Stay the Same


One month to go!
21 May 2012, 12:33 pm
Filed under: ALL, Diary entries

Today I have been filming at exactly the same time, in exactly the same place every day for 11 months. I now only have 31 days left to go.

I can’t quite believe that filming is coming to an end this soon. The closer I get to finishing filming the more I have been questioning both the film and why I have put myself through this. It is such an odd thing to have done and has had a profound impact on me. I can’t help think of all the films I could have made why this one? I guess this is the nature of the creativity. You are not completely, if at all, in control over it.

As well as being about time and our relatioship to the seasons this project is also an expression of a tension between a desire for certainty and the need to let things flow.  It is  about trying to control life and time somehow. The process of making this film has controlled my life in a way that no other job, film, relationship or event in my life ever has. T In some ways this has been incredibly liberating. It is sometimes hard not knowing what you are going to be doing next and where the money will come from. There isn’t an artist or filmmaker I know who doesn’t have fantasies about having a proper 9 to 5 job and the stability it would bring. This film has at least given me the 9 every day if not the 5.

Ever since I moved to Knoydart  six years ago I have questioned my decision to come here. I absolutely love it here but I have always struggled with missing the things I left behind friends, family, cinemas, art galleries, the film industry and the anonomity that comes with living in a city.  Sometimes the struggle between these two places and the two sets of the people in them that I love has been almost unbearable.

When I first decided to make this film I thought maybe as a by product it would help me decide where I wanted to be. But it is obvious now that if you impose any kind of rule on yourself for long enough of course you are going to want to break it. Right now I can’t wait to go and see my friends and family in London, to sit on a train and look out of the window and to see new places. But now the weather is good and it is beautiful here it has occured to me that not leaving the Highlands for so long might  have made my bond with the place even stronger.

What I have learnt is that the pursuit of control is an entirely human, but not entirely healthy impulse. You can’t force life either to move forward or to stand still.  All you can do is accept that time keeps going, that we keep getting older and, yes, closer to our deaths.  But this might not be such a bad thing because it is all about the gentle accumulation of moments that you pick up along the way.

Here is a year in the life of my wooden platform . . . .

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2 Comments so far
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Hello Sam, my name is Adam and I practice the Chinese Art of Chi Kung which has many variations, the one I have been perusing for 20 years is that of Zhan Zhuang (Standing like a tree/pole.)
The main core of this is discovering how to stand in what appears to the same position, ideally every day. The process of returning to what is familiar and yet at the same time is different every day/time I practice has been a wonderful process of self-discovery.
The conditions both internal and external create a different space every time, both internally and as a result externally; my feelings are that you are capturing this within your film. I wish you continued pleasure in your standing and look forwards to seeing the film when it is ready.

Best regards Adam

Comment by Adam Hellinger

Thank you Adam! Really interesting to hear about Zhan Zhuang.

Comment by samfirthknoydart




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