Photo by Barbara Rick
Just coming back from a deep summer break.
We had been going full blast at Out of The Blue Films, Inc. since late last year on some spectacular documentary film projects, and are just now catching our breath.
Film festival invitations are starting to roll in for A BROADWAY LULLABY… and we are in the final stages this fall on our as yet untitled follow-up film with Deborah Santana … a return to the Daraja Academy in Kenya, and the exceptional girls that call that school home. Here’s a little taste.
True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one’s self; but the point is not only to get out – you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand. ~Henry James from the novel, Roderick Hudson
That quote appears in an article in the September issue of The Sun Magazine by Janna Malamud Smith. An essay adapted from her new book, An Absorbing Errand: How Artists and Craftsmen Make Their Way to Mastery.
So excited about all of our ‘absorbing errands’ – making these films and my creative writing, too. Deep gratitude for it all. Smith writes: “We become the work to which we dedicate ourselves. I know that now but had only begun to grasp it then… We cannot both give ourselves over to a process and preserve ourselves from the way our choice alters us. Yet, if we agree to the exchange, what we get in return is a way of living in the world, and of seeing: a perspective, a point of view, and with it a way of bearing our lives.”
If you are a writer, a filmmaker, an artist of any stripe, her words on the poetry and despair of creativity and the lifelong effort to master a craft provide a balm, a deep satisfaction, a means to refresh and move forward once again.
And like a fourth-grader with her new shoes, backpack, and pencil case (wait, do they even have pencil cases any more?) I feel the excitement and expanse of the fresh calendar pages of the sweet and challenging days ahead.
These personal photos have been sitting in a shoebox since 2001.
They were taken by me on flimsy disposable cameras purchased in a panic at the D’Agostino’s on University Place in Greenwich Village, NY as the twin towers burned and collapsed.
This is some of what I experienced in my own neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and Union Square at the moment of the disaster and the days following.
The images also reflect what I personally witnessed as a freelance journalist working for ABC News down at Ground Zero for two weeks after the attacks.
Hauntingly beautiful music here by Joseph Budenholzer and Backworld.
The song is called ‘Of Silver Sleep.’
Photos by Barbara Rick, (c) 2001. All rights reserved.
I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. — Thomas Jefferson
For the first two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I rode my rusting bicycle down to Ground Zero past armed National Guard troops to field produce for ABC News. Working down there from dawn until after dark every day distracted me from drowning in helplessness.
Freelance camera crews from around the country and I roamed the devastated area to gather critical information, record people’s stories, and try to comfort those who had lost everything. Allen Facemire, an experienced cameraman from Atlanta, took this picture of me at Ground Zero. We had covered Mayor Giuliani and his entourage that morning.
I lived at 12th Street & 4th Avenue at the time of the attacks. Heard the first plane split the sky overhead as it barreled south. Saw the crippled towers belching smoke. Watched hundreds of World Trade Center workers making the somber march north, covered in gray ash from the towers’ collapse. Many carried dusty briefcases.
The city was in a coma for days afterwards. So strange to not be able to get a cup of coffee, a newspaper, a stick of gum. And weird, in a good way, to connect with every stranger passing on a street: ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Isn’t this terrible?’ ‘What have you heard?’
I urge you to view an amazing six-part series about the rebirth of Ground Zero and the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero aired on Discovery last week to huge numbers. Steven Spielberg is an Executive Producer of this compelling project. I pitched in as a Consulting Producer on the 4th hour.
Rising runs non-stop on 9/11 on Science from 11am ET.
Hope you have a moment to reflect in your own way.
Words from a master filmmaker and lovely launching pad for a new blog.
How do you connect, collaborate, curate, contribute? Would love to hear from you.
I’m an experienced director, producer, writer learning something new each moment. President & founder of Out of The Blue Films, Inc., our documentary nonprofit committed to exceptional storytelling that explores, articulates and celebrates humanity.
Barbara Rick, Inc. specializes in promotional video services, exciting works-for-hire, writing services, content creation, and seminars.
Blog musings here on occasion about the art and craft of the creative process. Notes about those making films of note. Industry triumphs, trends.
Welcome, lovers of story… aficionados of the poetry of words and images dancing upon a screen. Welcome.