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Balanced Progress

I've been making decent progress on the set, working on it as much as life will allow. Now that the fall semester has started, I've begun to play that balancing game again, trying to figure out how to make the creative teeter totter not feel so one sided. So far it's working. The decision to build the set in my basement has made this possible. I walk through it everyday to get to my office. The constant (encouraging or nagging I'm not sure, maybe both) visual reminder of the progress or lack there of is helpful. So far it's been a positive experience. There are still plenty of obstacles to work around, compromises to make but nothing that can't be overcome,

Each obstacle navigated, is a triumph, and compromises always have benefits and rewards. Yes, there are things that would make this easier, but this isn't about complaining or even making lists, this is about what I'm learning. It's about returning to lifelong goals. It's about holding myself accountable. It's about sharing the process I'm going through because sometimes sharing helps us learn more about ourselves and I can always use more insight.

I have to preface these next points because they could be construed as complaining, they aren't, merely pragmatic observations. One thing I already knew, but had painfully reinforced by this process. If at all possible tall ceilings are always better to have when building a set. This set isn't even eight feet tall. This is definitely one of those obstacle that needs to be creatively navigated. Case in point the main light wall can only be put in and taken out of its position one very specific way. I leaned this the hard way when I got it stuck at a 45 degree angle over my head. I was tempted to leave it but finally got it back into position.

When I was much younger, maybe even in high school, I read an interview with Ridley Scott about Alien. The only thing I recall from that article was that he talked about how the height of the sets' ceilings were ultimately dictated by budget constraints even though he told everyone that it was designed that way to help create a sense of claustrophobia. My budget probably would have allowed a slightly taller set if it wasn't for my 7'6" basement ceilings, but at least I haven't had to be constantly climbing on ladders. There's always another way of looking at things of course after this project I'll probably be be ready for some extra headroom.

The engineering of this set is made so much more challenging when everything is pushed all the way to the wall to squeak out every last inch of usable floor space. There is no accessible back side of the set, which is why I had to pull the light wall out mid build. This has required me to plan better and work on designs with a greater understanding of how to make it work vs simply making it look right, It's a good challenge.

I'm almost done with the main construction of the set. I've made good progress on the technical issues concerned with the wall of lights and have started to focus on some of the details including the angled transition between wall and ceiling which needs to be well designed as it will contain more detailed elements. I have some of the ceiling materials now and will be working on that the next few weeks. Then it's on to the fun part painting and finishing.

All of this under the watchful eye and motivation offered by Andrei Tarkovsky or maybe it's the eye of Sauron that motivates me.

1 Comment

Thanks for keeping the conversation honest and real, Phil. While I wish it wasn't a balancing act for you, I am comforted to not be alone in the juggling. The set is looking great! I was thinking about your comment about walking by it each day, no doubt multiple times. Seems like you're "percolating" those days. Problem-solving. Enhancing your vision. Keep posting when you can!

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