American Muslim IX: The Mountain


So, I want to make my first feature length film…

Step one, as is always the case, was creating the script.  I caught parts of Clooney on the Actors Studio over the weekend, and I agree with his sentiment that you can take a good script and make a bad film out of it, but you can’t turn a bad script into a good movie.  So the first of many sacrifices I’ve been in the process of making has been slashing my social life down to the bone.  By the grace of the Humblebragging Gods, there’s always something to do in this town and somebody I haven’t hung out with in awhile (and that’s not even counting private affairs).   But as I look at the Mountain I’m trying to climb, I’ve become hyper focused again about the difference between spending half my day ‘just chilling’, and half my day writing and rewriting.

So what can I tell you about the story?  Well it’s part stand up style special, part documentary.  From a functional point of view that means the majority of the film can be shot in one day.  I have no dreams of being Louis C.K. or Chris Rock, but especially with this subject matter, using my sense of humor and comedic timing is the absolute way to go.  As I started to think about blueprints, the irony was not lost on me that in many ways I’m going down the path of the original Tyler Perry blueprint (film your stage shows and market the ish out of those bad boys to your core audience).  Not that I’m the type to complete dismiss anyone’s hustle, but I was reminded of one of my favorite lines of Malcolm’s from the Autobiography: ‘…anytime you find someone more successful than you are, especially when you’re both engaged in the same business – you know they’re doing something that you aren’t.’

My superhero alter ego aside, this is also a Mountain that I would be insane to even attempt to climb alone.  I know who I want to direct it, I know who I want for a crew, at the moment I’m satisfied with the list of people I want to interview for the documentary sections of the film, and have little doubt the brothers and sisters I already have a personal relationship with are going to be willing to help.  As I’ve started the early process of building my team, I’ve made sure to drop a little caveat for my non-Muslim friends, of whom I have many: I need your support to make this happen, and you know me well enough to know I’m not ‘seeking’ to burn any bridges.  But that said, the nature of the subject matter and my point of view will rattle somebody’s cages (if I’m doing my job right).  But just because I can say something, I don’t want any of my people to catch heat because they have to answer to some person or group that has no jurisdiction over me.  So I need your support, but if you have to be a ‘silent partner’ or you have to sit back of the theater so your face doesn’t show up on camera, trust, I take no offence.  I’ll be glad to know you have my back.

So the first brick has been laid.  Now, in no particular order, I have to drop at least 10 pounds, perfect a song, touch base with Film Independent, IFP, SAGIndie, research Wichita, get a ‘number’, and start writing the sci-fi story I came to this town to make in the first place.  That’s what I can think of off the top of my head anyway.  I’ve got a big Mountain to climb.

But as the young people say, I’m trending upwards…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.