Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tour Name Contest/AF Tip of the Day

It's time for some audience participation here at AF World Headquarters. I will be heading out on tour again next month and I haven't come up with a tour name for this year. Past names have included: The Pissed Off in America Tour, The Kicking & Screaming Tour, The IRS Tour, and who could forget, The Grass Roots - Brass Knuckles Tour.

Here are some names my pal Aaron Corpus and I have come up with:

-- The Help Kelley Baker STOP Being Angry Tour
-- They Loved Him in Tulsa Tour.

-- The 2008 "Screw Distribution! Let's Tour!" Tour
-- Anger to the People: The 2008 Pissed Off Tour
-- A man. His dog. A car. Some films: The 2008 Angry Filmmaker Tour
-- Never Mind Sundance: It's the Angry Filmmaker.
-- I sold out to Hollywood and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!
-- Compromise Kills.
-- Angry Filmmaking 101 Tour
-- The Angry Filmmaker's Left at Albuquerque Tour 2008
-- The 2008 Let's Get Angry Tour
-- Hi! I'm Angry! The 2008 Angry Filmmaker Tour

Now it's your turn.

We are going to have a contest.

If you think you are smarter or funnier than we are, suggest your own tour name.

Send me a tour name between now and February 15th.

We will take the best tour names and put them up for a vote. We will pick the ones we like best, post them and then you can vote between Feb 16th and 22nd. The one with the most votes wins.

The person who sends me the winning tour name will get signed copies of any two of my DVD's, their choice.

Sure, it's not Publishers Clearinghouse, but I'm not Ed McMahon. This is the best I can do.

So let's get going, time's wasting. Give me your best ideas and let's see what happens.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

One of the biggest mistakes that new filmmakers make is not allowing enough time for pre-production. - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Spike Lee/Hurricane Katrina/AF Tip of the Day

I want to thank all of you who have written notes to me telling me to feel better. I am on drugs now for my lungs (joys of being an asthmatic), and I am starting to feel a lot better. Thanks for your concern. This isn't going to stop me from going out on tour in March, Moses and I will be on the road as usual.

So you all know, I am not a big fan of Spike Lee's films. His early works are good but he lost me quite a few years ago. I think he is a talented guy, (especially when it comes to self-promotion) but his last few films have just not engaged me. It seems like it's become more about him, than the story he's telling.

That being said, I have watched the first 3 acts of his documentary When The Levees Broke and I am wowed! Spike you are making me a believer again in your talent. I am looking forward to watching the rest of it. If you don't know what it's about, it is about Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath. The people that Spike has interviewed are amazing, all of them! The footage is devastating, and the face of the tragedy is real! If you haven't seen this movie yet, get it! It certainly makes you wonder what those in power were thinking (or if they were thinking), and how could this government treat it's citizens this way.

The great thing about this movie for me (so far), is that Spike allows the people and the images to speak for themselves. And that's what they do, wonderfully. A great movie, Spike you have renewed my faith in your talent, and made me depressed about the state of this country and our government all at the same time. Thank you for such a though provoking film.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

During the period when you're still rehearsing, don't be afraid to replace an actor. - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Spring 08 Tour/AF Tip of the Day

It is time for me to book my Spring Tour. Moses and I am going to be on the road during March and April 2008 showing my films and teaching my subversive brand of filmmaking. In the last 5 years I have appeared at over 350 venues and we always have a great time.

My Spring route starts in California, I will be driving through the Southwest, Texas and the South to Florida, and then I work my way up the East Coast, hang a left at Massachusetts and drive back to the West Coast via the Northern states. I do it this way so that I can try to avoid foul weather, but it never really works out.

If you are interested in having me come to your college, university, media art center, art house theater, or even over to your house for dinner, contact me at I already have some bookings but I can always use more.

Remember, my rates are reasonable, my workshops are fun and informative, and I have more hair the Dov Simmons. You can't beat a combination like that.

The workshops I will be offering on the tour are:

Making the Extreme Low Budget Feature - - In 2000 Kelley Baker set out to make a full length feature film for the sum of $1000. He failed miserably. His budget ballooned up to $4000, (he forgot he had to feed cast and crew), but when the dust finally settled he had completed THE GAS CAFE, a 90 minute DV feature. Along the way he set up a website, shot behind the scenes footage (for a documentary), and made the movie that he wanted to. What's wrong with this guy? In 2002 Kelley sent 100 letters to 100 Friends asking for $100 to fund Kicking Bird. He raised $5000 and shot for 18 days. Kelley is currently touring the country with Kicking Bird. In this workshop Kelley will walk participants through the entire process from scripting through post production. How to get the most for very limited resources, asking the right questions to get free stuff, and working in an atmosphere where people share your vision, put in very long hours for no money, and enjoy it!

Guerilla Marketing and Self Distribution of Your Film - - Independent filmmaking is alive and well, it's independent distribution that is dead. At a time when "independent" films have to have a star and at least a couple million dollar budget, how do you get your films seen? Forget Sundance, Miramax, and PBS. These places get hundreds of submissions a year. From wooden nickels to websites, to press kits and reviews Kelley Baker walks you though different ways to get an audience to turn out for your screenings. He challenges you to assess the real market for your film and provides examples of other filmmakers getting their work out, after their films were turned down by traditional distributors. You've already made the thing, what good is it doing sitting on your shelf?

Sound Design on Independent Features - - As the Sound Designer on Gus Van Sant's films, as well as animated features, network television specials and his own features, Kelley Baker has a unique approach to the Art of Sound Design. Whether you're working with a huge budget, or a non-existent one, sound is the one area of filmmaking that always gets little attention, until the very end. "We'll fix it in the mix..." is an often heard expression, but what does that mean? As a sound designer it usually means you're in trouble. There's never enough money or time to do sound right. So what do you do? Do you mix in digital? Dolby? How many formats are there and which one is going to give you the most options? Kelley will share his insights, and show you creative solutions to many sound problems. He'll also discuss what to do when you have no budget, and how to blow a lot of money when you do have it.

The Personal Documentary - - In 1992 Kelley Baker had his first child so he decided to make a fun little film about it. The result, YOU'LL CHANGE (3 min), has been seen all over the world. Not bad for a little movie shot on short ends for less than $1000. He has now made 8 personal short films which have won numerous awards in film festivals around the world. Kelley will discuss how he takes the little moments in his life and makes award winning films out of them for fun and profit.

I have yet to name this tour, past tours have included: The Angry Filmmaker's Pissed Off in America Tour, the Kicking & Screaming Tour, The IRS Tour, and last year's Grass Roots, Brass Knuckles Tour. Maybe we'll have a contest to name the tour…

So contact me already! What are you waiting for?

Check out the website for more info,

Oh yeah, the AF Tip of the Day.

Every year there are probably 12,000 - 15,000 scripts registered with the Writers Guild. How many movies do you think are actually made from those 15,000 scripts?
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming 2008)

Monday, January 28, 2008

WalMart/Orson Welles/AF Tip of the Day

I hate being sick! The only good thing about it is it forced me to lay low and watch a couple of movies I have been putting off seeing. I checked out the WalMart doc, and I have to say I was impressed. When you see this movie it makes it really hard to justify going in to that place. I was really bothered by the fact that their full time employees make so little, and yet the Owners and Executives make so much. I knew a lot of what was in the movie before I watched it, but the way they successfully put such a human face on it was amazing. I know I won't be shopping there.

I also watched Orson Welles' film, F Is For Fake. Wow! I have heard about the film for years, and Welles is one of my favorites (we can debate Touch Of Evil and Citizen Kane at another time, but I truly feel Touch Of Evil is so much better than Kane, and it was a work for hire...), but finally seeing it was great. I watched Peter Bogdanovich's introduction, and he is right, it is not a documentary so much as it is a personal essay. The way Welles interacts with the people in the film, and the audience was great. He was a genius and there will never be another one like him. I think everyone who is interested in filmmaking should see this movie. I believe that Welles' films get better with age. There was no one like him, and probably will never be. Instead of going to your local theater this weekend and spending money on the latest crap from Hollywood, find this movie.

Since I am still feeling like crap I am going to stay low key today and watch something else. See you tomorrow.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

I think about budgeting during the writing stages. I think about budgeting during the thinking stages. I think about budgeting all the time

- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Indy Film Co-op/Key Bank/AF Tip of the Day

I am not feeling well today. I am really tired and kind of pissed that Key Bank really screwed me over on my Canadian Currency Exchange. Stay away from Key Bank! They have pulled a bunch of other stuff on me lately with fees and all, I will be closing my account there soon.

Since it is Friday I want to tell you all about, and encourage you to join the Indy Film Co-op, ( It's a great group and Bill posts lots of wonderful articles for discussion, and other filmmakers post things on the site as well. If you want to know about what is going on both nationally and internationally this is the place. And yes, I post there as well.

There are filmmakers all over the globe that belong here, and there is always something interesting to read there. Check out the articles, blogs, and the forums. They have all sorts of resources available for serious filmmakers. (

I am going to write about them more in the future, but now I think I need to take a nap.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

A film crew is not a democracy!

- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in early 2008)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Driving/AF Tip of the Day

I am driving most of the day today fromVancouver, BC back to Portland. So today, I got nothin!

Except of course your AF Tip of the Day.

I work my ass off being organized so that my cast and crew don't have much standing around time.
- - from The Angry Filmmakers Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Yo Canada/AF Tip of the Day

I just finished up at Capilano College in Vancouver, BC. I did 4 - 3 hour lectures mostly on sound design, and then a 3 hour Q&A last night about marketing and self distribution. My voice is killing me. The students were wonderful as were the faculty. I will be happy to come back to Cap anytime, just ask. Please don't forget to go to my website and pay for the items you bought last night, (you know who you are) I trusted you, don't make me feel like a schmuck.

I am going to hang out with a friend today and see a bit more of Vancouver, then I'll head home tomorrow. I must say that everything is real expensive up here, thanks W for messing up our economy, it's great to pay so much more for everything.

I hate to even write this, but I just saw a piece about a couple of films at Sundance that I felt I should pass on. Amy Redford's directorial debut is being shown (I wonder how she got her film in), plus Colin Hanks is in a film there, with his Dad Tom, and Josh Ritter is in a film there as well. I am so happy that the programmers at Sundance are giving unknown and emerging "independents" a place to screen their films...

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

Good actors are more important than "stars" any day of the week. - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kon Tiki/AF Tip of the Day

When you get the chance, rent the documentary Kon Tiki. Kon-Tiki was the raft used by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands. It won the best documentary Oscar in 1951. It is all in black & white and has Thor narrating so it is very much of a time. But when you think of what they accomplished on this trip it was amazing. They were at sea for 101 days on a raft relying on the wind and the currents too take them across the ocean. I remember seeing it as a kid, I didn't remember it being this fascinating.

There was no boat sailing a long with them, no back up team, no nothing. All they had was a hand cranked radio for contact. If the raft failed they would have all died. Talk about gutsy!

It was all shot in film, hand held, and it is steadier that half the stuff we see on video today. And these guys were filming on the ocean. The exposures are all good and the shots are mostly composed very well. I think all film students should watch this film instead of Nanook of the North (do they even watch that film anymore?). What these guys did with a wind up 16mm camera and the story they tell is pretty fascinating, even today. Totally no-tech! Check it out.

I guess I should write something about Sundance since it is going on right now and everyone is writing about it. I guess my thought is, who really gives a fuck! It is not an independent festival, and hasn't been for years. It has been over run by stars, suits and people from the studios. I am so happy that U2 and Josh Groban are appearing there, (why do I even know this?). If Paris Hilton couldn't make it this year then I guess we have to settle for these folks.

Give it up Bob. What started with all of the best intentions is now a popularity contest that isn't open to serious Independent Filmmakers anymore.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

Writing (and filmmaking) should be about passion! You write a script because you need to. You have to! You need to get this stuff out of your system! - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Monday, January 21, 2008

On The Road/AF Tip of the Day

I spent Friday and Saturday in Eugene where I did a guest lecture at Lane Community College, a screening and a workshop at the DIVA Center. Thanks Teresa, your students at LCC were great! I got some great questions and we had a good discussion. And once again the folks at DIVA were a lot of fun. To all you filmmakers out there, if you have a film and want a good place to screen in Eugene, Oregon check out The DIVA Center, (

I am going to be at Capilano College in Vancouver, BC for the next two days doing guest lectures, workshops and maybe even a screening. I am hoping for a couple of cold beers at the end of all this.

I am finishing up the sound on a friends movie and it's been fun. I have been learning Pro Tools and Final Cut Pro. Look out, this is going to make me dangerous...

More on those programs later.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

Don't ever set a scene in a location that you know will be impossible to get. You're just wasting everybody's time.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Oppenheimer Camera Equipment Grant/AF Tip of the Day

It is Friday, I am tired and so I am going to spend my blog time telling you about a guy who wants to help you make your movie. Marty Oppenheimer of Oppenheimer Cine Rental in Seattle, WA. I have known Marty for years. He has helped me out on lots of my films, and we're friends.

You need to check out Marty's website, You want to check out his whole site, lots of good stuff about camera rentals, (film & video) and speaking from experience, Marty is one of the best guys I have ever worked with. His gear is great, and his service is even better. He is the kind of guy who will work with you and your budget. He has saved my ass on more than one occasion. And he is very supportive of new filmmakers.

If you don't believe me then follow this link, Marty has an equipment grant program. You need to read the info he has on his site, all of the info! After you have read it, if you have a film you want to shoot in FILM, you can apply to his program. He is interested in helping students as well as independent filmmakers.

Marty WILL NOT give you money! So don't even ask. But he will loan you film equipment for your shoot if you qualify. How many other camera companies will do that? I don't know of any. So check out his site, ( and if you are interested (even if you don't live in the Seattle area) contact them.

Don't waste his time. Marty is a good guy and he will not be taken advantage of. He is an honest guy who wants to help filmmakers. And since he is a friend of mine, you don't want to piss me off!

If you don't have a project, tell your friends. If you're doing a feature/documentary/corporate or commercial gig where you have a budget for camera rental, then I say rent from him if you need gear. We need to keep guys like Marty around, he believes in guys like me.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

On your first day of shooting, everything takes longer than planned. You will get half of what you scheduled done. - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Leonard Cohen/AF Tip of the Day

I just had the misfortune of watching Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Man. Lian Lunson was the Director.

WTF? Why did he make this movie? Leonard Cohen is a great songwriter/poet, hell I even like his voice. Harry Rasky made the best Leonard Cohen doc 20 years ago, (give or take). I got nothing from this movie. Having other singers interpret Cohen's work was not very interesting. And personally, I really don't give a fuck what U2 and all of these other clowns think about Leonard Cohen. We have to listen to them blather on, instead of listening to the man himself. I know it was probably their names that got the movie made, but the movie is so unimpressive that I know I could have lived without it.

If you are going to make a documentary/concert film about someone who is still alive, use them as much as possible, especially if they are as talented as Leonard Cohen. Otherwise you are wasting our time. Instead of seeing Lian Lunson's next movie, I think I'll try and find Harry Rasky's old docs.

And here is your AF Tip of the Day.

Many Classic Films were shot in less than 18 days. Some old studio films were shot in 10 - 15 days. It has only been recently, (the last 25 years) with bloated budgets and every one wanting to be like Francis Coppola, that shoots have gone way over schedule. - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mixing & Sweetening/AF Tip of the Day

I am in a mix session for the next two days trying to finish up a friend's movie. Note I said mix and not sweetening, sweetening is something you do to iced tea, mixing is what we do in film. I hate that word sweetening and when I hear people use it I realize how little they know about filmmaking. It also implies that the user doesn't think that the audio is as important as their visuals. Remember this, you can have the coolest shots in the world, but if people can't understand the dialog in your film they won't watch it!

Anyway, the point of all this was that I am really slammed so I might not blog tomorrow. We'll see. Come back and see. I'll let you know how the mix turns out later.

And here is your AF Tip of the Day.

Make your idea fit the budget. Don't write something you can't pull off.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Alec Guinness/AF Tip of the Day

I just watched Kind Hearts and Coronets (again), a Robert Hamer film. For those of you who haven't seen it Alec Guinness is amazing. Yes, it is an old film (1949) in Black & White, and yes it is British, but it is hilarious!

Alec Guinness plays an entire family, male and female, young and old. He always had a terrific range as an actor, it is too bad that some many people only remember him as Obi Wan in Star Wars. Although I will admit that he is the best part of the very first movie. He was one of the great actors of his time. Go to and check his films out, you will be amazed. I think I'll see if I can pick up The Bridge on the River Kwai again...

Anyway, if you haven't seen Kind Hearts and Coronets pick it up. Robert Hamer was a wonderful writer and director and even his bad films are so much better then what is currently in the theaters.

And here is your AF Tip of the Day.

Make watching good movies a habit. You'll learn more.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide
(coming 2008)

Monday, January 14, 2008

An Amazing Woman/AF Tip of the Day

I went to a Memorial over the weekend for my best friend's Mother. She passed away over the holidays. She was an amazing woman, and the memorial was perfect. She would have liked it a lot, and I have a feeling that she was there. I got up and spoke which was an honor for me as she was a great influence on my life and my work. This is an excerpt of what I said on Saturday.

"The one thing I will always remember about Jean is when I moved back to Portland from LA, where I had gone to school.

I wanted to make a documentary on the criminal justice system and I was telling Pete about it. He said I should talk to his Mom because she was running some foundation with lots of money! "Maybe she'll give you some."

She did something better. She sat down with me and we went through the Oregon Guide to Foundations book and she told me which foundations to apply to, how much to ask for, and more importantly, how to write the letter.

She didn't give me any money that day, she didn't even talk about the foundation she worked for. But a couple of weeks later I received a check from the trust towards my film.

Jean always donated money to my movies, she told her friends and colleagues about my work, and she always came to the events that I was involved with.

She was one of my most faithful supporters, and I will miss her."

If there is a heaven, then for her it has lots of hiking trails and beautiful views. Take care Jean.

And now, the AF Tip of the Day.

There seems to be this myth that if you're not actually shooting, then you are not making your movie.

- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming 2008)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Helena Handbasket/AF Tip of the Day

I've been working late the last few nights on a couple projects and I havewn't been sleeping well. Business as usual. I am tired and cranky this morning and Moses is out of food. So I'm going to run to the store and get more food and get back to work.

If you're bored go read one of my favorite bloggers, Helena Handbasket, I just like her writing.

I'll see you on Monday.

Oh yeah, the AF Tip of the Day.

I am so sick of seeing all of these vanity fucking titles at the beginning of movies by people I've never heard of.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming 2008)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Money Issues/AF Tip of the Day

I finally got a check I have been expecting for a month. This is the downside to what I do. I go to schools and talk to students and get them excited about filmmaking and teach them various tricks I have learned over the years. Then I have to wait for 30 days, or more, to get paid. I am still owed money from my Fall Tour and that ended in early November. It gets annoying, and I hate being put in a position where I have to bother people for the money that I am owed!

I am always happy to do paperwork ahead of time, submit invoices, and sign W-9's. And it still doesn't seem to make a difference.

There are some schools and media art centers that have my check waiting for me when I get there and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. If any of you out there are reading this and you work at places who want me to come and speak, I am happy to do that. And if we can get the paperwork out of the way a head of time, that would be great. I get tired of having to send follow up emails to people wondering why I haven't been paid. I recognize that sometimes things just happen and some payments get screwed up.

We are in a society where we now have to pay Doctors and other "Professionals" up front, but it is okay to negotiate with an artist, try and get them to cut their fees and then make them wait for 30 + days to get paid. I know a lot of my friends are frustrated as well. Have you ever told your doctor that taking out your appendix for free will look good on his resume? I didn't think so.

Help me out here! I am one person and even a few dollars makes a big difference to me. Just be as organized as you expect me to be and everything will work out fine.

Thanks for letting me vent.

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

Banks will not loan you money when you need it! They only loan you money when you have money.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Scanner Darkly/AF Tip of the Day

I tried watching A Scanner Darkly last night. You know, one of those movies you should watch, but it also feels like it's an assignment. Well, I failed. I like the style and technique, and I am not one of those people who doesn't like Keanu Reeves (in some movies he has been quite good), I just couldn't get in to it. I gave it an hour but the story just never engaged me.

I feel sorry for Philip K. Dick. I think his writing is good, but the movies that get made from his work (that I've seen), suck! Blade Runner is beautiful to look at but the story and the acting are pretty lame. And no I haven't seen the new version, what's it called, "The Director wants a new home in the South of France" Cut. Or is it "The Studio Accountant's need to squeeze a few more dollars out of an old movie because their new films suck" Cut? Watching that movie the first time years ago was enough for me. Love the look, story sucks.

And here it is, The AF Tip of the Day.

If you had a good script supervisor then there's a lot of stuff you don't need to input in to your editing system. Look at their notes then just input circled takes.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Hampshire/AF Tip

Do people in New Hampshire have jobs? I am seeing them on television and they are in cafes, barbershops, and apparently constantly attending rallies and public meetings.

When do they have time to do all this? I may be self employed, but even I don't have as much free time as they seem to. Do you get paid to attend rallies in New Hampshire? Are there professions like cafe sitter, barber shop customer (maybe they just get their hair cut a lot), and town meeting participant? Or is it massive unemployment and no one has anything better to do?

As a working citizen in Oregon, all of these people in New Hampshire seem pretty fishy to me.

Maybe they are being paid by the two political parties, or better yet, the media is paying them to create this event. Make it seem like people actually care what goes on up there. Or maybe these "typical" people we see are clones, or robots, just like the candidates...

Here's your AF Tip of the Day.

If you have the money to pay a star, maybe you should invest that money instead. It's a lot less risky than making a movie. - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming 2008)

Monday, January 07, 2008

Science of Sleep/AF Tip of the Day

I finally got to watch The Science of Sleep last night on DVD. I have to say that I liked it. The visuals were good and I really liked the story telling. I thought the ending was a bit weak, but it was better than having a traditional Hollywood ending where everything turns out great. I guess they could have an ending like this because it was a Warner Independent Picture. Like I believe that...

It looked to me like it was a group of European Companies that made the film and I am sure that Warner bought the distribution rights and then slapped their name all over it. A major studio with an Independent arm? Yeah right! I think it is such a joke that the majors have their own Independent boutiques. You can't tell me that the executives in those companies just sit back and tell filmmakers to "make the film that you want to make and we will support you no matter what." If you believe that ... I am starting to feel monkeys fly out of my butt!

Anyway, I think The Science of Sleep is definitely worth seeing. And since it is a studio release, I recommend checking the DVD out at your local library if possible. I'll tell you more about that later.

Here is our AF Tip of the Day.

You should watch some of the classic films. And no, Titanic is not a classic.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Let's get this right...

I just finished watching A Decade Under The Influence, the 3 part documentary series that was done for IFC a couple years ago. It was all about the late 60's early 70's and all the amazing films that were made in that 10 years. And there were some good films made in those years, but...

I am so sick and tired of people talking about how amazing the 60's and 70's were. I was there for part of it, and it wasn't all that great! Were there good things happening? Yeah. But there was a lot of shit going on as well. My big problem with everybody always talking about those years and how revolutionary they were, they have become part of the problem!

You get all of these people comparing themselves to John Cassevettes. Here is a news flash! None of those guys could carry Cassevettes tri-pod. Cassevettes mortgaged his house, he took roles in bad movies to make money, and he did whatever it took to get his films made his way. And he usually ended up self-distributing them. You hear these clowns like Coppola and Lucas and Spielberg talking about how they were able to sneak in to the studios and get their movies made. They were gambling with someone else's money and you can't tell me that they didn't make changes to their movies based on what the studios wanted.

The other "mavericks" were doing similar things. One exception would be Dennis Hopper and Easy Rider. It seems like no one cared what they were doing and they ended up making a classic and a hit. Yes, the studio execs were trying to figure out what the young people wanted and so they hired a bunch of directors to make films that would appeal to kids. They gave them a little bit of money and stood back. Some terrific films did get made.

As the years went by what did these mavericks do who were going to change the system? They started getting bigger and bigger budgets and their films got blander and blander. Now, you really can't tell their later work from anyone else's. And it is these people who have entrenched themselves in the system and their PR flacks are telling everyone how "Independent" they still are, and people are believing it. These "mavericks" are content sitting around with all of their money and awards and re-doing the same shit over and over.

The wild card in this group is Coppola who just self-funded a movie and I heard him say that this is what he is going to do from here on out. Self-fund his films and keep them on a "small budget", like 15 or 16 million dollars. Francis, you have more originality and take more chances than the rest of those clowns but you can still kiss my ass! 15 million dollars for a "little independent movie"? I think you are drinking too much of your own wine.

None of these guys ever were, and will never be John Cassevettes and I hate everyone comparing them to him. There was only one Cassevettes and if he were a live today I can only hope that he would still be making his own films his own way and to hell with every one else.

If you haven't seen a Cassevettes film, find them. I recommend, A Woman Under The Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and Husbands. Some of his films are hard to watch, but ultimately worth it. (Gloria doesn't really count, it was a studio film and even though he wrote it, he was merely a gun for hire as he put it. It's still a pretty good movie.)

I hope you all had a decent New Years and I certainly hope the 2008 is better than 2007, for all of us.

And now, the first AF Tip of the New Year...

The other thing that you all have to remember about Hollywood, is nepotism. There are people who can get movies made in Hollywood because of who their parents are.

- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming early 2008)