As I mentioned in my last letter, I am now in Amsterdam on a three-month fellowship to develop my fiction film directing skills at the BINGER LAB for my new film. The last time I directed fiction was during my one glorious year at NYU Film School in 1980 where I made two fiction shorts, before dropping out to make documentaries (which in itself should tell you something). The main thing I learned from those two shorts is that I had absolutely no idea how to direct actors or tell a story. The two films went into a bag, then into a box, then up in an attic, somewhere in a dark corner where I hope they will be hidden from humanity for the rest of my life. How long does it take 16 mm to rot? Truth be told, the acting was melodramatic and hysterical –things I specifically asked the poor actors to do.
Now thirty years later, I am willing to face my failure and have decided to go to a place where I can fail splendidly for three months till I figure things out and hopefully adjust, learn, grow, and build some muscles for fiction that I don’t have now. In the workshop I have been taking this week, acting and directing coach Judith Weston has been drilling into us that “permission to fail is the most powerful tool of all.” She says that only if you give an actor permission to fail, can they be “in the moment” enough to create something real on screen, a sentiment that I agree with. So in this spirit, I will be reporting back to you once in a while on my failures in the next months: so stay tuned.
While I am studying film directing by day, I am working in New York on MY REINCARNATION at night full steam ahead with my little staff and the help of the six-hour time difference. This week we were blessed by a gift from the sky, an anonymous donation of $10,000 that came unexpectedly over the internet. Thank you from my heart. We are closing in on the minimum goal of 50,000 to buy Studio Radio and Television time so that the American press can talk directing to one of the last living great Tibet-trained Buddhist Masters, film protagonist, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche.
Only $10,000 left to raise. Here are some ways you can help.
1. ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT AVAILABLE: This is the last week we can still add Associate Producer Credits to the USA Broadcast version, so if anyone would like to make a donation of $10,000 for an Associate Producer Credit on MY REINCARNATION, let us know immediately but no later than Thursday April 26th. Write me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandarava Painting Print by Tibetan Master and Artist, Dugu Choegyal Rinpoche.
Donation $500 – (shipping not included)
Life is full of blessings! I have been blessed to be able to make this film and be in the lives of two Masters for 20 years, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his son, Khyentse Yeshe. I have been blessed to have failed so many times until I managed to figure out how to succeed in making this complex spiritual film. I have learned a lot. I am so excited about the broadcast and seeing Chögyal Namkhai Norbu speak directly to the American Press!
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey!
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