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Water Time. What's it about?

Hi folks,

Over the years since I started this 'newsletter' (it's now been ten!) the subscribership rose to more than 10,000 then fell slowly but steadily as I either didn't keep current or alienated some folks with my views on human nature and world events. This is okay, as I have a sort of triage attitude about communication:

Some (small) percentage of people are already 'awake' in the way I mean it. I love these folks but they are of little 'practical' interest to me since my work will not likely affect them in a major way.

Some percentage of people will never change their views on anything of importance, no matter the new information they are exposed to. Unfortunately, this is the large majority.

The rest are those who really matter to me, in the practical sense: those who are not yet 'awake' but only because they have not been exposed to the new information of which I speak. (I use scare quotes with 'awake' because I don't mean to sound uppity.)

My point being that those who have unsubscribed (and who may unsubscribe after reading this) were (are) useless to me anyhow. A waste of the one cent it costs me to send this to each subscriber. (That I am likewise useless to them is a given.)

But why bring this up now? Because it's about time I did, and because I want to let you know a bit more about Water Time, so you don't feel mislead should you spend (more) time and/or money on it.

Water Time is a memoir. As such, and for better or worse, it is 'about' me. I do not 'do' memoirs because I think a lot of myself. In a sense, quite the contrary. (If you've read CYGAWA you know what I mean.) I've simply found that, for now, the memoir the best way to tell a story. (For this reason I hope Water Time is my last memoir: for a story to work, bad things have to happen to the main character. That's just the way it is with stories. I'm fucking tired of that, you know?)

Okay, but what's this film 'about'? Bear with me.

As most of you already know, I've posted two 'trailers' from the film on my website, banditobooks.com. (Technically, neither are trailers, in the strict sense.) I've asked for financial help in finishing the film (more on this in a minute). For 100 bucks you get some stuff, including a copy of my last memoir. I do this, offer the book, because, in subtext (what is really going on) CYGAWA and Water Time attempt to examine the same issue: Why the world is so fucked up.

But hold on. Why the world is so fucked up is a helluva big subject. In fact, is it not the biggest one can imagine? I mean who am I to claim insight here?

Although I wasted a lot of time/energy as a Hollywood screenwriter, I did learn one lesson that has served me well: To tell a big story you have to tell a small one.

This is how I get myself off the hook of pretension, of claiming that I possess some sort of profound wisdom. I'm just telling my small little story. Make whatever connections -- with your life, and with life in general -- as you will. (Right: subtext.)

As with In Search of Captain Zero, in Water Time a road journey morphs into a reflection on my past, and, in the film, of all our pasts, almost literally via the view out my windshield as I head south in search of new waves to ride, my canine sidekick Honey as sole companion. If I had to describe the film in one sentence it would be thus.

As with Zero I reflect upon a friendship, now with my old childhood best friend Donnie, with whom I had originally planned to 'go on the road and become surfers.' ('Christopher' would come later.)

But life had other plans. I went on the road and became a surfer; Donnie went to Vietnam and died there.

Over the years, and having examined un-rewritten history, I have come to see Donnie's death as a murder.

In Water Time – and as with Zero and as with my Max Dalton investigation in CYGAWA – my attempt to solve this murder leads me to larger issues. And as with my previous two memoirs, looking too far beneath the surface of events leads me to self-examination, and with that, the fear that the problem might be with me, and not the rest of the world. As has been said publicly, maybe I'm 'crazy.'

So aside from a travelogue and a search for surf and a road film and a buddy film and a memoir and a murder investigation (wrapped in a history lesson), Water Time attempts to examine and possibly to define the concept of sanity in current times.

An ambitious mix, not an easy one. (One of my goals is to present surfing in a visual way never seen before, and, more importantly, in a context never seen before. I think I've succeeded in this so far. I have a ways to go, in Part Two, however.)

So far so good, at least in terms of reactions to Part One. About half the people who have so far seen it have emailed me their critiques. I'm encouraged, and believe me, after spending three years making a film that examines recent history and my own sanity, I need some of that.

Here's what some of you wrote, and indulge me; this stuff means a lot to me.

'…amazing footage and content, my only wish is that the second part of water time offers a solution to sanity, you constantly test my thoughts on what the hell is really going on with life, so thanks a lot.'
Gray W

'It's a sensory treat, with the images, effects, music and dialogue. The production quality is absolutely great.'
Larry F

'...just treat it like the masterpiece it is and keep painting. you're a giftedartist. if you get to starving, i'll share my baloney sandwich with you.'
'Polvo'

'DISTURBINGLY EPIC'
Mike F

'I was both delighted and horrified by what I saw. I can't really explain that any further.'
Troy M

'After both viewings I yearned to see more…. a high caliber polish and consistency of production… the film captures the beauty and lighting that is a hallmark of your photography.'
Jeremy M

'Awesome and possibly ground breaking work.'
Jeff

'(the mix of ) Orwell, doublethink and chris matthews is brilliant.'
Bob M
Right: I'm trying to drum up more money via piquing your curiosity (with cherry-picked blurbs). Yes and no. I've spent most of my book-to-movie deal money (the Cusack and Penn rights sales) and need an infusion to properly finish post-production. That's true. But more than that, after the 'obsession and pain' of the past three years (hey, I almost died) I need to know that you are 'out there' and interested.

I also need your perspective. Mine's shot! I have zero idea of how a first time viewer will react to what I'm doing. I need your help to keep me from straying into self-indulgence.

The reactions I've gotten – the above and others – included some very thoughtful and valuable observations on what works and what doesn't and why. Enlightening stuff!

The final cut of Water Time will be better due to the input I've received. Let me tell you: Help improve my work and I'll love you forever.

To those of you who have seen Part One and haven't written me and likewise to those who may see it before the film is done (final cut): If you don't like what I'm doing, if you think I'm living in a dream world (and the above folks too), please straighten me out. Best I get the drift now!

If you haven't see the two trailers and/or want to help me out, go to banditobooks.com.

Allan

Some anonymous prince (or princess) out there sent me a wonderful book: A coffee table size reproduction of George Orwell's original manuscript and notes for 1984. All I can say is Gracias and Wow!

 


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