“Make me look good.”

20 September, 2008

At long last, my directorial debut Top Model is up online for all the world to see. A few words before I direct you to the link.

In the lead-up to the film festival, I kept hearing the same question: Are you happy with it? I can’t remember exactly how I would respond but the truthful answer is that I don’t know. I spent about two months writing the script on and off and the following three months on casting it, shooting it, and editing it. My goal during that time was simply to get this germ out of my system about beauty pageants. Once I submitted the final cut, it was gone. I no longer had any use for it.

The festival itself was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had. Watching something so personal on a big screen with a massive audience of friends and strangers alike was akin to spending an entire day naked in public. The crowd seemed to like it — and obviously I was happy about that — but my level of discomfort was like a wild fire. No positive reactions, no matter how enthusiastic, could’ve put it out.

That was the first time I saw the film after finishing it, and believe me, I have no intention of watching it ever again. It used to blow my mind when I heard about master filmmakers like Woody Allen and Jim Jarmusch never taking a peak at their past work, but now that I’ve done one of these things, I totally get it. Why look back when you know what you did wrong and what you did right? What more would a second viewing offer me? I suppose if you put a gun to my head, I would have to conclude that I do not like it very much. But I have no regrets about making it. I tried to express myself as best I could and that’s all that matters. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if this is a worthwhile piece of art. At some point I’ll direct another film. Maybe it will be better, maybe it will be worse, maybe it will be just as good or bad depending on your point-of-view. Who knows? The future, after all, is unwritten.

So without further ado, here is Top Model.

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