Just Out Here, Grindin’ and Eatin’ Biscuits

Tahir Jetter
Just Out Here, Grindin’ and Eatin’ Biscuits

“It’s all about withstanding attrition.”


Let me first begin by saying, “I have a job, now.”  “I HAVE A JOB, LIFE!”

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!  Take that!  ::kicks life in its smug face::  Smug fucker.

Sure, I have an avalanche of loans that threaten to overtake me at any moment and my credit is probably shot, but you know what?  I’m still only 25.  So there.

I’ve been working since December 10th and you know what?  After damn near 4 years of scrounging through the streets of New York city trying to cobble together various sources of income, having to deal with the horrible bosses at the Apple Store and the various personal training gyms I’ve worked at, there is nothing better than relishing in the reassuring comfort that comes with knowing that all I come in at 9 and leave at 5, Monday-Friday, each and every week.  Know what you can do with that kind of time?  Why, one can plan things, and dream, and predict and schedule, why, one can really live!  O, to live!

I got so damn excited about this new job I went and budgeted all of my income for an entire year.  That’s a beautiful damn thing, and I am extremely grateful.  I have a lot of projects planned, many which I intend to close out and several more than I plan to execute in various phases, over the course of this year.  There’s also a bunch of very exciting things happening to folks in my camp, this year (http://www.cinemastereo.org/) as well to a lot our affiliated peoples.

Things I’ve Been Working On:

Mad (“several,” in NYC parlance) Feature Film Ideas.  I’ve been working on one in particular as many as my comrades know, for like, 2 years, now.  I don’t know how good of a writer I am (I mean, I think I’m generally pretty good) but I feel like I’m good enough to make something feature-length that most people would probably dig quite a bit.

A Webseries – My comrades-in-arms don’t want me talking about this, and we’re definitely going to have to keep it on the hush, but…it’s an idea we developed about 2 years ago that we’re all thinking about executing, and honestly, if we can pull it off in the right way, I definitely have high hopes.  Planning to get started over the course of the next few weeks and I am MAD excited.

Still shipping my short “Frisk,” around to festivals around the country.  Some people dig it, other people don’t, but I’m proud that I did it and tried something a bit more ambitious than anything I’d ever attempted before.

Where I’m At (Full of asides and what not, but you’ve already come this far):

Been trying to raise money for the feature for several months, now, but in this economic climate, it is TOUGH.  I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and a lot of people really dig the concept, but trying to raise the kind of money that I need for this piece, (which, actually isn’t very much at all for an independent feature) has been a real challenge.  I don’t want to shelve it and I’m waiting to hear back from some grant applications, but honestly, I might have to rotate this one out for a second and see if I can get some traction with another piece.  But with that said, I am in the process of writing two other pieces (I’m honestly trying to write a new one every few months, as much as I can tolerate doing so and not lose my mind.)  It’s funny, ’cause most of my friends and colleagues have this attitude where the mantra seems to be, “well, yes, you’ve written it, but is it good?  Is it good?”  And for me, I’ve got to say, nothing is EVER good when you first draft it.  Even Hemingway was reputed to say, “the first draft of anything is shit.”  But one can’t ever get to BE good unless they give themselves a shot at first being bad.  Fortunately, when you haven’t shot anything yet, you have all the time in the world to revise, so if you have a good idea, why not get that BAD DRAFT out of the way, so that you can get cracking on how to make the others better?  I’m seeing a lot of these films that are coming out in theaters these days, and I gotta say, I honestly think a lot of us (in fact a lot of people) could really have a shot in this current market.  (Connections, money, drive, etc. are another story) but the bar is LOW.  (Do I aspire to make anything of poor quality?  No.  But I do aspire to MAKE something.)

Speaking of which, Woody Allen, Spike, Soderbergh, Scorsese, Oliver Stone, etc. etc. etc. there all so many prolific filmmakers who have made like 20+ movies and either write the majority of their own stuff or exercise a STRONG hand in the formation of whatever material they plan to work with.  Every once in a while, you’re going to have a dud.  (Obviously you’d never intend to make a dud and would go into development with the desire to make each film as AWESOME as possible, but no one can deny the talents of those I’ve listed above, who have all, at one point or another, made at least one not-so-great movie.)  But still, even in considering their worst, right, no one sensible would be inclined to begrudge these folks the occasionally capricious impulse to stretch their creative limbs in some experimental fashion or, after observing the worst of their oeuvres (one of those words I’ve read but never pronounced) declare that they lack talent, vision, or general awesomeness.  So yeah.  For the sake of being lofty, I think proliferation should be the goal, regardless.  But that’s just me.

Anyway–I’m out ‘chere writing these scripts (looking to complete at least one-two/year, if possible) trying to see if I can squirm my way through the NYC scene and maybe sell a few (ha), direct one of my own (would be cool), maybe shoot some music videos, who knows.  Anything that will give me more of an opportunity to direct, make some money and keep it moving.  I’d really like to get this one feature (All The Wrong Places) off the ground in the next 12-18 months and I plan to keep hustling, but if it doesn’t happen, I’ll rotate something else into the queue.

But in the meantime, I’mma be going to the gym and eating quinoa  (trying to get back here), pushing this short “Frisk,” and trying to keep these projects moving.  Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.  So fuck it.

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