Friday, December 28, 2007
The Opening Scene
Despite the fact that the first person objective pronoun, "me," in the title of our film, I'm not terribly comfortable on camera.
This was made abundantly apparent to me again just now as Chris and shot the opening scene of the doc.
I've spent more than a few dozen mornings listening to David Byrne's "Glass, Concrete & Stone" while walking to the office or -- more often still -- heading to the airport for business. The song sounds like 5 a.m. in a sterile terminal waiting on a flight feels: spaced-out, disconnected, and kinda' depressing. The lyrics reinforce this urban disconnect.
I'm wakin' at the crack of dawn
To send a little money home
From here to the moon
Is risin' like a discotheque
And now my bags are down and packed for traveling
Lookin' at happiness
Keepin' my flavor fresh
Nobody knows I guess
How far I'll go, I know
So, as I've mentioned, I've asked my colleague, Rich Sancho, to record an instrumental version that I'm going to sing over. That song, partnered images from my walk to work -- the jagged skyline, dirty streets, and clumps of pedestrians -- and intercut with credit slates (yunno, "Wagner Bros. Films Present") will constitute the first two minutes or so of "Mister Rogers & Me."
The idea is to set the tone (slow, steady, visually metaphorical) while demonstrating the disparate nature of Nantucket and New York City, Mister Rogers and me, deep and simple and shallow and complex (though I don't think of myself as shallow and complex, in the film, I am a proxy for culture's predominant shallow and complex tendencies).
I have no idea whether we achieved any of the above in the three uncomfortable hours that just elapsed, but we tried. I stoically (and rather grumpily) walked down the street while Chris raced around me setting up shots. New Yorkers -- incapable of being flummoxed by anything, watched out of the corner of their eyes and wondered, "Do I know him?"
No, you don't.