Production Diary

Day 64: A Good Nap by

director of photography Thimios Bakatakis

director of photography Thimios Bakatakis

I just watched the first dailies, no sound, at the editing room, and I came away wanting very much to go to sleep. They aren’t what I imagined and I just want to go to sleep. We were on nights last night, so I got to sleep around 7am and then was awake by 11am, so I’m also tired, clearly. The day ahead seems long. Funny how quickly when you direct you can go from elation to depression. A grave desire to sleep. To turn on the A/C to get online and watch porn. To escape.

About to close my eyes, I realize that I can call my friend Oren [Moverman]. I think the big difference in my life now and when I was living the story in this movie is that I used to really not know how to reach out. I would stay for months, days, years in my own dark thoughts, my own depression. I called Oren, who picked up in Chicago, and within nearly minutes, I felt revived. He reminded me that it’s always this way, that the only thing worse than seeing the “first cut” is seeing dailies. He reminded me that movies get edited. The shots get timed. But mostly he reminded me that I felt this way the last time, and the time before, and so did he. When I got off the phone, I felt like I’d had a good nap.

I am intimidated by my masters, particularly Pialat. My once-boss Eric Bogosian told me nearly 20 years ago now that I need to stop watching Cassavetes. Today I think I need to stop watching Pialat. I need to just go towards my own movie. Embrace it. Tell it like I see it.

A few hours later. I feel elated again. The drop in confidence was followed by 20 minutes of soul-searching, if that’s possible. And a sense—like my friend Adam Baran told me—that I just have to make my own film, not someone else’s. For me, that translates to putting on the DVD of La Naissance de L’Amour by Phillipe Garrel. But that’s just the way I work. Watching movies, seeing images, sparks the images I see in my own head. It gives me vocabulary to work with.

Excited again to go to set, and I feel rested.

Ira Sachs

writer, director, blogger

Ira Sachs is a writer and director based in New York City. His films include Married Life (2007), The Delta (1997) and the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Forty Shades of Blue. His most recent film, Last Address, a short work honoring a group of NYC artists who died of AIDS, has been added to the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA and played at the 2011 Venice BIennale. Sachs teaches in the Graduate Film department at NYU and is a fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. He is also the founder and co-curator of Queer/Art/Film, a monthly series held at the IFC Center in New York, as well as the newly established Queer/Art/Mentorship, a program that pairs and supports mentorship between queer working artists in NYC.

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