September 2, 2010
So I’ve been back in the States for a few weeks now. Project Durian is coming rapidly to a close. Though a bit of work still continues, the film is pretty much as complete as it’s going to get. The credits are materializing, the final work on the mix is right on schedule.
It’s been a weird but easy experience coming back. It’s almost as if I never left– like I’m picking up right where I left off. It’s interesting how so much of your experience is connected to the physical reality of space. My desk is the same, my room is the same, my family still stresses me out. When I was in the thick of work on Sintel I felt like the project would never end. But looking back on it… it doesn’t seem like such a long time.
It’s incredibly hard to look at the film now with any real perspective. I try to imagine what it’d be like if I was never involved in the production, and instead randomly stumbled across the finished movie online. Would I be impressed? Would I be disappointed? What would annoy me?
Hard to say. There are some films that really blow my mind. But in my imaginings, I don’t think this short would’ve totally rocked my world. This doesn’t mean I don’t feel great about how it’s come out. I’m extremely proud of the work I’ve done on the film, and I’m proud of everyone who’s worked on it. We struggled against a lot of things and won. But “Sintel” is surely not the best short animation ever made. From a technical and philosophical standpoint, however– as a movie made entirely with open source software, released creative commons to the world– it’s kinda groundbreaking. I’m honored to have been involved in probably the biggest Open Movie project the world has ever seen.*
I wouldn’t trade anything for the chance to be a part of this project. I appreciate every moment of it– even the painful parts. I made a lot of friends, worked with a lot of talented artists, learned a lot about myself and the process of directing. I’m sure my view of the film will shift a lot as I gain more distance from the film. It’s not even released yet– the jury’s still out. I look forward to attending the premiere in Utrecht in just a few weeks! And even more than that, I look forward to the moment it’s out in the world and I have thousands of YouTube comments to read.
* citation needed.