My producer, and dear friend, David Zellerford, has grown to hate me and this film like a disease that wont go into remission but also wont get worse. Every moment of this last few months of finishing is torture for him and me. But especially for him.
Largely this has to do with his own unfortunate decision-making process. No, not about producing a documentary nobody asked for about a singer that a thimble-full of people have heard of who worked in a field that is practically guaranteed to lose money for anybody who gets anywhere near it…(Joke: How does a jazz musician make a million dollars? Start with two million…)
No. David’s bizarre turn of mind led him to choose this particular year to…buy a house in Long Island. AND BECOME A FATHER. As if the stress level created by having to finish our film needed any help…(And it’s not even the house that he lives in full time. Like most New Yorkers who aren’t billionaires, he bought a weekend house so as to not offend the landlord who holds him hostage in Brooklyn.)
There is no helping some people. Just when life seemed easy–make a doc with your own money that nobody particularly needs and spend a couple of years toting it around to film festivals–the curves start getting thrown. Outsider buys our film. We need to actually clear rights to the material we’ve been using. (This nightmare–rights clearance issues– is the subject of a future post I hope I never get around to writing.) And the person responsible (not I, of course, but my producer and former friend) gets to do all of this in between mortgages, contractors and pre-baby stuff. Meanwhile, the ghost of Jackie Paris laughs darkly at the trouble being had over him, the attention that he never received enough of in his lifetime now being lavished over him posthumously…