Update August 1, 2009

Midnight Madness

Making a film becomes an obsession. I’ve seen it in others, and now (mea culpa) I’ve noticed that even our most sociable conversations quickly turn to the topic of “Sniff”. It is really all Barry and I are capable of discussing at any great length; our immersion is that great. And with dogs as our subject, every passing canine is inadvertently auditioning for us. When we’re driving to the grocery store, or taking a few minutes to walk around the block, there they are: dogs of all sorts, looking cute, or smart or “breedy” and inevitably we stop to talk to the owner and tell them about our film. (We used to ask for names and phone numbers in case we needed participants, so I suppose just talking about the film is an indication that we’re on the road to obsession-recovery.)

Still, I was a bit alarmed last night when I woke at 4 a.m., jet-lagged from a trip to Toronto, to discover our house guest Robert Gardner, thirsty in the middle of the night, sipping his self-serve ice-water out of a mixing bowl I’d left on the counter. A bowl! As a glassblower, I can assure you there is a plethora of perfectly functional drinking glasses in our kitchen. But here was Robert, ice cubes a-tinkling, swilling his water from a bowl! Perhaps we have a bit too much dog energy in our home?

Despite my concern, I took child-like pleasure in finding that all three of us were wide awake in the wee hours, and Barry and I crept back to our bedroom to whisper sweet film-things to each other until eventually we turned our backs on sleep and fired up the computers for another day.

When Robert re-emerged at 9:30 am, we ate breakfast (I was sure to serve coffee in cups and juice in glasses), and then sat down to watch the “locked” picture together. Robert is a talented script writer and we have valued his encouragement and insights as our script was taking shape. He had never seen the documentary sections, so we wanted to have his fresh eyes see the fully integrated film and make comments.

At the end of the viewing, mimicking newscasters of old, Robert laughed and quipped in his basso profundo voice: “In a world gone crazy, Barry and Kim have dared to make a film about dogs”, and we were off on a new creative tangent: writing a script for a much-needed trailer for “Sniff”. By mid-afternoon, we had Robert posing in front of a video camera, Fedora on tête, doing a Walter Cronkite voice-over for our suddenly blossoming trailer. Barry and I then each took a turn with the script (being sure to don the Fedora), and finally all three of us could be found crowded in front of the camera singing an improvised and shockingly tuneless madrigal version of “In a world gone crazy…”

Our particular world has certainly gone crazy. But it's fun!

Tomorrow we meet with one of our composers Jon Herbst to “spot” the film. I think we’ll keep the madrigal under wraps…


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