Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Risk & the results

Which would you rather have; warm weather and snow or extreme cold and sunshine?

56% of Winnipegers voted for warm and 43% voted for cold. I should point out that warm referred to maybe -5.

I continue my long journey to fund Travel Day literally as I travel from Los Angeles to Calgary and now to Winnipeg, known for a major downtown intersection  of two streets,  Portage and Main, the stuff of legends. In the 30's and 40's and possibly even later, the policemen wore buffalo coats to ward off the bone-chilling temperatures, often around 30 below.

I travel in my dad's last car, a Mercury Sable, sister to the Taurus. And as I drive the long ribbons of highway that cross the great Canadian prairies, something curious comes to mind.


You see, the Sable is 14 years old and while that's not much in California, it is hell on a car in Manitoba. Between the salt they pour on the streets to melt ice and the Arctic temperatures, a car gets old quick. In fact, the weather is hell on everything.

I've learned the Sable has it's share of wounds, repairs and aging metal. It has several eccentricities including: 
  • The engine light comes on now and then and you ignore it.
  • Sometimes it won't start, you have to jiggle the key just right.
  • It has lost it's ABS brake ability.
  • The speed control works most of the time. Sometimes it doesn't.
  • It's exhaust system is near end of days.
  • Sometimes the door locks won't lock.
  • The gas cap and cover has disappeared so I bought a bright red plastic one to replace it.
  • The radio scans on it's own, and you can't really pick a radio station.

But the tires are good and the heater works. Which brings me back to risk.

Some friends tell me I'm crazy to take a chance driving the Sable across 833 miles of frozen prairie where sometimes, you don't see another car for 30 minutes or more. At night,  with few small towns. My brother's newspaper co-workers considered a pool to see how far I got before the car broke down. I called in every 150 miles and made it without any problems.

I've always taken chances and risks.  Skiing, mountain climbing, working alone in grizzly country and many others. Some worked out, most didn't. But I would do each of them again if given the chance.

And that includes making movies.

Is that something you need to make movies?  Probably not, but it helps. Because sometimes you just don't know what can happen unless you try, regardless of the risk. And producing is about trying.

And risk. You risk your time, you risk your money, your relationships, your credibility and you risk your reputation every time out. And when you need it most, there's likely to be nobody to help you, mostly because they think you were crazy to do it in the first place.

What happens if I don't find the money?

Some people will care, Shirley,  some friends, maybe a few others. And of course, there's the ones that secretly are happy you didn't succeed. 

But you continue to take that risk. 

Because sometimes it works out right.

Even if your friends tell you you're crazy.

After all, you're putting everything on the line to make a movie, of all things. Not a cure for cancer, not even a faster chip for your computer or a new smartphone design.

Just a movie.

But then, someone once said that all we really need are farmers to feed our stomachs and poets to feed our dreams.

1 comment:

  1. That last quote is spot on, Jim; that's all we need. Poets stretch to any kind of literary story telling person (so I suppose that includes us) and farmer's stretch to anybody who provides food for us which makes lawyers and doctors sick when they hear it; but f---- the lawyers and doctors.
    Keep safe!!