Hope is a Signal Traveling Through Fat.

No hope exists outside our minds, unless it’s a pretty girl with a name Hope. Hope is a work of neurotransmitters transmitting signals from a neuron to a target cell across a synapse. And it all happens inside the fatty matter of brain. It’s surprising how humans can even partially comprehend what’s real and what’s not, since the brain is so alone in that bone castle of skull.

That said, if a human did fully comprehend reality, she would give up before she could start anything. Like the recent article in The New Yorker stated, she must enter any enterprise fully delusional and full of hope.

Thus, I started “Rocks In My Pockets” without complete grasp of the feature film business. Not the raising money part – I had vague ideas about that, and what I didn’t know I sort of learned on the go. It’s the selling part that is clouded from my sights.

We rushed to get “Rocks” in submission shape for May 31st Toronto International Film Festival deadline. Two months later we can safely assume we didn’t get in – the official announcement for the program we aimed at (Midnight Madness) is tomorrow, but normally accepted filmmakers are invited at least a week before official announcement. We haven’t heard from TIFF.

One can speculate why is that and how is this (is the film so bad? are there too many submissions for the festival programmers to watch?) but one can waste a lot of time pondering on things that are out of her control. In the black and white binary world the feedback is simple: accepted or not accepted.

With clear eyes we saw this non-acceptance a week ago. We turned around and used the loss of delivery pressure to make some major cuts in “Rocks” – we cut 5 minutes from the beginning of the film that I always felt hindered the story rather than advanced it.

Still, making the film slightly better doesn’t save the day. Getting accepted in a major festival would have been a stamp of approval, it would have made a better sales pitch when the time comes to sell the film. Maybe eventually it won’t be important, but we don’t know it yet.

So, what does the brain do when neurotransmitters encounter a feedback from the reality outside the skull? It stops transmitting, regroups and finds another target cell.

Time for plan B.




About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
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8 Responses to Hope is a Signal Traveling Through Fat.

  1. In modern Europe and the United States (and I assume Latvia as well), we’re taught the story of Pandora’s Box at a young age.

    The curious Pandora opens the box and pestilence, plague, gluttony, usury and all the evils of the world come hurtling out. At the very end, the story goes, comes “hope.”

    Our teachers use this as moral lesson- that even though there are this horrible things we have also the gift of “hope.”

    This runs in direct opposition to the classical Greek mindset. From an Aristotelian point of view, hope is not a blessing amongst curses. It emerges slowly and finally because it is the worst curse of them of all.

    • Well, to me without hope the life wouldn’t be worth living. I love the high hope offers. But I do see your and the Greek point: if humans didn’t have a hope to somehow get away with destroying environment we might actually have had a chance. : )

  2. Jud says:

    Don’t edit on assumptions of what others may or may not think. It’s your movie or it’s nothing.

  3. Cecile Somers says:

    Darling Signe,

    I hadn’t planned on first seeing your film in Toronto. How ’bout Berlin? Is Berlin plan B?

    I am convinced one day the good people of Toronto will get to see your movie. Rocks in Pockets will travel in unpredictable ways. I have faith in this movie. Faith is Hope wrapped in lard, dipped in Pandora’s prime dip sauce, and eaten on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

    Ms Baumane, you & the precious rocks will get there.


  4. O Solis says:

    Dear Signe,

    You have accomplished so much. As I have recently discovered, most everything that happens in life comes about because of Plan B.

    PS – keep to your goals. I came across a quote that has held me in good stead in what has become some turbulent times for me:

    “I cannot give you the formula for success but I can give you the formula for failure. Try to please everyone.” Herbert Bayard Swope

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