Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): The path to Journey Through Twin Peaks

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The path to Journey Through Twin Peaks


You can bookmark this post to check back periodically. I will update each step to note when it is completed, bringing me that much closer to publishing new Twin Peaks videos. (last updated August 2, 2019)

What I will finish behind the scenes before Journey is published:

1) create all Patreon podcasts ahead of time through October 2019
(one main and one rewatch podcast each month)
completed May 15, 2019

2) create a viewing diary for Veronica Mars
(finish watching/reviewing seasons two and three and the feature film before the Hulu revival begins this summer)
completed June 5, 2019

3) research the work of Mark Frost
(finish watching Hill Street Blues season five and Buddy Faro, maybe re-read/re-watch books/films/episodes, etc)

4) create one 3 1/2 Minute Review video and two Side by Side videos

5) CREATE JOURNEY THROUGH TWIN PEAKS
(I discussed the structure here)

6) Re-design the site



What I will present on the site before Journey is published:

1) Publish, as frequently as necessary, the Veronica Mars viewing diary for the old episodes leading up to the Hulu premiere
(the Hulu viewing diary will go up alongside video essays if necessary)
completed August 2, 2019

2) Publish, once a week, seven non-Twin Peaks video essays leading up to the first Journey video


You can follow my progress even more closely in this Twitter thread where I added one more step - an interview with Martha Nochimson.


The details:

For a year and a half now, a continuation of Journey Through Twin Peaks has been on the horizon. Unfortunately, that horizon was never been fixed and kept receding. There were other priorities and projects I wanted to complete first and often these projects arose unexpectedly and/or consumed more time than expected because their boundaries weren't defined. I started a weekly Patreon podcast, I wanted to reach a certain number of posts before my tenth anniversary, and I finished Fire Walk With Me analyses that turned out to be more ambitious than expected. And so a Twin Peaks video series on the third season waited, which isn't a bad thing (it's good to let the ideas percolate) but whenever I announced a particular deadline - the first half of 2018, late 2018, the spring of 2019 - it passed without being fulfilled.

Today I am not announcing a deadline but rather a concrete set of projects, with specific boundaries, that I know I need to complete before I begin Journey. I would like to premiere the first new chapter on September 3, the second anniversary of The Return's finale (probably a long shot), but at the very least I should be well underway creating the videos by that point. I'll offer updates as I complete each step along the way, and also update this page if you want to bookmark it and check back in on the progress...

Here's the path to Journey Through Twin Peaks in 2019:

Create all Patreon podcasts through October
Since launching my Patreon last January, it's been important to fulfill my monthly obligations to patrons. Now I publish a monthly rather than weekly main podcast for all patrons, as well as a monthly Twin Peaks rewatch podcast for $5/month patrons. So I need to create fourteen podcast episodes in the next few weeks or months, ensuring that while I craft the Journey videos I have no distractions until November which should give me plenty of time.

Create a viewing diary for Veronica Mars
Last spring, I wrote a viewing diary for the 2004-05 season of the popular detective series; it took me a few weeks (I remained just enough ahead of the episode I was publishing day-to-day). This January I discovered that the show is going to be revived on Hulu at an unspecified date this summer so when I finish getting ahead on my Patreon work, I'm going to concentrate on covering the two remaining mid-2000s seasons and the feature film and when Hulu announces a premiere I'll schedule this viewing diary to lead right up to it. When there are new episodes going up, I'll cover them accordingly, but this is the one task I'll split with others (including creating and even publishing Journey videos) if that's how the timing works out.

Research the work of Mark Frost
I've already finished four seasons of the eighties cop show Hill Streets Blues and am well underway into the fifth (Frost contributed to the teleplays or stories of dozens of episodes, was promoted to executive story editor for season four, and served as the story editor for season five). When that's done, I may re-read Frost's novel The List of Seven and check out its sequel for the first time along with, perhaps, some of his other literature; I'll also seek out his short late nineties series Buddy Faro and discover or re-visit the films and TV episodes I've already seen. And I'll be sure to finally catch up with the marvelous Bickering Peaks guide to Frost's career (alternating episodes covering his work with those covering Lynch's), which I've put on hold until I see all his Blues episodes. This part of my preparation is the most directly related to Journey Through Twin Peaks and also the most ambiguous in terms of its parameters.

Create one 3 1/2 Minute Review and two Side by Side video essays
Although this part isn't necessary to finish first, the way the others are, I've long wanted to build a "video runway" to Journey Through Twin Peaks. In 2015-16 I launched five new video series for YouTube: the 3 1/2 Minute Review, Side by Side, Cinepoem, and Montage; the last of these videos, my fourth 3 1/2 Minute Review, of The Dark Crystal, was uploaded in April 2016. By the time I start new Journey videos, I'd like to round out a five-video line-up for each category, which means: two more Montages (pairing Federico Fellini with Tim Buckley and Krzystztof Kiewslowski with Amy Winehouse), two more Cinepoems (one intercutting Civil War poems by Herman Melville and Walt Whitman, the other concluding - and renewing - the cycle with excerpts from Augusta Theodosia Drane), one more 3 1/2 Minute Review (completing a series focused on fantasy titles with the Rankin-Bass adaptation of The Wind in the Willows), and finally two Side by Side analyses (one adapting my dual review of The Big Chill and The Secaucus Seven, the other mirroring the Buckley/Fellini Montage by exploring The Nights of Cabiria alongside La Dolce Vita).

The good news is, at the time of this writing, four of those videos are entirely complete, leaving only the last three. I may even finish the 3 1/2 Minute Review as early as tonight, having already done a lot of the preliminary work. So the bulk of what remains are the Side by Side videos which shouldn't take more than a few weeks.

CREATE JOURNEY THROUGH TWIN PEAKS
Finally, by my estimate sometime in the early summer (although, again, the relevant metric is what I need to complete not when I hope to complete them), I can focus entirely on Journey Through Twin Peaks. I've already described the structure in detail in a public podcast on YouTube, so I won't go through it all here - the plan remains the same. There will be a fair amount of preparation involved, but considering the years I've had to digest, discuss, and jot down ideas for the videos, I don't think it will take long to get to the writing of the narration, the gathering of clips, and finally, excitingly, the editing of the whole project. I already know exactly how I want to begin.

Re-design the site
When all of the videos are finished, divided into chapters and parts, and waiting to be uploaded, I will take the long-needed step of converting my presentation of this site from the difficult-to-navigate blog format to a simpler, streamlined, more eye-catching approach, preserving my archive while making the present and past of my work much easier to access. When that's done, I'll be ready to begin publishing video essays once a week for seven weeks (I'll do this alongside the Veronica Mars Hulu diary if that carries on into the fall), after which I will premiere the entirety of Part 5 of Journey, and then publish a new chapter of Part 6 every week until the series is complete.

And after that? Well, I still haven't even mentioned the character series and Citizen Kane videos I hoped to update/complete before Journey but am now forced to postpone until after Journey is complete so...ask me then!!

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