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How we run on fumes. Music rights, remaining refinements, watercolors for the film.
“Nothing. Merely tired.”
—Kafka, journal entry from February 1, 1922
How is it already mid-November? I didn’t even realize daylight savings had ended.
Adding and subtracting hours from a day always feels like cosmic mathematics to me. It also reminds me how much abstract constructs command our lives. On November 5th, nothing physically changed—the clocks of our cars, microwaves, stove tops, blandly reminded us of this—but we ourselves moved backward in time.
That’s a trip.
Perhaps in a fit of defiance, I left my off-grid clocks untouched another day. The extra hour from each of them felt akin to a surfeit of money in the wallet. Whenever they caught my eye, I felt both smugness and irony, one swiftly and devastatingly following the other.
Things have been a slog, I’m tired.
Not gonna lie, it’s been a struggle to paint. But I want to transition one last sequence from digital to watercolor for my latest short 엄마 나라 | Mother Land. And I’ve been making progress, steadily.
There’s been forward movement on the licensing front, too.
After weeks of back and forth with the artists and publishers, music rights for the film (publishing, master) are nearly in hand! We’re at the final stage of invoicing and payment; I should be in the clear by next week.
The negotiated fee for 2 years of festival and perpetual online rights comes out to $1300 USD. Not a small sum, but significantly less than originally projected. It could have been as much as 50% lower had only one artist been involved; of course, I happened to choose a song with two.
If you’ve been curious about what subscriptions end up paying for, by the way, this is a prime example. The last of 2023 TLB memberships, and a chunk of 2024’s, will go toward this fee. I’m yet again grateful for the financial support I have from paying readers like many of you.
Along with hefty production costs like this (I also had to replace equipment earlier this year), there will be submissions fees as I prepare to send the film out for consideration in upcoming months. It all adds up, and I’m fortunate to be able to draw from a reserved fund for my work. Thank you.
Incidentally, this is the first time I’ve had to license music for a film, and I’m struck by how opaque and unregulated the process is. There’s friction and fine print where one would hope for momentum and inspiration. Artists should of course be compensated—but I can’t help wishing good-faith collaboration and remixing were easier, and more accessible.
I leave you with some late night painting, squeezed into a minute at 20x.
Until next time.