I have no idea what I’m doing. But I know I’m doing it really, really well. —Andy Dwyer
The only thing I’m worse at than keeping secrets is keeping secrets about projects I’m working on that I’m really pumped about: last week, I started working on a Boyhood-inspired video of my neighbor and longtime pal, James.
Started may be the wrong word. We’d already made a video of James flying around his front yard four years ago when he was starting kindergarten. And a few months after that, we made another video with “less flying and more bikes and more mud.” But we were starting last week in the sense that we now had this new, vague, longterm goal of filming a new James video, or videos, each year, starting now before fourth grade and going through high school—until all the seemingly disparate, annual videos (hopefully) coalesce into a 12-year movie:
It’s a project that excites me for a few reasons:
1. It’s an excuse to hang out with an awesome kid—through 2025!
2. It’s delightfully and completely unscripted. It’s continuous improv with the same dude for eight more years.
3. It’s reminding me of this amazing line from Adrienne Rich about James Baldwin and the artistic paradox of simultaneously being observer and participant: [James] Baldwin held that the artist needs to dwell “within the experience and outside of it at the same time.” With James, I’m fully immersed, but I’m also an audience member; I’m playing—I just have to remember to hit record.
4. It’s forcing me to be infinitely more patient than I usually am with videos. We’re in it for the long haul—however it may evolve.
5. It’s not a documentary, and it’s not totally a music video montage, either (my two favorite video genres). Hopefully, it’s both. Hopefully, the music reflects and accentuates James’ James-i-ness (there’ll be plenty of the Killer Bs for Coming-Of-Age Dude Music: Beatles, Bruce, Bowie, Bon Iver, Black Keys). Hopefully, there’s enough of his own chatter. Hopefully, there’s a real fluidity between years (and events and thoughts and ideas). Hopefully, I never have to explicitly say how old he is. Hopefully, I don’t worry about formally naming it for a while (although, They Don’t Age is the temporary, operating title, referring to when James said, “Legos don’t age.”)
6. Most importantly, it’s a project between/by two dudes with great taste in shoes and socks: