Following a chaotic production collapse like the one that ended our previous run on Cowboys & Engines, you gain a lot of clarity… well, I do, at any rate. As we’ve all been busting our asses to put the shoot back together, I realized — or maybe, remembered — how important this project is to me. I can’t wait to start editing it. I can’t wait for it to be finished. The first time the public at large will see any portion of the film is when the trailer screens at ComicCon, and last night, I dreamed about that happening.

In my dream, they loved it. And so did I. That’s a very good sign. If my subconscious has no doubts about the project, it makes it easier for me.

The problem is that the re-tool has given me time to start feeling the weight of this thing I’m carrying on my back. It matters to me, in a way nothing has in years, and that stresses me out. Normally, I can shoulder pretty much any burden you care to heap on me, and slog forward apace. In the case of C&E, it’s a heavy, fragile package I have to deliver intact, and in mint condition, and that unique situation is changing the way I carry it.

Unfortunately, I can’t allow that to happen. Directing a film is like playing blackjack; you can’t do it carefully. You can’t win if you’re afraid of losing. You have to play the game joyfully, and with a sense of daring and abandon. Playing it safe in blackjack means you lose, and playing it safe in filmmaking nets you a stale end product.

So (to mix my gambling metaphors) I’m going to spend the next three days forgetting what’s on the line, enjoy the hell out of working with Richard, Libby, Walter, Kaila & Mark, revel in my excellent crew, double down and let it ride. And I’m going to make every effort not to count my winnings until July, when people get their first taste and tell me if we won.

Whatcha think?

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It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. — Voltaire