Wednesday, May 25, 2005

WHY GET MARRIED? Let's talk.


May 24, 2005

I just found out that Why Get Married?, my first documentary, will be part of New Mexico Filmmakers Week at The Guild Theatre in downtown Albuquerque the last week of June. Yippee! Half of the doc was shot in Albuquerque so it is fun that more folks will get to see it, and maybe they'll recognize someone in it.

I have no idea of how it will be received or if it will take on a life of its' own. It is the weirdest process to "birth" a film. I guess it is different for every filmmaker. Laurence Z., the editor, and I worked tirelessly from mid-November to mid-January, in order to meet a Toronto Documentary Film Festival deadline in early 2005. And we completed it in time.

Sadly we didn't get accepted into the main festival but the documentary was part of a sidebar event called Doc Shop, along with 1,200 other productions, all listed in a catalogue for interested viewers to mosey through. I guess the title, Why Get Married? gets attention, so there has been some interest from distributors already. So we shall see where that leads.

I just want folks to see the documentary and get a chance to really consider all the various points of views and experiences presented. It is such a large question, so complicated, and each marriage or relationship or choice not to be married is as unique within it as the individuals themselves.

What I really like is that this question and quest seem ongoing and intriguing to most people. When I tell folks what I do and the name of this doc, it launches a whole discussion that I often don't need to do a thing to keep moving. EVERYONE has a great story that I could imagine making into a film. The tricky part is finding the money so I can just keep making various versions of Why Get Married?, illuminating varying points of view and life experiences.

May 25, 2005

I felt very blessed in producing this documentary. As I looked for some answers and clarity following my own divorce, I got the chance to sit down with couples, experts and singles to talk on a deeper level about a topic that intrigued me. Why get married if, as was my experience, it felt so alien? In this North American culture we are sent the message that marriage or being part of a couple equals happiness, yet for me that wasn't my experience. The growing divorce rate can't be reflecting happy couples can it? So do we have the illusion it will make us happy yet that has been a myth all along?

I liked what couples counselor Mark Ganas said in the documentary. He didn't believe marriage was necessary for fulfillment. He believed successful relationship was necessary for fulfillment. He went on to say, that care of self and care of other in a balanced way is part of successful relationship. Hearing that made me feel like a heard a strong truth for me. Marriage and its structure seemed to hurt the emotional and spiritual relationship I most wanted to co-create with my husband.

I still want to experience a long-term, loving relationship with a good man, yet for me, marriage seems an interference to that end rather than a support. And yet I did talk to others for whom marriage made the relationship work better for them than they could imagine without it. What works is all so personal. And for me, I wouldn't have known what would work or not work for me had I not been married, tried so hard to make it work, and end up on this other side of confusion, hurt and the desire to better understand why get married when my experience was so painful.

I guess I am reminded that one of my original intents in making this doc was to illuminate a question that must be relevant to many men and women at this time. And I figured, if I could take the time to make it, perhaps they'd take 54 minutes to watch it. The lively conversation that inevitable after watching, unless one is brain dead, might help one to understand something they hadn't before, consider something new, or just have an "a-ha" moment. I can't imagine anyone watching it and not being affected on some level.

For me then, it makes it a fine "baby" to have delivered. I am eager to see what happens as the conversation of Why Get Married? continues. Will it be slow sparks or a bright fire over time?