Channeling the Martha Within (minus that whole megalomania and prison sentence thing)

Channeling the Martha Within (minus that whole megalomania and prison sentence thing)

Monday marks the 113th Boston Marathon, which got me thinking that making a film is like running a marathon. A marathon that involves carrying a shotput in one arm and throwing a javelin with the other while running hurdles every step of the way.

Whether these hurdles are creative, technical or financial, they can crush your epic celluloid career before you can say Camera d’Or. The important thing is to know that every filmmaker encounters hurdles. The other important thing is to figure out what gets you to clear those hurdles so that you can make it to the #%$@ finish line.

* * *

Like tens of thousands of other women who are part of the crafty grrrl movement, I have found that when the going gets tough, the tough get glue gunning. So much so that my family now refers to me as Brown Martha. I have a closet full of quilling paper, embroidery floss, Gocco gear, soap making molds and eight years worth of Ready Made Magazine to back up my credentials, so minus the martinet persona + insider trading that goes along with such a title, I’m sort of proud of this nickname.

As such, when I came across something called a case bound tunnel book at a local Paper Source, I knew I had found the newest jewel in my little empire.

Look mommy, it's a case bound tunnel book!

Look mommy, it's a case bound tunnel book!

Whee! This was my first attempt at a case bound tunnel book, which, in case you can’t tell, is the grown up version of a pop-up book. It took about four hours from start to finish and I made a number of errors along the way. I probably also have some nerve damage from gripping an Exacto knife for that long, but that’s a small sacrifice in the long quest for Empire. Regardless, four hours spent doing something creative and not related to my film helped me sit down and do other uncreative, film-related tasks (like transcribing and translating hours and hours of interviews). Which is why I thought that I would mention it here.

* * *

I realize that some Lazy McLazingtons skipped all of the calorie zapping, wrinkle eliminating, life transforming secrets in the first five paragraphs of this post, so here are the Cliff Notes:

  1. Like filmmaking, many crafty endeavors involve problem solving.
  2. And creative problem solving in on one project can bleed over into other projects.
  3. Besides which, a film can take years to make. In the meanwhile it’s helpful to have pursuits that offer more immediate, tangible, creative gratification.

* * *

If you share my penchant for decoupaging and glitter gluing your way out of your creative funks, you might also enjoy 43 Folders, a blog dedicated to “improving the quality of your career and life by managing your attention in a way that allows you to work your ass off on the creative projects that matter most to you.” Check it out then get back to work!


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