Thursday, September 21, 2006

After the Crash

Sometimes it seems like the best way to describe traumatic events is briefly and directly. Better to get it over quickly and start dealing with the "what next?"

Well, last weekend my Seagate external hard drive crashed.

People say that all the time, right? "My hard drive crashed..."

But it's never happened to me before, so it didn't register until it happened to, well, me.

And in this case, the documentary that I shot in April, and have been editing ever since, was saved on the hard drive.

I didn't back it up on DVD's, CD's, or another drive. I'd been lucky before. I'm an asshole, I know.

The documentary, "MY GRANDFATHER'S BODY," is very personal, because it's about my grandfather's art (he was a surrealist artist who made a living painting Agatha Christie's book covers), and it's about the Parkinson's disease that afflicted him for 15 years, but more to the point, it's about my grandfather's cremains.

Yes, my grandfather's remains, which still sit on a bookshelf in my grandmother's home, are the main character. The rest of my family--aunt, uncle, mother, cousins, grandmother--are the people who tell the story, and it's sort of about their collective indecision over what to do with the ashes.

It's also about grief, mourning, and our crippling, overwhelming fear of death.

Oh yes--it's also very funny. Really. I'd consider it a comic documentary (if that's a category).

But I digress.

The hard drive crashed.

I freaked.

Went to the Apple store's "genius bar," where they told me, after inspecting the culprit hardware, that I had three options: "Shoot yourself in the ear, the eye, or the heart."

Nice. Thanks.

I took the hard drive to a store that specializes in data recovery, and they were kind enough to inspect it for free. After the 45 minute inspection, the technician scratched his head and patted me on the shoulder. "No dice," he said.

I've been told that if I send the hard drive to a place called "Drive Savers," they might be able to recover the past five month's work.

And it could cost me as much as THREE THOUSAND MOTHERFUCKING DOLLARS!


Right now I'm still stunned. Not sure how to proceed.

When I started working on this doc it was spring. Now it's almost fall. Working on something, anything for several seasons has a way of making you nostalgic, a bit sad. At least for me. And now all that work is being held prisoner in a plastic box that cost about four-hundred bucks.

Briefly and directly, briefly and directly...okay.

That's that.

Had to write something about the incident.

Now I have.