My last film, 1000, was a new experience for me in several ways. It was the first time I had ever worked with a collaborator, the message was targeted to a younger audience, and we decided to keep it short, one minute for every hour in a hypothetical day. I’m very happy with the way the film turned out; it seems to have universal qualities that speak to people in a variety of circumstances.

Now I’m working on an hour-long documentary for WQLN about visual artists in our area. I started thinking about it right after I finished The Trouble With Poets in 2015 and applied to Erie Arts and Culture for a grant to pay for it. The funding came through, but before I could put it to much use, I went into the hospital for my first of three hospitalizations.

So, here I am two years later, getting this project back up to speed in time to meet a June 30 deadline for rough cut and final paperwork. I’m making progress, getting some great interviews and incredibly beautiful supporting footage. It’s a lot different from the shooting of 1000, where my partner Bigg Wash was always along, this is just me with my minimal gear.

In terms of my usual way of making a film, though, the visual arts documentary is a complete departure. I don’t even have a title yet (I’ve always started with a title) and I don’t have a very specific idea what form the narrative will take.

I’m listening back to the interviews, there is a lot of great material but no obvious narrative thread. I hired a gifted local musician to create an original score, but he can’t start to work until I whip this documentary into shape. I guess I have to accept that each film has its own unique process, and that this one will come to life on the editing floor.

Or not. There is always that risk. But to me, that’s what makes it fun and challenging.