Monday, November 15, 2010

Statement of the Director

Props and mad hailing to anyone who completes a flick. It’s lotsa work, work, WORK... the whole darn way. How does one do this sort of crazy thing when EXTREMELY short on resources? Look at what you actually have, write a script utilizing what you got, call in every favor, find a cast and crew as insane as you are, and GO FOR IT. Amazing thing is, when you have what some would believe to be an original compelling project ya just might get a few of those talented folks to throw down.
The first mantra of making Night of the Alien was “follow your gut”, no matter how illogical choices might seem. Here was subject matter and a cast that would never get ‘green lit’ under any other circumstances, yet it was was also a chance to create something no one had ever really seen before. Magic ALWAYS trumped logic, decisions made according to what just ‘felt’ right. Bottom line being not to have some ‘higher purpose’ or change any lost souls one lost soul at a time, but purely and simply to JUST ENTERTAIN, with a seamless mix of story-acting-visuals-music and tone. 
A directors role is to inspire, providing an environment that facilitates the artistic self-actualization of every person involved. Movies are truly a group effort and when there’s no monetary reward the bliss comes from a satisfaction of being part of creating something uniquely special, exhausting yourselves eighteen hour days not to just follow some trend or find ‘distribution’, but to make the super coolest movie possible. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Entertainment is commerce, so every possible effort must be made so every element in place guarantees the investment put in to said project makes a profit. Thus, it is most prudent to secure elements with a proven track record of success... actors, directors, producers, writers, who have knocked something fiscally out of the park. Another big hedge is tried and true story concepts, things people have seen, enjoyed, and bought lots of tickets for in the past. The understandable mantra of the big boys, the system. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, as long as formulas work, they will go on and on and on. 
We also got the indie ‘studio’ world, where more ‘chances’ are taken, but all that bankableness is still there, gaining cred rather than getting that fat paycheck. The formulas are still there too, just done in a more thought provoking artsy kinda of way. Good stuff, sometimes. 
Last and for sure least, is those flicks where hopeful ammeters fly by the seat of their pants to make something, anything. Most of what this particular group makes pretty much sucks. Even if it’s kinda pretty good, there’s still none of those hedge betting wonders to make it worth marketing. That’s why professionals make movies.
So, we as the public movie watching audience can always be guaranteed of fairly consistent choices of entertainment. But then again, novels had a their consistent ‘things’ through out time too, as had plays, painting, and music. 
Yet every once in a while Picasso has to brush some cubes, four lads from Liverpool make a ‘concept’ album, James Joyce writes Ulysses. Something unbelievable, un-understandable. And those formentioned artists were already proven commodities. 
You still need the math, mastery of technique, and structure. But art can not evolve unless that math, technique, and structure is every once in a while presented in an original way. ‘Original’ that doesn’t initially ‘seem’ marketable, at least to the hedge betters in charge. What’s this all mean? I don’t know, that artistic evolution only comes from ‘established’ artists every once and a while being ‘allowed’ to think out of the box.
But wait, there’s more. The fluke, something coming out of nowhere that shouldn’t, a force of unique creativity so strong, it takes hold of people’s imagination, defying the logic of the powers that be, undeniably making it’s way into mass conscious, thus becoming the next ‘big thing’ those ‘powers that be’ begin chasing. 
Like everything, movies as an art form have to evolve, they must. The rougher road much less taken.