Look Around. The Artist and Their Surroundings.

[flickr id=”8052774726″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

I have just started the second phase of shooting my documentary. Production is ramping up. Now, I’m not just “the man with a camera,” (check it out, it’s a classic), I’m the director. As director, I chose to lead the crew to the secret location to film my subjects. Well…I didn’t actually lead them. I gave the directions to where we were supposed to meet. I arrived early to meet the subjects and greet the crew. That’s when I got the call.

[flickr id=”8053481482″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

It was my producer. She was chauffeuring the cinematographer to the set when she passed the exit. It wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t because she didn’t follow directions. It’s because she did. She used the new map on the popular phone I won’t mention. I asked if she upgraded. She did. Damn technology!

I realized she didn’t know where she was. She was not aware of her surroundings. She could not act freely. Her actions were now tainted with doubt. That’s important for an artist—understanding where you are and what you’re doing helps you put the pieces in place.

[flickr id=”8052741040″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

When I started the documentary, I went to bouts, read books, and watched other documentaries. That, my friend, is called, “research.” So, when I came face-to-face with my documentary subjects, I was able to get past the awe of the action and focus on what I wanted to see and what I wanted to do. That preparation made me aware of everything around me. That is something you can’t take for granted. So that being said, whether it’s your GPS device or a project you’re working on, stick to the basics, be aware of your surroundings, and do not upgrade to a substandard operating system.