Friday, August 17, 2012
Learnings and Reiterations: My Filmmaking Journey Lately
Hi all, been a bit since I sat down and wrote on the blog. I've been neglecting it in favor of hard work, dedication...and fucking off. Here is a little bit of what I have learned lately about filmmaking in general as a fledgling director and producer and maybe a bit as an actor. Life has been crazy, chaotic, depressing and fun lately. 1.) Stay on target. I know too many people who are highly talented but can't seem to complete the race for whatever reason. The more you flake on projects or switch horses in mid stream, the more you look like a joke as a filmmaker. There is something to be said for buckling down, picking a project and making it happen. I've seen people run kickstarter campaigns for projects that haven't come along. I've seen people post pics and promote the hell out of a project only to come back a couple months later with another project to pitch. Wait?! What happened to the last thing that never happened and why should I give a french fried fuck about this new one. Is it even going to happen? Don't be that guy, pick a project and stay with it. 2.) Shut up! On a similar note, if you have a project in development it's okay to talk about it to people who may be potentially involved as long as they know it's still in development. It's okay to promote the hell out of it if you follow rule number one above, but for the love of GOD do NOT promote it vigorously on the web and in the media if you aren't totally attached to making it. Again, it makes you look like a damned joke. 3.) Settle. An artist is their own worst critic. If you allow yourself to beat you you up, you will NEVER finish the script. You will NEVER get the movie made. You certainly will NEVER leave post. You have to learn to let things go, especially in the indy market. Producing/directing "GI JOE: Initiate", I've had to re-cast roles, change the script, drop scenes, reshoot, beg, borrow and steal to make the film happen. Is it perfect? No. Am I happy with it? HELL YES! We've got pretty cool series in the works here and I'm very excited about it. However, if I was constantly scrutinizing and demanding absolute perfection, then we wouldn't have even filmed a frame yet. You have to know what you can sacrifice in order to get it done. This isn't to say you release a crappy film. I love what we've done with "Initiate", but we had to adapt a lot to situations and work around different issues to make it happen. Some of those sacrifices were painful, but in the end, they led to success. 4.) Don't lie. I have run into some batshit crazy people in this industry in the brief bit of time I've been doing it. People love to tell you all about their amazing connections they have, some to the point of manufacturing text messages and email from those people. They have even been known to make up investors on facebook to attempt to fool people into helping them make a movie. Some people just like to lie to stir up shit and create drama. Maybe its because they are jealous of others. Maybe they are just drama-addicted douchebags. Lying is something you do as an actor in front of the camera. Spread bullshit behind the camera and you'll wind up sad, alone and constantly shifting alliances as people discover what a scumbag you are. Save your drama for when the camera is rolling. All I want is to be around people who want to make movies. You don't need to have tons of money or big connections, just passion and honesty. All else is negotiable. 5.) Make your own way. Never rely on others to give you that big break. You need to be working on making your own projects, writing your own scripts, pushing yourself on those who are making indy films and otherwise making a nuisance of yourself. No one is going to do it for you. Sell yourself!