Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[movies] They're gonna make a big star out of me (or maybe us)

As previously noted, Waterloo Productions is making a feature-length documentary about me, [info]the_child and the rest of our family on our journey through cancer, life and books. The working title is The Family Lake, and the project is slated for a release in late 2013.

Donnie Reynolds, writer, friend and the man behind Waterloo Productions, came up for JayCon XII. He arrived a day early and stayed for a week, commencing principal photography on the project. Donnie filmed at JayCon and at some of the related events, then in days following, he sat down with me and everyone in my extended family here in Portland for individual or small group interviews. This included [info]the_child, Mother of the Child, [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister), the Niece, my dad and (step)mom, and [info]tillyjane (a/k/a my mom). He was also present for [info]tillyjane's trip to the Emergency Room, as well as few other less dramatic life events such as my daughter's eighth grade graduation.

It was the interviews that were the toughest and most affecting. For me and [info]the_child especially so, I believe. Donnie set up a little studio in the basement of Nuevo Rancho Lake, which he called "the witness chair".

Witness Chair (c) 2012 Donnie Reynolds and Waterloo Productions

We were each interviewed separately over the course of last week. (This is a documentary, after all, so I do not have review, approval or any control.) He went pretty deep with me, and as I understand things, he went pretty deep with my family members as well. Everyone but me was a little nervous up front, but thoughtful and excited after their interviews.

For my own part, this project is having two significant effects on me thus far. One, it is focusing me on my own narrative. That drives emotional and cognitive reflection for me. Two, Donnie is documenting me and my life in exhaustive detail — he estimates approximately 1,000 hours of footage will be shot to edit down to a roughly 105 minute final cut. This provides a record of me, and of the family, that [info]the_child will always have access to when this disease finally claims my life.

That is an unsurpassed gift he is giving all of us.

It's very strange, being observed so closely. Strange and rewarding.

More about this as my thoughts develop further.

Photo © 2012 Donnie Reynolds and Waterloo Productions. All rights reserved, reproduced with permission.
Tags: cancer, child, conventions, documentary, family, friends, health, jaycon, movies, personal

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