A Galaxy's Unsung Hero

Posted 12/01/2010 by Brandon Wainerdi in Labels: , , , ,

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere...”

I am a director. Or, at least, I like to think of me as a director, small time in the corner of my dorm room, splicing together low definition cuts with cheap software.

I’ve been technically making movies since I was four years old, roughly moving the plastic limbs of my stormtroopers, jerkily stopping the camera to create a strange illusion of motion.  And as I would attach thin threads of floss to heavy starships (to make them fly on film), I discovered very early in my life that there is something graceful about being “behind the scenes,” that there is nothing more frustrating or humbling than sitting at a computer, trying to edit down a sequence of scenes to utter exactness.

You lose track of all time as you try to breathe life and believability into frames of digital captures. I’ve learned about patience and humility from these quiet hours, slowly mastering the art of OCD-fueled cutting, editing, perfecting.

When other kids were growing up, they idolized quarterbacks and goalies, hung up posters of Michael Jordan and Troy Aikman in their rooms, living vicariously through their hard-court buzzer-beaters, their game-winning touchdown passes. But I was that one weird little kid, who enjoyed the bonus features at the end of the movies, who read every single “Making Of” book that the small public library had to offer, who wanted to someday be like George Lucas or Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson, my idols.

            And today one of my idols died: Irvin Kershner. This name is probably not familiar to most, filed out of the saga history books by the media mogol of his supervisor, Mr. George Beard Lucas. But Mr. Kershner was the director of, not only my favorite Star Wars movie, but easily my favorite film of all time: The Empire Strikes Back. This was the movie, with its snow battles and duels, that ignited my love for storytelling, my love for creating new somethings. (And it even happened on the very day I was about to mail him a replica clapboard from to autograph, which will now sit in front of me forever, unsigned, acting as a motivator for my future: my future writing, my future directing, my future being.

            I had the honor of hearing him giving a talk a few years ago, hearing him gently remembering how he created the latex puppets and steaming vents, hearing him making the audience laugh and reminiscence with him, taking them on one final journey back down the film strip.

He was speaking about the importance of inquisitiveness to a child, another four-year-old stop-motion-God-in-the-making when he said:

"Good. You keep asking those questions. Don't ever think that something isn't important enough to ask your dad about, son. That's how you learn. That's how we all learn. Maybe your dad won't have all the answers, but those questions you can figure out together."

            So today I will watch his movie as a bittersweet homage , mouthing the words to every memorized line with a pathetically teary grin, answering some of these questions with him, and sending him off to the all-surrounding, all-binding Force with some style.

             Rest In Peace, Kersh.


[Written originally for this website and then transposed using some fancy time-stamp-cheating onto my own blog, which needs to be updated and updated and updated: http://dontstopmedontstopme.blogspot.com]

0 comment(s) to... “A Galaxy's Unsung Hero”


Free Blog Counter