filmmaker

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I remember, long ago, we had a small,
sf convention.

Oh, I doubt you had ever heard of it,
we didn’t name it.

Just some folks getting together
once a year, sometimes once every two years,
to chat, show movies, play games,
that sort of thing.

Then one year this movie showed up,
we showed as many as we could,
all amateur stuff,
we didn’t have the money otherwise,
we just happened to show that one,
early on,
it was amazing.

Now, don’t get me wrong,
it was kinda bad.

But the hard work shone through.

We were in awe,
we showed it again,
nobody objected,
that was the first one.

One showed up every year after that.

Different return address each time,
I never checked into it,
Jo said some of them were vacant lots,
how were we going to return them ?

I thought about it and
decided I would hold onto them.
It wouldn’t do to toss them away,
or wind up rotting somewhere…

So, I learned film care,
it was 35mm film stock.

The brand varied each year,
we figured who ever was doing these things,
had access to left overs,
maybe they were just trying different ones,
different processes,
we never did find out.

We almost knew who did them,
one year a guy showed up,
he had a bunch of stuff for sale,
one of them a box of 8 films,
the titles matched earlier years
from our unknown filmmaker,
and I said, oh ! those are great !
Can I see number 8 ?

He smiled and said sure !

I hurried with it to the film booth,
Charlie came running after me,
and said the guy had asked him to watch his stuff,
we did that sort of thing, and he would be right back.

He had driven off.

Didn’t come back.

Charlie said he was smiling,
but Charlie don’t see too good.

Not that I looked at much beyond
the box of films,
and most of us in the hustle to finish setup.

It was a fantastic film,
claymation of space ships.

We couldn’t find any wires or suspension
methods, must have been hard to do.

I mean, it couldn’t have been done in freefall,
the new space station,
like one of those old spinning ones,
and the Freedom one,
wouldn’t have allowed such wasted space,
to make a 15 minute long claymation,
battle in freefall… would they ?

Wouldn’t have worked on the lunar colony either,
nor that Mars expedition.

Shondra made a copy,
got an uncle to look at it,
no wires, no suspensions,
under or over, in case it was filmed upside down,
nothing holding them up we could ever find…

Some were awful ya know…
but the hard work shone through.

Some were as short as 5 minutes,
most were 20 minutes, one
was a two reeler !

Then they stopped arriving.

I didn’t go that year.
Nor the next,
I did go the year after,
and showed all of them.

Then we all broke up,
never met again.

I’ve had a hard time maintaining the films.

Some have fallen apart,
but I had made copies years ago.

As technology changes,
I’ve gone with that,
to show them to any of
the guys when we still have the occasional
get together,
but I kept the old films,
I have a projector,
and all the gear I need to
take care of the films.

One year, I got another projector,
and lots of stuff in several deliveries.

Out of curiosity,
I compared the film with the projector,
and the films I had,
one I had showed only once or twice.

That just arrived projector,
had a bad sprocket that matched the films I had.

I called a few of our old group,
a few believed me,
ya see, my eyes have gone bad,
they came over and double-checked my work.

They agreed, we had a match.

This was the same projector used,
to check the final work,
before sending it on to us.

Well, they have that new retirement
community up on the Moon,
we are all gonna go.

Taking separate flights,
and we each have our allotted films
and gear to take with us.

They tried to tell us we couldn’t,
take all that old crap with us,
but somebody prevailed and allowed it.

Oh, don’t get me wrong,
those films wouldn’t change the course of Humanity,
nor are they memorable,
well, we would love to know,
how the special affects were done.

There was that rumour about a space hand,
that had gotten in trouble about…
well, that claymation space battle couldn’t
really have been done in the vacuum of space,
could it ?

[ exunt]


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