Mittwoch, Juni 03, 2009

On Obsession

I did a lot of internet research during the last couple of days, and some fan websites I found there simply creep me out.

I can sympathize with a certain amount of obsession, since I have been pretty obsessive myself, many times. I can get lost in parallel universes of books, film, music and TV - everything from classic literature and arthouse films to Sci-Fi series and Bollywood kitsch.
I dearly love some fictional characters and admire their creators - the writers, directors and actors who make the fantasy so beautiful and 'real'. I have phases when I buy DVD after DVD, book after book, and scour the internet for downloads and news.

But there's a firm line between reality and fiction. As a writer myself, having worked for TV, I know how films are made, been part of the process, met wonderful people there, and I also know that, like in any job, a brilliant actor, musician, director or writer isn't necessarily a brilliant person, or even a nice one (no - don't worry: most of them are).

Anyway. Lately, I searched the sites of several actors' fans, since I needed some information (and not all actors, or rather their agents, are forthcoming to insignificant foreign journalists), and those fansites often have amazingly complete archives of articles, interviews and trivia.

But they also contain loads of stuff that I find very odd. There are forums, blogs and guest-books full of speculations about His or Her private life; photos of (expensive) gifts the fans sent to their idols; fan-art and fan-fiction, ranging from the pseudo-religious to adolescent adoration and NC-17 stories. Uhm. Everyone is welcome to their own fantasies, but why make them public?

In know I am selfish: Though I have unashamedly used those sites for my research, I still criticize them.
But what may be devotion to those people looks like delusion to me. Why do they dedicate so much of their time and love to someone they don't know; why adore someone from afar whom they never even met (or just met briefly to have a photograph taken or a picture signed at some convention)?
I see little difference between this, and stalking. Both are versions of unrequited love, leading to loss of reality. I wonder what is missing in those people's lives that they give their live and energy to an unknown person.

Maybe it's the underlying desperation and loneliness that scares me most.

Dienstag, Juni 02, 2009

Missing Altitude

It's been some time since I posted any pictures. Here's one I made at the shooting of one of the last big documentaries I made. It was about high altitudes - a film on people living in some of highest and least habitable parts of the Swiss Alps, and the fascination of a life beyond the tree line, and often above the clouds. A harsh environment, a hard life, and a natural beauty that often left me at a loss for words. Another production I will never forget.

I hope I'll find time for a trip to the mountains, later this summer. I miss those highs, in every sense.

Montag, Juni 01, 2009

Brush Strokes

Something I read this week gave me an idea for a series of articles. And I think I already know exactly the right people (friends working for agencies and magazines) who might be interested in that kind of story. So, finally, I take off, high on a new idea. About time.

It's one of the most wonderful experiences I know - to have a head full of ideas and possibilities; a heart full of energy, and ten fingers on the keyboard just itching to write.

I already started my research, and I found many bits of information confirming a hypothesis of mine. It feels like a picture is forming in my mind, and there's already an easel and some brushes in front of me. Now, if I find a canvas and a palette of colours, I can paint that picture.

I missed being creative. I really did. Compared to this, my latest jobs (i.e. translating documentary commentaries, and ghostwriting non-fiction books) felt like a paint-by-numbers booklet: Pretty, but not original.