enron and outsourcing) -- that the allocation of power is askew. And that allows me this pithy conclusion from the sum of our 88-minute video treatise:
"Independent America is a gently subversive documentary. It uncovers the growing rebellion among Americans who fear they have lost any say over the behavior of the country's dominant institutions. And what they're doing to reclaim their voice."
As Heather likes to say, it's less about Blue State/Red State America, and more that greater, far more interesting, complex shade of purple that washes over the entire country. But still a color unseen by the punditry class in NYC and DC that makes its living off of the polarization industry of conservative vs. liberal, Republican vs. Democrat. Yes, Independent America is really about "Independent" America. No, we didn't interview Ralph Nader.