Friday, July 28, 2006

Michael Moore Can Bite Me!

I just finished reading an article about Michael Moore's new film festival. "Moore Hopes Film Festival Sends Message" (AP).


He is showing films like The Wizard of Oz, and is ending the night with a special screening of Woody Allen's new movie SCOOP. In between we are getting films by Jeff Daniels and Larry David. And let's not forget a film starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson. Atta boy Mike, that is INDEPENDENT!

I am so sick and tired of all of these Hollywood movies acting like "Independents". Is it because they have budgets under 10 million dollars? Wow, that is "indie"!

Mike, you are part of the problem you arrogant shit! Talking about how this film festival is a break away from Hollywood and how Hollywood builds things on an assembly line and people want to see movies that are made out side the mainstream. You know what, you are right. But you are doing the same thing that Hollywood is. Having big budgeted mainstream "independent" movies at your film festival.

I know what you're going to say, that you need some of these other movies to attract audiences that might stay and see an unknown movie but a real independent filmmaker. Is that why you are having panels with Hollywood insiders too? Are they going to talk about how the doors are closed off to us real independents unless we spend millions of dollars and get a star? Are they going to talk about how lazy the whole independent film industry has become? That the marketing people won't even try and sell movies with good stories and good acting? They can only sell it if it has a name actor involved? That's crap! As much as I love Julieanne Moore, I don't go out and see every movie she has done because she is in it!

Are they going to tell us that the only way they were able to finance their movies was because they knew someone?

I sat on a panel at Indie Memphis about raising money for movies. One of the panelists (who had worked on a few movies with a famous "Indie" Director), talked about how she would just go to parties in New York and pitch her ideas and some one would say, "that's a good idea, I think we can fund it". And they would just happen to be a big wig at some studio. She never saw that it was tough to get financing! Well guess what? Most Independent Filmmakers are not hanging out at parties in New York talking to an executive from Warner Brothers! We are at home, working on our movies and figuring out ways to get them seen!

I go to movies to see good stories and good acting. I don't give a shit who the actors are, as long as they are believable. I mean WHO WAS JARED HESS, before Napoleon Dynamite? Not exactly a house hold name...

I know that Jeff Daniels is from Michigan, and that's nice. Give him his own tribute. And I can't disagree with you honoring Stanley Kubrick either, he's one of my all time favorite directors as well. I also remember seeing Clockwork Orange when I was a kid and having it blow me away. Kubrick had a vision, and I think he was a maverick filmmaker, but I certainly wouldn't call him Independent. Not with all of the stars he used, and his budgets that came from Hollywood and New York.

Next time try a tribute to John Cassavetes, he was the real thing. A maverick and an Independent!

I just get fed up with people like you who started making films when there were Independents and now that you have made it, you talk about doing your own festival to help these other filmmakers get an audience. You MIGHT have been an Independent when you made Roger and Me, but now you are just another one of those wealthy filmmakers who give lip service to helping out other "Independent" filmmakers. Next time who will you be "helping out"? Other wealthy guys?

Hey Mike! How about a film festival featuring movies made for under $100,000 with good actors that no one has ever heard of? How about lending your name and your publicity machine to actually helping REAL Independent Filmmakers? Even Sundance abandoned that approach. They must have found out that it was a lot more fun and profitable to hang with the Hiltons, and other celebrities instead of promoting an entire festival of unknown filmmakers! But at least they tried in the early days. What about you?

Please stop this fucking charade that your festival is about "independents", unless of course you mean the Hollywood Corporate Independents. Then I guess you'll feel right at home.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Vans Warped Tour

I went to the Vans Warped Tour on Sunday, July 16th. The bands were great, the weather was great, and for the most part things were handled really well, especially the whole parking thing. I don't know how many people were actually there, but getting in and out of the parking lots was pretty easy and not much of a wait.


The Bull Shit started once we got there. When we went in at the beginning of the day we asked the people who were in charge, since this was a "festival-like" event, if it would be okay if we went in and out as we had left some things in our car, (i.e., food, sunscreen, and water). If it wasn't okay we would go grab what we needed and take it in with us then. The plan was to hear some music, wander around, go out, have lunch by the car, then go back in and hear more music. I was assured that this was not a problem.

So 3 hours later when we try to go back to the parking lot we are told by the people at the gate that if we left we couldn't get back in. WHAT THE FUCK! I politely told these people that we were assured by the people at the gate in the morning that this wouldn't be a problem. I was told we could have gone back and forth for only a short period of time and after that, you couldn't.

What the HELL does that mean? And why wasn't this stuff posted at the entrance? Printed on our tickets? I couldn't find any information about any of this anywhere. That's why I asked the question in the morning!

Now I know that this woman had probably had arguments with people earlier in the day about this, but I wasn't one of them. She was very bitchy to me, while I was trying to be polite. I mean let's face it, I have worked these kind of things before and we all know what assholes the public can be. That's why I was trying to be polite.

The upshot is that the people at the concert lied to us! First we were told we could go in and out, then we are told after we are in, that we can't. Basically they want you to pay really high prices for very bland food and water! Yes, there was free drinking water available in one spot way off to one side, pretty much away from everything. But it was there, and it was free. If you really wanted cold water near any of the stages or tents, you paid for it.

Wasn't the Vans Warped Tour supposed to be about Punk Rock? I thought it would be anti mainstream, you know, independent. But I guess I forgot that it is now sponsored by a huge cell phone company and they had a booth set up to give away junk by a huge bank! That's really punk! Yeah I know people are going to say that the Tour has bills to pay. And I am sure it does. It is a huge under taking. I wish they would just stop pretending that they are something they are not. They are not Punk! They are not independent!

So if you go to the Warped Tour, enjoy the music. Just remember that the people who run the place will lie to you, and their main goal is to separate you from your money.

I doubt if I'll be going again. It's too bad. Joan Jett and NO FX were great! It's the liars and the money hungry corporations I can do with out. Oh yeah, and the over priced lousy food.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Angry Filmmaker's Fall & Winter Tours

Hey All,

Well it's that time again. No, not time for picnics and trips to the lake. It's time to start booking the Angry Filmmaker's Fall and Winter Tours. I know it seems like I just got back home, (and I did), but this road show must go on. So if you want me to come to your School, College, University, Media Art Center, Theater, or even over to your house for dinner, now is the time to act!

In the last year I have driven 27,000 miles, flew to the UK, gave over 100 lectures and work shops, screened my work 74 times, talked to hundreds of students, eaten my weight in patty melts and club sandwiches, drank a swimming pool full of gas station coffee, (okay maybe a wading pool...), and ate three cases of Tums. The tours have been great and I want to thank all of those people who have already asked me back again this year. Moses and I are looking forward to being on the road again.

I am starting the Tour in mid-September on the East Coast (the Baltimore/DC area). I'll be heading north towards Philadelphia, New Jersey, Boston, New York State, over to the Great Lakes region, down thru the mid-west, to Memphis and the deep South, Missouri, Texas, Arizona and then back up the West Coast to Portland and home. I plan on being on the road until the second week of November.

I will be on tour in the UK and Northern Europe in late January/early February.

What else have I been up to? Funny you should ask. I finally have Angry Filmmaker T-shirts! I spent a very hot afternoon in an unventilated garage to make these things for you, I hope you appreciate it! You can get them in any color you want, as long as it's black.

I have also lowered the prices on all of my DVD's! I mean who am I to charge more than Tom Cruise and George Lucas for my movies? If I had a tent, and you all know how I feel about camping, I would have a tent sale! Can you even put a tent up on the internet?

Anyway, I will be contacting a lot of you individually to find out about bookings for the Fall and the Winter. But you don't have to wait for me to contact you. You can contact me! It's the internet!

Check out and I promise that this year I will be posting the correct information on the tour part of the site as I book things.

Talk later.

Angrily yours,


Friday, July 14, 2006

Editing and Moving Hell....

It has been nuts! Too much going on.

I have moved in to my small apartment and I am all set up. I have no living room because it is full of gear, but who needs a living room anyway? My shoulders are killing me from all the moving. I am getting too old for this crap, or I have too much crap to keep moving around. One of the two,. or maybe both...

I need to do a shout out to Avid, and Jeff McFadyen. My mother board blew out on my ancient IBM that was home to my copy of Express DV. The machine was old and a work horse, but sooner or later they all bite the dust. Anyway, there was some question about my being able to even upgrade, as my system was so old. I was told by one reseller to call some one else. I got hold of the person who had originally sold me the system, he told me he had been told that things had changed and according to his sources at Avid I would have to buy the whole new software package as my system was so old. I was pissed! So I sent an email to Jeff at Avid figuring I would never get a reply...

Not only did he get back to me the next business day, he basically made sure that I got the upgrade I needed and even discounted the new dongle. Thanks Jeff! I also spent about an hour on the phone with Rachel over there and she walked me thru a bunch of stuff on the new set up. Jeff and Rachel are one of the reasons I am loyal to Avid. It's great working with people who cares.

I know a lot of you out there are Final Cut Pro Users, and it seems like a good system, but Avid has always taken care of me and I'm sticking with them. If you are thinking about an editing system, check out Avid Express Pro. They are good people at Avid, and they care.

Now I can start editing the footage I have shot on the last two tours. I am making a doc on the American Dream. I have been interviewing people all over the country as I travel asking them what they think the American Dream is. Some interesting and surprising answers. Look for Part One to be available this Fall.

And speaking of the Fall... I am booking my Fall Tour as we speak. So those of you on my email list will be getting bothered again soon. I am planning on doing 7 weeks, and the tentative start is September 15th in Washington, DC. That means I am driving 2800 miles before my first gig. That's four days people. Anyone want to let Moses and I crash at their place while I am on the road?

Moses and I are looking forward to hitting the road again. I think Moses misses the road life. This dog is way too comfortable in Hotels. Thank God he can't order room service.

If you want me to come to your town, school, theater, or even over for dinner let me know. I am getting hungry...

The local PBS station did a profile of me that ran a few weeks ago. It was nice, and my site got lots of hits. Thanks Greg for doing such a good job on it. You made me look pretty good. Not that any one believed it.

I just did an interview for a local newspaper about my road adventures, hopefully that'll be running in a couple weeks.

The other new thing is my buddy Josh and I spent all day silk screening T-shirts. Yes, Angry Filmmaker T-shirts are finally available!

Order them on line, and I'll send them out asap.

That's it for now. Talk later.

Angrily yours,