Friday, September 21, 2007

Cooprdog speaks,....but who will listen?

I know.. .I know… all I do is talk about film. That’s why Canada left me…or is it because I wouldn’t do coke with her and actually liked her as a person? And I don’t do enough to support my relationship or my girlfriends…I mean that’s what Melissa told me… as she was 9 months unemployed, living in my house not paying for so much as toilet paper and if you are reading this… I still make fun of you because your creditors still call my fucking house…..oh yeah, I saw that shit you did on youtube…why didn’t’ you call me? It looks awful… I mean I do really kind of hate you… but I’d have made sure your horrible copy and stilted acting looked watchable. Hmm, who else is there…oh yes, Caroline…the last in a long line of Princesses and Daddies girls that I dated (hey guys, you get to hold open doors and not get laid… that’s awesome… and guess what, when you do get laid.. she’ll start weeping so hard you’ll leave the state for fear of prosecution.) And how could we ever forget Jamie. A name that has never appeared in this blog…never been directly cited… only briefly referred to so as to keep her identity (and our relationship) a secret. I had this belief that she was the one, it was a really strong feeling, kind of like when you are in Gamestop and you see what you believe will be the greatest game of all time….only to be disappointed in the AI and the overall gameplay….she was the most disappointing… because Canada and Melissa and Caroline all had drug problems and I weighed that against their ability to tolerate my constant cumming in their faces (Jesus, it’s a joke… I like to cum in the crack of her ass… just ask around)… but Jamie… that was just fear, insecurity, interrace issues (when you're black and you speak with near perfect fuck a lot of white girls, what can I say?), status, class… I mean you name it and it bothered her. So now that I have been informed that we will never speak again (which is always funny to hear from someone who doesn’t play hardball…I mean, I know what it’s like to get in a fight with a parent and not speak to them for more than 5 years, I also know what it’s like when you have refused to speak to someone..and then they suddenly die; I know what it’s like end a relationship that is 7-10 years old…at the drop of a hat). So since I can do no good in the dating world… well, that’s not really true. I have had three really pretty much great relationships, but each of those women had herpes. I mean what the fuck kind of a choice is that? Do I plan on cheating on my wife?, do I want the option?....yes.

Ok…ok.. I’m kidding, I would never cheat on my wife (cause we’re just going to live together, baby)… alright, alright… let me get to the real reason for this blog entry.

Dating sucks, and you know why it sucks? Cause women won’t chill the fuck out…and before I get a lot of angry emails (ha.. like people email me ) about this, let me state it plain-like… shit is fucked up with how women approach the dating thing….here is my opinion of what the problem is….

1) The height requirement... yeah I know, you all want men that are 6'2"-6'8"... I know that's really desirable. The issue is the average man is 5'8". Yeah I know you don't want an average man... but if you're really trying to date you need to be a little flexible. And besides, if you can have a height requirement then men can have a weight requirement...and who wants to have that argument.

2) The no weed smoking thing. Gee, how do I say this? You are in Southern California... most of us either grew up here smoking weed, or moved here to smoke either let it go or move.. and as a side note.. .alcohol is a much more destructive drug than can't be a social drinker and have an issue with weed's a hypocritical position.

3) The looks issue. Yes, we all want to be with someone who is attractive, but seriously ladies... there is a lot of misrepresentation going on. Are you really model.. are you really smokin' hot? then demand hotness.. but the rest of you.. . a little give and take please. I've been here since '99 and most of us need some work..

4) The money issue. Look most of us are traditional and we'll pay on the first date and in the beginning of the "courtship".. but no man is going to foot the bill while you decide if he's "worthy". You have to make an attempt to reach for the check...most of us will beat you to it. But expecting a man to get the tab on 6-7 dates while you contemplate if he is "worth the trouble" a bit much. We want a partner. all you have to do is buy popcorn once in a while... and we'll be happy. FYI.. the dudes that show up with flowers and shit and wine and dine from the get-go...are the one's who can't be trusted. Once you are my girl I'll gladly spend a fair amount of my cheddah on you.. till then, your in line after my playstation habit and new suspension.

5) The Gentleman issue. I hear a lot of women lamenting the loss of gentleman... yeah well it's hard to open doors and pay traditional respect when women seem to have a penchant for men who mistreat them...and while we are on the topic there's a big difference between folding her panties and keeping her've got to be a little difficult or the women won't think you are worth having...and you'd be surprised. The more you meet him halfway on the asking out and paying.. the more he'll start to do traditional things (like pull out your chair). Most of us have no problem being a gentleman for a woman who's worth the effort... but using it as a deciding factor is a losing strategy.

6) Call frequency. We are wise to the game. We know you count the rings and give us only till wed to ask you out on Friday or Saturday...we just don't care. Dating has become a lot like work, and most men ain't into it. Can we just call a truce on the whole "I don't call guys" thing. For starters, it gives us the ability to be utter and complete dogs...and rarely get busted, cause all of your are working from the same playbook. But when a woman calls you...and takes the initiative... you don't take her for granted (FYI.. I'm not talking about you "blow up the voicemail chicks"...the more you call, the less I care... I need time to miss you.) And if you're worried because we slept together too soon, you need to just chill and deal with it...calling for clarification is just going to make me wish I'd have hit on your roommate and not you).. you think she likes you.

7) The sex issue. Ok, here is where it gets good. We don't just want to fuck you...but we would like some kind of sign or merit badge that says that at some point we'll be behind you smackin' that ass while you bite a few pillows (I have aggressive sex fantasies - get over it)...what I am driving at is that most of us will play the game...on your terms.. if you will succumb eventually. And that doesn't mean 6 months. Will I wait six months to sleep with you?...yes, and then I'll tell all my friends about how it wasn't worth the wait and never call you again... so let's skip all that....6 weeks is the high water mark. If you ain't givin' it up by then...I'm going back to online porn (yeah, like I gave it up)

8) Speaking of porno. Ok, men are visual...and porno is fun. If we are going to be spending money on successive dates and not get fucked... you can't be upset that I like to watch what I ain't gettin'. Also, girlfriends... stop bitchin' cause your man watches porn. Stop making it an issue. Porn is what keeps us from cheating on you...and yes, we do learn shit when we watch porn. I'm a real tough guy. I don't hide shit. I've got 15 gigs in a folder on my desktop labeled pornography...and if it really bothers you, then offer to replace each pic or movie he has with one of you...he'll be more than happy to oblige.. and if you think that's weird, overly kinky or sinful... then shut the fuck up let him beat his dick.

9) The "I'm not looking for sex" ad. Ok, it's bullshit. I never meet a heterosexual woman that didn't like a good stiffie. Yeah, we know you want romance and someone to make you green tea and wheat toast when your pussy is bleeding (oh did I sound bitter)...and most of us will do that. But don't act like you are allergic to dick. Just be honest. Tell me I have to pass a written test and find the secret decoder ring before I can treat your body like a hotel room.. and I'll do it (I mean we'll do it...I'm not hard up or anything).

10) The sex moves. Ok, this really needs to be said. Most of you are not cock suckers... please stop really sucks for us. I really don't want to watch you choke on my cock and drool on my balls (ok, maybe the first time...but that's just my ego talkin')... while you try to impersonate Heather from ideepthroat (uh.. not that I watch porn or anything).. but let's have a real discussion shall we.

There was a time when only freaky chicks and total sluts wore thongs. We as men know how to act and if we should try to put it in your ass (that is not a joke).. but then all of you starting wearing them, and everything got all fucked up. A thong means you like to fuck (I'm talking pounding people)... which we know is not the bend of the average female (cause most you just want to cuddle and watch lifetime)..but the thong kept the bad boys and the bad girls away from you, uh...wholesome people.

What I am gettin at is this...we don’t' expect everyone of you to set oral records. We know that cocks aren't exactly attractive and balls smell like balls (you know that's funny). Stop killing yourselves...if it's clicking between you two.. it's already gonna be hot.. stop trying to emulate the porn that you don't watch. If you like to suck.. suck on ... if you don't.. don't do us a favor.. my dick is not a red vine!

Lastly...we do really want a girlfriend... because we hate doing our own laundry (c'mon.. are you really mad at that joke?)..seriously though.. dating sucks. Just let it gel for a minute...we don't need to be fixing shit all the time... and we don't need to hear the "can I trust you" shit... if I'm hittin' it on a regular and fixing your car I'm into you... fucking relax

Oh yeah…. I know I’ve pissed off a lot of you…. But isn’t it good to know the blood can still move freely through your veins? Ok… here is your one and only opportunity to sound off… am I dick?...or is what I say reasonably true?


The present state of things….

My life is in a shambles, it truly is. In about 10 days I’m participating in a screening called Cinema Urgency. It was supposed to be four short filmmakers, showing their films and then a professional roundtable about financing with all our money people. It not only came up with the idea for this, but I produced it. I should be walking around on cloud 9, about to receive some checks from some EP’s. But, that’s not the feelings I’m having right now. For starters one of my filmmakers just bailed. It’s really amazing, I mean I say a lot of things about filmmakers, but I really cannot nor will not understand how a filmmaker, any filmmaker, can forgo screening their film. What is more important than screening? What is more important than funding your feature? How we become that arrogant, that drunk with artistic license that we believe that screenings are “optional”….you’re fucking kidding me right? Let me say this loud and clear: filmmakers who have other major artistic concerns than getting their feature made have the wrong priorities….and to the aforementioned filmmaker….you can freelance for the rest of your life, till time comes to a standstill…but your opportunity to shoot your first feature is a small window at best…but I digress.

I’m concerned about what I will do if none of my money people show up. I posed this question to a fellow filmmaker who told me that I was “thinking negative”. I chuckled to myself that we are supposed to be such disillusioned cheerleaders with blind faith in the process. As if all I had to do was think positive. I have always rejected this approach and especially in filmmaking.

Maybe it is because of my atheism, maybe it’s my fundamental distrust of authority figures…who knows? But I do know one thing, and that is that all the shit that I’ve been doing to sell this short around the planet and to get my feature made is not really going to mean much. Either the people come, or they don’t…it’s that simple. There is no time for conjecture, for “just think positive”… and … “if it’s meant to be, it will be”.

I think that is the height of absurdity. I have been successful thus far in my film ventures because I have had an implicit understanding of what I stood to gain, and what the downside risks are of any gamble I’ve taken since I had the idea to go for it. This screening is no different. I have to stack the deck, I have to have a B-team or something to come and see me. I can’t be confident that any of these guys will show. I mean they all say that they love the feature…and that they love my “approach” to film. But does that really mean anything?....needless to say I have to pull something out of my ass to make this happen. I’m days away and I don’t feel confident.

But I can’t even trip on that…because I am about to start a UK tour. That’s right kids… 14 days in England. Drinking pints, playing darts, getting’ cheeki…the whole 9. I am of course deathly terrified that I’m not going to maximize this trip, that I’m just wasting my money. So I’ve been on the keyboard every night, looking for screening opportunities. I’ve sent something like 75 emails in the last 50 hours.

This is my life, falling asleep with an earpiece in…waiting till 4am to start an email volley…and then there is the lack of eating. I’ve convinced myself that film is more important that life, so I’m know to starve myself till I complete certain tasks…but then I feel guilty if I complete the tasks in less time than I anticipated…so I don’t eat…to be fair.

This obsessive compulsive behavior is all that I exhibit before I screen. And as the film is more successful, the more I do this sort of thing. This is what I face every single day.

But this is small potato’s, I’m about to start a tour for something like 40 days. I’m going to Phoenix then Kendal, England then London, England then Philadelphia, then DC, then back to LA, then to Portland, Oregon. I’ve been hustling like mad to make shit happen and I’m happy to report that I’m screening three times in the first 6 days I’m in the UK. Shit, I might even go to Amsterdam and fuck some hoe’s (I mean find a nice woman to bring home to mom). I’m kidding, I really not going to fly all the way to London and then waste my time in Amsterdam smoking weed and acting stupid… this is a real tour God damn it!

So, I should be really happy right? I’ve got a VIP screening in 8 days, I’m leaving the country…I met some young chick with big titties who lets me play with them (ok, she drinks a lot and has a tendency to pass out… but if she willingly gets incapacitated in my apartment…then that’s like the same thing as lettin’ me touch them…isn’t it?)

But I’m not happy, I’m spastic. The more I do, the more I have to do. If I go to the UK and all of my screenings are a success…then I’ll need to up the stakes, I’ll need to plan to go to France and conquer Cannes and all that shit.

The more I do, the more unhappy I am, I hate being a filmmaker.

Ok…that’s not true. I love filmmaking. I love having relationships that self-destruct like castles made of sand. I like that negative balance in my checking account. I like how no matter what happens in my life.. it’s not good enough…

…why and I doing this again?


Things you need to question...

Det. Budd recently finished working as a DP on a film in a 48hr film festival. I had a scowl on my face as he told me about the shoot. I really didn’t want to hear about it. I mean, I wanted to hear the particulars because I’m a filmmaker and I always want to know what other people are shooting…but I think these “quick turnaround” festivals are bad for business and for individual filmmaker development..

I truly believe that 24 hr film festivals and 48 hour film festivals are extremely counter-productive to the development of filmmakers. Yeah, sure….the more you shoot the better you will get. But it’s not as simple as “more is more”.

These quick festivals are not good for us. In a relatively short amount of time the perception of what it takes to make a film has drastically changed. Filmmaking is no longer a labor of love. No longer is it a task that takes years to prepare for and then weeks to shoot and months to edit. Thanks to digital technology and good old American ingenuity films can be produced as quickly as a batch of cookies.

Is it any wonder that there are throngs of so-called filmmakers who feel the pre-production is not really a process of nailing down all the details of your film…but a short period of a few days or hours where you talk about what you are going to do when your film blows up. Principal photography is now a just a process of “gathering media” and it’s not where the real “magic happens”…and then there is post-production. Where we focus on all the festivals we are going to play and how we are going to sweep all the awards at Sundance.

Now I know it seems like I’m just bitchin’…but I’ve been on the festival circuit since Jan ’06 and this is a lot of what I have come in contact with.

This is where I get on my soapbox:

A film is the most hedonistic art known to man; with tens if not hundreds of persons working in unison for somewhere between 3 days and 10 months if not years and then it goes into post; where another large group of individuals will slave over the vision of the director. Sure, not all films are as massive…and not all films take as long to produce; but that is not the issue.

The issue is that in the minds of filmmakers, particularly new filmmakers, making a film is a quick and tidy process. That any motivated and intelligent filmmaker can visualize an entire film in their mind at one time…and can complete it in much the same fashion.

But what happens when you aren’t shooting on weekends, when you aren’t crewing up with friends and family, when you aren’t spending less than $5K to make your film….what then?

How are you going to be able lead and manage a $1MM film or a $15MM film if this is your primary skill set. And now of course I hear the chorus “but I don’t want to make million dollar films”… really? Do you think it’s going to be possible to sustain a career as any sort of filmmaker with budgets of less than $100K? This is not the 60’s and it’s not the 80’s and it’s not the 90’s…this is a crowded medium and the costs of production increase each year. Sure, go ahead and cite the production cycle of digital cameras and their ever cheapening costs, you will get no argument from me there. But let’s look at a budget shall we… where does the money go?

Art dept, production design, food, insurance, permits…all things that have been deemed “luxuries” by the guerilla filmmakers. Sure, it’s possible to go out and shoot a feature with minimal pre-production, sparse if any art dept. and prod. design for a not to expensive amount (say $200K)…but do you think you can sell this film? Do you think you can get people excited about seeing white walls and one take-long lens-masters? Furthermore, do you think that it’s possible for you to repeatedly shoot and release films that cost less than $500K while so many hundreds of other filmmakers shooting (dumping) films of that budget range into the distribution equation? Go ahead, ignore me….but if all of you actions do not result in a film sale…then there is nothing to talk about.

When you go to the movies…you demand production values… hell most Americans judge the films by the stunts and the visual effects in them and sure, you can stipulate that you aren’t that kind of filmmaker…but then what are you saying? That you can have a career, that American independent film can have a career with such sparse filmmaking seen on the screen? If you truly believe this, than the situation is much more dire than I believed

I ask you then, what kind of filmmaker are you? What kind of vision do you have? Is it really that sparse? Do you firmly believe that you can get any performance in a maximum of three takes? Do you honestly believe that the basic building blocks of film are just a luxury?

How will you grow as a filmmaker? You aren’t going to wake up one day and have 50 camera set-ups in your mind. You aren’t going to get inspired about color and texture and light temperature by walking around the mall…it’s about vision!

There is an increasing lack of vision among us nowadays. If you don’t have hard and fast beliefs about camera placement, focal lengths, editing rhythm, musical scores and the kinds of stories you generally like to tell, then you most certainly lack vision. I am not worried about you, even if you shoot your feature before me, because at a certain point you will get your way, at a certain point everyone will listen to you, at a certain point the money people will begin to trust almost everything you say…and if you don’t have something deep, meaningful and insightful to say…your influence and career will quickly dissipate.

I meet a lot of filmmakers, from many places…but where is the vision. Wanting only to shoot on digital is not a vision, wanting to make films with lots of gunplay is not a vision…all of those things are aesthetics of the vision. I have been pursuing this film thing rather seriously since about 1995 and I think I have the cultural capital to make the statements that I am making. I’m not trying to reserve filmmaking for only the well-heeled and the connected…that is not my supposition at all.

I just believe that this push to shoot as much as possible, as soon as possible will ultimately not be beneficial for the artform. Maybe not on the film you are shooting now, maybe not on the next film you shoot…but on one of your films, one that is sufficiently large and has the demands of a strict schedule and shooting ratio you will realize that certain things can’t be rushed. You will realize that filmmaking is a process of refining your art little by little as time passes. This is what I feel is lost in the “hurry up and shoot” philosophy.

My advice: prepare as much as you can before you shoot, and shoot the most ambitious thing that you can. And by ambitious I don’t mean lot’s of stunts and speaking roles (necessarily), I mean come out of your comfort zone and push yourself, push the medium and push the limits of your understanding. I think that micro-budgets are counterproductive to this process. Sure one can state that experimentation is easier with a small digital film than a sizable celluloid feature – which is true. But without the demands and pressures of a “larger, celluloid film” those lessons will mean little. Because, there is not threat of not finishing the film…which is a very real threat on a large set.

I think we need to ask ourselves….what skill sets are we learning? And are these skill sets really conducive to our primary goal. For my goal and my vision of filmmaking I do not believe that shooting digitally will do this for me. What do you think?


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