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Marc Gets a Letter in the Mail - Is it a Grant?
A thin letter arrived in the mail. It was from a film funding agency that I had applied to some months ago. I weighed the letter in my hand. It was light. Too light for it to be a successful grant. I sighed and left it on the kitchen counter.
After dinner, I played Scrabble with my friends. I didn't want to open the letter in front of them and then be in a grumpy mood. Regardless, I lost two games of Scrabble. I was in a foul mood nevertheless.
Later in the evening, after everyone had left, I poked at the letter on the counter. Now it was too late to open it as I didn't want to go to bed depressed. However, I laid in bed thinking about the letter and how I would never get any money to make this film. I went to sleep with this thought. I dreamt of trying to shoot a film with a camera that wouldn't record and me not wearing any pants. I have a lot of dreams where I'm not wearing any pants. Does anyone know what this means?
I awoke to a dull, overcast morning and felt more pessimistic than usual. I went down to the kitchen and prodded the letter with a spoon. I ate breakfast and read the comics. I left the letter unopened.
Much later, after getting some work done, I came upstairs for lunch. I sneered at The Letter. It had now become familiar... and an adversary. The Letter had become a symbol of my defeat, not only as a filmmaker but as a person. No one wanted to give me money for my film. No one believed in my idea and hence they didn't believe in me. I started to walk back down to my studio and stopped. The Fuzzy Monster of Futility* inched one furry tentacle into my mind. Oh oh, it begins again....
An hour later I was still lying face down on the couch. I was comatose with depression. Suddenly, something sharp poked me in the back of the head. I whirled around and found myself staring directly at The Letter. I shrank back in terror and whimpered.
Holding The Letter was my girlfriend, a sour look on her face. She said in a low voice, "Would you just open the damn thing?!!!"
She dropped the letter on my chest. It felt like it weighed a thousand kilograms. I could scarce breath under it's enormous weight - my ribs cracking under the pressure. I knew I had to open The Letter before it crushed my soul.
With quaking hands I grasped The Letter and slowly peeled the envelope apart. I released a sheet of paper from the envelope's maw. My breathes were short and erratic. Through watery eyes I could just make out the print on the letter. My mind roared in pain as I tried to make sense of the writing. It was almost too much for me to bear. My consciousness started to slip when I read the word...... "congratulations".
I sat upright. My girlfriend's patience was just about exhausted (as is so often the case) when she asked,"Well?"
"I got it." I replied.
Soon I was abuzz with activity - calling people, ordering stuff, setting dates for meetings, making plans. I was optimistic and confident. It's funny how money has that effect on oneself.
Perhaps one of the best things about getting a grant is that you get a deadline. As stressful as they may be, deadlines give you a solid timeframe to work to. They also give you the knowledge that after the deadline has passed and your film is delivered, sweet relief awaits.
I now have a little bit of money to make this film happen. So someone did believe in my idea, and me, after all. Now all I have to do is finish my film. Oh yeah, finish the film. Wish me luck.
*Regards to Danielle Beurteaux for inventing the name "The Fuzzy Monster of Futility". My sister is a writer in NYC and has met this annoying creature all too many times.