Friday, January 2, 2015


[The following was written last spring.]

I can remember long-ago Friday nights
when people I knew at the American Film Institute
were either watching screenings of old movies
at the theater on the top of the hill
or getting the jump on their first-year video projects
by doing some surreptitious shooting
on the fire lane above the theater
five days to capture on tape
then to the editing room
from there to morning class
Antonio Vellani would screen
the finished product and ask the class
"Do you have any comments on the piece?"
Mr. Vellani again asked for comments
and the students (called fellows)
would gradually speak their minds
>Cut to a quarter-century later
where the AFI students
active in the Industry
display their completed project
and the comments emerge from
legitimate critics (an endangered species),
fanboy websites
and gossip columnists
tweeting, blogging, snarking
without the momentary pause
of film/video students
organizing their thoughts
well aware
of all the push-boulder-uphill work
and what went wrong--and right--
in the preparation
of the cinematic meal.

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