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Slow Cooking

As a counterpoint to Miriam’s post on folks in a hurry, I had lunch today with an old friend whose years-in the-making project—a documentary, and not a book—is both instructive and inspiring. More than ten years ago, Theresa Loong decided that she wanted to put together a film about her father’s experience as a POW in a Japanese prison camp in World War II. Despite a full time job, a subject disinclined to talk about his war years, and no formal background in film, she set out to teach herself the fundamentals of documentary making, slowly gathering material, borrowing equipment, applying for grants, shooting footage, hiring editors, and most recently, launching a successful campaign on the fundraising site Kickstarter (a resource that did not exist when she began her project).  Along the way, there were stops and starts, numerous frustrations and felicitous discoveries: two years ago her father suddenly produced a secret diary he’d kept in prison and saved for fifty years.  Her documentary, Every Day a Holiday is now slated to run on PBS at some point in the not too distant future.

I wonder if any of you are working on projects that are, as an editor friend of mine likes to say, “best slow-cooked?”

2 Responses to Slow Cooking

  1. Emily says:

    Yes, several projects — some in gestation. Mostly because I made a living writing academic reports, government reports of field work in archeology, journalistic articles about Texas history and natural history — and my fiction projects were not top of mind. Now in retirement, I’m pushing forward but cautiously because fiction is not my strength. And because the world of fiction publishing is so unknown to me…that’s why I subscribe to these blogs…getting up to speed as it were. And in the meantime, I act on something I know about — interviewing people and wrting up their stories of animal rescue.

  2. TryThis Again says:

    Congratulations to Theresa Loong. I admire anyone who starts out “not knowing what they’re doing,” but pushes through it all, to create something uniquely theirs – as well as creating a space in which someone else can take a step forward on their own life journey – i.e., her father being able to reveal his secret diary.

    And then to top it off, airing on PBS! Bravo!

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