Thursday, November 3, 2011

THAT DARN BEAR! (my CMS-fixated short film)

As I mentioned a few entries ago, my obsession with Charles Martin Smith has extended beyond writing this blog. Back in the fall of 2007, I kickstarted my revived interest in this particular actor when I rented a DVD of "Never Cry Wolf" (1983). Shortly after, I felt inspired to create what I suppose would be considered a fanvid. Initially it started out pretty simple, but eventually became something more elaborate and personal. I added written text on the screen as a sort of confessional, focusing mostly on my experience as a teenager being exposed to CMS for the first time. Recontextualizing the scenes from the movie, I was able to explore my attraction to him as well as ponder the early formation of aspects of my sexual identity. I finished a rough version of it in December 2007 and called it: "That Darn Bear!"

I recut it in the summer of 2008, and revised it again in the spring of 2010.  I showed it to various friends over the years, getting mostly positive feedback. I never posted it online for various reasons. Mostly, I wasn't concerned with sharing it with anyone. I was happy to keep it to myself for my personal viewing pleasure. I never tired of watching it.

I'm fortunate to work with Joshua Grannell, whose films & performances I have admired since I first moved to San Francisco 7 years ago.  A few months ago, I loaned him a copy of "That Darn Bear!", not expecting much back beyond some polite feedback. I was surprised when he told me he really liked it and thought I brought something interesting to the reworked footage. Gosh! There was feedback too, of course, as I was told I could trim the film a bit (it was about 10 minutes 15 seconds, which I agreed was too long). I reworked the film again, rewriting the onscreen text and bringing the running time down to 7 minutes, and submitted it to the SF Underground Film Fest that he co-hosts with Sam Sharkey. I was pleasantly shocked when I saw that "That Darn Bear!" was on the list of films being presented!

It's pretty awesome that Joshua and Sam wanted to include it in their program. Even more amazing to me is that bits of "That Darn Bear!" are featured prominently in the film fest preview that was just posted the other day! Wow! I feel both excited and nervous about screening it publicly. I'm not sure how the audience is going to respond. I guess I will find out on November 19th.

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