…we all have friends like this. When we’re in college, it’s most of our friends. As we mature, we still have them although they seem to decrease in number.
I call them unreformed grad students. They are people who delight in letting you know that they possess some knowledge about which EVERYONE else is mistaken. As soon as a fact becomes widely known, these are the people who must find out why it’s not true.
My old friend loves to tell you that "fortuitous" doesn’t mean fortunate or lucky. He’ll say it means "random." (If you examine a credible dictionary, you’ll learn that a tertiary meaning is "fortunate by happenstance." — Still lucky.)
If you mention the US Civil War and slavery in the same sentence, they’ll jump in immediately and tell you that the Civil War wasn’t a war over slavery.
If you express admiration of Shakespeare, they’ll leap at the opportunity to bring up the fact that we aren’t certain that The Bard actually penned the works to which we assign such genius.
But I’m not only talking about trivia here. Such people are compulsive in their desire to know the fallacy in that which everyone else believes to be the truth. I think it starts for people when they are about 12 and they begin to notice that they know something that their parents don’t. (For some this happens earlier, for some a bit later.) To know something that is undistinguished for our lifelong models of omnipotence is a dramatic moment, perhaps empowering, perhaps shocking.
Sometimes they go on to create websites or programs like "Myth Busters." Sometimes they go on to become contrarian op-ed journalists. And sometimes they grow up to be simply annoying to you and me.
I didn’t know that I have so much to say about these people, but apparently I do. But they are not what this article is actually about.
Oh yeah! Then what is this about Vincent?
…I appeared tonight on Andrew Willyoung’s award winning cable show “What’s up Wit’ That” to talk about the 48 Hour Film Project. I invited Jacob Rangel (Director of San Jose city winner, Raton) to join me on the show.
We had a great talk about the event, about the craft of making a 48 Hour Film, and about the history of the competition in San Jose.
The show is scheduled to air on Mar 3rd. It can be seen here: http://bit.ly/9KVxcd
I think we had a great time, and I’m told it looked like that from the wings (and the producer’s booth).
…it turns out that a former colleague (who shall remain nameless) maneuvered to omit me from an endeavor that we created together. I’m sure in his mind, I had little involvement with the project and it seemed perfectly reasonable to him that he should cut his own deal without including me.
I’m usually gracious about such things and often simply let the rogue player wander off on their own to do whatever they feel is right. In this case though, I couldn’t stomach the affront and I took action.
It was a simple matter of having a straight conversation with the festival co-founder and setting the record straight. The outcome is that the festival will engage me as the producer (one of the three) who will look out for the festival’s interests and who brings institutional memory about how the project went last year.
I know that sometimes people do this sort of thing in a competitive business, but it still strikes me as wrong (and self-destructive) to treat a partner and colleague as a competitor. At any rate, I’m glad that this player has come out in the open so that I can be sure it’s not a partner I’m dealing with, but someone committed to serving his own interests.
This is my first lesson for the year from the project. I anticipate that many more will follow.
…tonight I appeared as part of a panel about film festivals to represent the 48 Hour Film Project. A couple of great things came from it.
First, I got to meet a bunch of the faculty from De Anza college — which has the largest film program of any comparable community college in California. The students that come out of this program show up all over the map for me in my work producing independent films and festivals.
Second, I got to spend some green room time with Halfdan Hussey who is the Director and co-founder of Cinequest. The conversation led to some enlightenment about behind-the-scenes maneuvering that has taken place around the festival and particularly the "Inside Cinequest" series.
The evening was grand, they said that I was a great contribution to the panel, and we got some fun photos from the gig.
It was a good night.