Not Out of the Woods Yet
BY CYNDI GREENING, PHOENIX, ARIZONA - I took a much needed break from filmmaking and spent five amazing days recharging in northern California. I didn't even realize how much I needed the respite. The FilmZambia projects started in early February and hit a fever pitch in mid-May. By the time we left in August, I'd spent over seven months driving the projects. A month-long shoot, followed by two months of pressure-post nearly wrung the life out of me. As I said, I didn't actually realize it until after the trip was done.
On Friday, I spent the morning walking in the woods near Yosemite. The air was fresh and clean because it was drizzling (as I was warned it often does in November). The smell of pine was invigorating and I saved a giant pine cone. I found myself wishing I could have spent a week or two in the woods, working on a script or two. But, I needed to get into the city.
I spent Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco. I love the city and was so excited to be there. A few years ago, I stayed in the city for five weeks to watch a friend's house. I got to know and love San Francisco; I buzzed around the city in my little red car, working on my screenplays with Karen Copeland, my writing partner at that time. Sometimes, we'd go to Muir Woods for inspiration, sometimes, to Mill Valley or even to Stinson Beach. It was extraordinary. It was easy to be creative; easy to be inspired; easy to be. No wonder it felt like I was going home when I crossed the bridge. The only bad thing about the time in the city is that it was much too short.
The most magical part of the trip was the chance to recapture a memory. I had recalled coming over the Golden Gate Bridge under a full moon. There was no fog; the sky was unusually clear. The reflection of the moon in the deep blue water made the Bay glitter like the Hope Diamond. I often told people about that crossing and hoped to see it again in my lifetime. On Saturday evening, I was rewarded with a full moon and clear skies. The moment was even better this time because I could savor it and share it. What a gift!
Too quickly, it was Monday and time for the drive home. Unlike a lot of people, I find driving very relaxing. With a good traveling companion, the twelve-hour trip from Phoenix to the Bay area seems relatively short. The hum of the tires on the road blends with my favorite music to create a cocoon of comfort for introspection and reflection. Conversation keeps me focused and alert. If the talk is about creative endeavors, road trips can be very productive. So, if you take a road trip with your Associate Producer, it is certain that projects will be the topic of conversation ... OFTEN ... and they were. So, refreshed, I was able to refocus on the FilmZambia projects and recommit to getting the films released.