hal tweets ·11:28 AM

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What the Hell Am I Doing? Hal Breaks Out Into a Panicked Sweat

Posted by Hal
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Friday’s shoot started at around 10 am. We were utilizing the new space age basement office for the first time. It’s dark and gloomy, with strings of lights behind the book shelves offering what I think is supposed to be a kind of futuristic glow. I haven’t seen it on camera, so I don’t really have a sense of how it turned out, but the crew seems happy with the vibe.

So first off, Sally (director) and Jeanette (producer), sat me down at my desk and produced a 15 page contract. With the cameras rolling, they took me rapidly through all kinds of legal language which basically amounted to the following: You agree to reveal yourself, to subject yourself to whatever we come up with, and you further agree that you are doing this willingly and that you will probably cause yourself embarrassment and this embarrassment will probably have a negative effect on your career and personal life and when that happens you can’t sue us, because you have only yourself to blame.

Hey, wait a minute, I protested feebly. Just sign it, snapped Jeanette. I signed it.

The whole scene — which was more about dramatics for the documentary then about any actual legal proceeding — made me oddly, suddenly anxious. I mean, really, it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but it put it very starkly. What the hell was I doing? Was I pretty much just signing up to make myself look ridiculous? When I pitched this project, it was all about extending our collective understanding of the shift from pop to peep. I wasn’t planning on embarrassing myself by and ruining my life. As the reading of the surprise legal document progressed, I actually broke into a sweat. No doubt you will see me on the small screen anxiously wiping my upper lip.

I’ve been working with these filmmakers for more than a year. I trust them, and I know they have the same intention I do – to make a substantive, important contribution to understanding the dramatic social shift we’re in. At the same time, as the documentary shifts into high gear it’s become apparent to me that we are entering a new more adversarial relationship. They believe that to make the doc succeed, I must expose and ideally embarrass myself. How else could I possibly truly participate in peep? I’m willing to expose and even embarrass myself — I’ve been doing it all my life, why stop now? — but I don’t think that’s what the doc should hinge on. Then again, there is an aspect of peep which has to do with being pushed by someone else to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do. Peep is all about WILLINGLY revealing yourself for perceived gains — attention, community, rewards. But what often ends up happening is that your willingness to share is coopted by other people who use your desires to share for their own agendas.

After I signed the document, they pretended to introduce me to thepeepdiaries.com for the first time. They then asked to see my Facebook page and proceeded to berate me for never commenting on anyone else’s posts or answering any of my facebook messages. That bit of theater was actually pretty funny. And probably true. You’ll notice, by the way, that I’m going to be doing a lot more responding to comments on this blog. I’ll be starting with the comments responding to my post about how my blogging is going…

So we’ll see how things play out. I’m writing this at the airport. The whole crew is off to San Francisco and Vancouver to shoot scenes with a lifecaster, a group of suicide girl twitter partiers, plus google and more. I’ll keep you posted, of course. I’m feeling far more anxious about this whole project now than I’d ever imagined I would. Maybe that’s a good thing.

 

There are -12- Comments.

1 count
McKinley M. Hellenes

Ha ha. Busted, Hal. You are the worst person I know for replying to emails, messages, and comments. Bar none. I always assumed that it was because you get far too many of them. But maybe you secretly hate and loathe the people who actually try to engage with you. And now you are OBLIGATED to talk to us. Poor Hal! That was something I was going to complain about re: How’s My Blogging. That you never respond to comments :o} Well, we’ll see if you improve.

And kudos and sympathy for going through all of this. I would literally almost rather die than do what you are doing. No kidding. You are a braver man than I, sir. I salute you. And send you a sympathetic virtual hug of support. The only comfort I get in writing a blog is the fact that no one reads it. It’s a huge relief knowing that.

2 count
Erin

Best blog entry you’ve made thus far, because you discussed actual FEELINGS personal to you instead of just commenting on things and being analytical.  A step in the right direction.

And I’m glad to hear that you’ll be returning to the other thread! I await your thoughts/defense.

3 count
hal

thanks erin, i’m trying! more angst coming soon! hal

blog author

4 count
Erin

Awesome.  Looking forward to it!

5 count
Adam

“a group of suicide girl twitter partiers”

is that what we are?  oh dear.

6 count
Lindsay

I second that! Suicide girl twitter partiers! heck NO.

We’ll sort you out on Friday.. smile

7 count
Sally

Have no mercy Suicide girl twitter partiers! Hal needs to be straightened out on a few things me thinks.

8 count
hal

sally was about to yell at me this morning for characterizing everyone we’re going to interview in vancouver as “suicide girl twitter partiers.” but lucky for me, she got distracted by an urgent phone call from producer jeanette. so a quick apology to adam, lindsay, and everyone else. just trying to make my life sound exciting…now that i’ve apologized, i can hopefully prevent a lengthy lecture from director sally. but, alas, probably not.

blog author

9 count
hal

sounds good lindsay. bonus: when drunk enough, i am apt to show off my rather impressive patches of back hair.

blog author

10 count
hal

both

blog author

11 count
Adam

This is going to get messy.

12 count
Deodorant

That is very interesting and awesome:) You definately made my day with this awesome post. I will check here often for more cool stuff.
Deodorant | Nailart

 
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The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...

 

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Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·11:28AM

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