I mentioned rather mumbled and under my breath a few weeks ago at the end of a post about my website’s first anniversary that there was very big news coming up. Several things were underway that demanded my complete attention.
Back in May, I applied for a visa to move to France. My wife and I had been looking into this for some time and serious work began on this application in January of this year. There is an unbelievably long story involved in retelling the past five months, which I will spare you partly because I’m tired of telling the story but more so because it’s one of those things, I think it’s more interesting when it’s happening to you or if you’re somehow involved in it than hearing about it as something that happened to someone else. The end result is that we were approved for this visa on the very last day of August, 3 months to the day after having applied.
My wife and I kept this to ourselves for the most part all summer because, quite frankly, I didn’t want to have to go back around to people to tell them all one by one that we didn’t get it, if in case that’s what ended up happening. The idea of being rejected and having to then relive how we weren’t accepted over and over again to everyone that we had told about it was something I was eager to avoid. Moving to Europe, particularly France, even more particularly Paris, is something my wife and I have wanted to do for some time. To be completely honest, for various reasons, some of which I’d rather not go into, leaving where we were was something else we desperately wanted to do. We figured (like most people do, I think) that we’d see how things went as time went by with our desire to move. What we did which might be a bit less like what most people do, was pretty immediately decide to leave once we found this visa. If we were accepted, we were gone.
What I applied to is not just a visitor’s visa that you might request to allow you an extended stay in Europe. It’s a visa that is for people from various fields and backgrounds that gives the opportunity, if accepted, to complete a project in three years. The project and any employment you get must be related to your work in some way but you (and in my case, your spouse) can work and basically do everything but vote; something which I’m already used to having lived in the US as a Canadian citizen with permanent residency until now. I applied as a writer and filmmaker and in my application I included everything from my short, “Song of Relations” to other work I had produced. They looked at everything I’ve shot, my entire background as a completely independent filmmaker, my shooting style and its ability to produce high quality production value for very little money, how I used social media with my last short to get all of you to become aware of who I was, a lot of what I’ve written and my proposal for what I’d like to do in Paris. They took all these things and graciously decided to grant my wife and me this rather exclusive visa, which I am both humbled and amazed to have been granted.
When I began this blog to thank people for their involvement in sharing my short, for following along, and for being a part of my online self-distribution experiment, I mentioned that I had no idea what would happen in one year’s time, technologically or otherwise. We knew we wanted to apply for this visa back then and some of you (you know who you are!) have been incredibly helpful, graciously giving of your time, input, advice, and expertise, and patient with mine and my wife’s questions about this giant move. I don’t see those of you who have followed along since releasing my short as having sat in empty seats in my virtual theater on my site, I see you as having built each seat yourselves. For that, I will always be grateful. As I move the theater to Paris, I hope you’ll stick around to see the coming attractions.
I’ve been a bit silent and distant on social media lately and it’s because I was busy doing all this which involved making my own arrangements to be sure that my records, CDs, and DVDs (among other personal belongings) were going to be ok in storage for two months before we see them again in France. Thanks for sticking around on Twitter and Facebook.
My next film will be shot in Paris. I will never stop being elated by the sound of that sentence.