Tuesday, March 04, 2008

SWAMP letter/AF Tip of the Day

I just received an email from my friend Michelle Mowrer who works at SWAMP in Houston. I need to say that SWAMP is one of my favorite venues to play, Michelle coordinates all of the classes and work shops, baby sits all of the guests, takes care of hotel arrangements, picks up the food for the events and always makes me feel at home. In addition, she is a filmmaker, has written a screenplay that I really like, and is married with 2 kids. There's a lot more to say about Michelle, but I'll stop now.

Anyway she sent me an email this morning and I wanted to use part of it for my blog. I hope that's okay? Oh well, here it is…

"I was reading an article written by Amber Benson about her experience making her feature film "Lovers, Liars and Lunatics" (which we are screening in May). She financed the film by selling dolls of herself online. Well, actually, it was a doll of her character "Tara" on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Here's a quote from her about indie filmmaking that reminded me of you...

"It [independent film] ceased to exist a number of years ago when every independent distributor was picked up by a major league studio, or they went out of
business. I mean, there really is no independent cinema any
longer. There are very few people that are working outside the
mainstream, and when they do, you don't see their films because
they play at one art house theater in LA or New York.

So, when you say Lindsay Lohan is going to do 'independent
films', Lindsay Lohan is going to do a million dollar movie. That's
called an 'independent film' now. Ang Lee's doing 'independent films'
now; BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is an 'independent film', do you
know what I mean?

They're nominated for Independent Spirit Awards, they play at
Sundance. Every film at Sundance pretty much has a distributor
already. Or, was made with big stars. Or, you know, Sigourney
Weaver is in the 'independent', and therefore it's picked up. Anything
that's independent...truly independent...does not happen any more."

We had an interesting discussion after the Academy Awards that many of the same films nominated for Oscars were also nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards. Anyway, thought you'd appreciate that. You're not the only "angry filmmaker" out there, just the only trademarked one. ;)"

Thanks Michelle. When you see Amber tell her there are a few of us die-hards still out there and we are not showing our work in New York or LA. We are taking our films straight to audiences all over the country.

The rest of you need to check out SWAMP, (www.swamp.org).

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

I don't recommend editing your own work unless you've done it on other people's movies. - - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in Spring 2008)


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