Beyond Grimm: The Long Dark

Princess Dancer Ballroom Location

By the time this gets posted, I will be in the throes of shooting my little video. But right now, as I write this, it’s five days before that. Right now I’m in the long, dark teatime of my soul. What will get me through the next five dark days is that I’m getting very close to finally seeing the Princess Dancers dancing.

Up until last week this process has been fun and dreams. The producer, the director, the choreographers, all of us have been stringing ourselves along on the “wouldn’t it be great…”, “what if…”, and “I see it like…” reveries. The dancers laconically watched the videos, laughed when they moved the left arm when everyone else moved the right. The director ordered a few lights for testing. The producer took a vacation. Even I didn’t worry too much.

But this past weekend we took stock and found our progress lacking. The chairs don’t work for the dancers, we need something else. We don’t have enough dancers, we’ll have to cast the net wider and pay for gas money. The location doesn’t have workable facilities: do we have to choose a new location or rent equipment? Do we have time to make arrangements for either? The cheap solutions we could have found two weeks ago are no longer available. Things are getting expensive. We are making decisions, changing direction, downsizing.

Artistic ideas I came up with long ago are getting nixed right and left. I knew my vision would get stomped all over due to the limits of physical reality, time, and money, but watching the carnage is painful.

Today I accept the fate of this little picture with grim determination. I will get through the week, continue asking for favors, paint the set, and run around town for props. I will keep a smile on my face knowing this is not exactly what I wanted.

It’s called compromise. Or maybe complete folding. Hard to tell the difference when you’re in the long dark.

At any rate, one thing sustains me and that’s the fact that for 14 hours this coming Saturday and Sunday I’ll finally get to see some aspects of my story being filmed by a professional team. Camera people, dancers, director, producer: everyone will be of a quality I don’t usually get in my DIY world. Maybe I’ll be disappointed. Maybe the experience will be fraught with more bullshit than I usually experience. Whatever happens I will gain a goodly amount of experience and knowledge. I’ve already learned a lot. Knowledge, as everyone knows, comes at a price. In this case about a grand.

I don’t feel bad, imagine what a semester at NYU film school would have cost me.

Quiet on the set,

Sue Lange

Get your copy of Princess Dancer in the Book View Cafe anthology, BEYOND GRIMM. These are not your grandmother’s fairy tales.

Read the entire saga of Beyond Grimm Goes to the Movies from the beginning.




Beyond Grimm: The Long Dark — 2 Comments

  1. Bonne fortune with the Dancing Princesses. The most striking thing I ever heard Sydney Pollack say among the many striking things he said that summer at the Sundance Institute, was that the director making a film was a general at war.

    Love, C.

  2. Speaking as one of the editors of the anthology, I am thrilled to watch this adventure unfold. I have no skills whatsoever in movie/video-making and am in a bit of awe about the process.

    Staying tuned….