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Date: Sun 01 Jun, 2003 at 12:37
Headline: Rites Of Passage
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"When I was a kid...these stories always start like that, don't they?"

-Fenchurch, So Long and Thanks For All The Fish

Greetings & Salutations!

For most of my life -- until I started this band, in fact, and had to learn to take the bull by the horns in a number of different ways -- I had a real problem with follow-through. Sometimes it was a question of commitment, sometimes of ability, but my childhood and adolescence are littered with projects that never came to fruition. Halloween costumes that were too elaborate to finish, movie scripts that were never filmed...my first band had three album covers designed before we ever learned to play a complete song, let alone write one. Things like that. There were some creative projects that my friends and I were able to see through to completion (still proud of some of them, just the thought of some others makes me shudder), but the biggest and best dreams we had never really got off the ground.

Yesterday, I saw a trailer for a shot-by-shot remake of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, made by a group of friends -- kids, aged 10-12 when they started out -- over several years in the mid-80's. It was done with antiquated home video equipment, with no budget to speak of. It was a labor of love, made in the days before the internet made fan films and fanfic easy to distribute. It was never really intended for public consumption. Yet in the past few years, bootleg copies have been leaking out, and based on what I've seen in the trailer and what I've read from people who have seen the full film, it's absolutely amazing. There's even an online petition circulating to have Steven Speilberg (who recently obtained a copy and was so impressed that he wrote the filmmakers a fan letter of his own) add clips from it as a special feature when the Indiana Jones DVDs are released later this year.

Raiders is one of my favorite things of all time -- not just one of my favorite films, but favorite things. It's burned into me chemically, the creative impact so huge as to be unchartable. The film made by these kids is exactly the sort of thing I had wanted to do when I was younger, but never managed to accomplish due to constraints of one kind or another. Just knowing that it's out there, that some kids my age had the vision and the perseverence....it just blows me away. Even if reports of the quality have been exagerrated, I think I'd actually be willing to sell vital organs to see it for myself.

If you're of the particular geeky disposition to be moved by something like this, here are links to the Trailer , and an article from Harry Knowles at Aint It Cool News, giving some additional backstory on the project. Enjoy!

And speaking once again of movies....after going back and forth on the idea for some time, I took my daughter to see Finding Nemo last week. She is two and a half years old, and there had been much discussion as to when exactly she would be ready for this sort of thing, but my wife and I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Since it was opening day on a children's film anyway, we thought there would likely be enough chaos already that she wouldn't be too disruptive. She had her restless moments, but for the most part was very well behaved, and absolutely loved the experience. The film itself it yet another in a more-or-less unbroken streak of home runs from Pixar. I know that after seeing Star Wars in a theater at the age of five, my world was never the same -- this probably wasn't so much of a quasi-religious experience for her, but I was happy that her first film in a theater could be one of such high quality. Can't wait to do it again. :-)

And what of the band, I hear you cry? Never fear, we've got more news on the way shortly.

Stay tuned...
Thom