Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Morning Thoughts And Sunrise Shots


I had to stay up all night, it turns out, to give director/writer Austin Bosley of Bury Shelly fame, a ride to the airport. He's going to Canada to visit his girlfriend for a week. I figured that, since I would be up, I'd wait out the sunrise over a spot I've been wanting coverage of for a few years.

Times like these give me the opportunity to relish being a filmmaker. You see, I don't want to just work in the industry. I want to write and direct films. My films. Right now, I'm pissing off the guys who 'play by the rules'. You know the type: check the boxes, do what's expected, and then be accepted by the freemasonry of an industry that is too fat and all thumbs. I'm even pissing off The Industry by saying like this in my blog, if you ask the sort of guys I'm speaking of here.

I knew guys like this in my former profession. They were the sort of fellows who loved the idea of being an agent. They loved that title before their name: "Special Agent". They loved that badge -- a FEDERAL badge! -- that they got to carry around. It sure came in handy in social situations. Yeah, they also thought it was pretty cool to carry a weapon. Damn, it sure is cool to be a federal agent! But then came time to do the actual work of being a federal agent. These guys were really good at putting together their file folders. Their desks looked sharp! They were good at talking to the boss. But, funny thing, turned out they weren't all that interested in the actual work of being an investigator. All that digging through paperwork and dusting things and the surveillance ops -- oh no, that's really boring! These were the guys who would also be sticking knives in the backs of their colleagues, jockeying for position at all times, because he who can't do usually gets real good at office politics and goes into management. Ultimately, the guys like this who I knew ended up leaving the profession after only a few years, while I ended up being  handed an operational branch serving national-level directives on a global playing field -- on only my second assignment.

Then there's the guys who had been cops for twenty years and somehow got recruited into the national security world. They hated guys like me who had started on the national security level at a young age and had already forgotten more than they would know about it. See, these guys figured they had been around longer, 'paid their dues'. It was their turn to be the hotshot. When they were faced with their limits, it really pissed them off to see someone younger going farther, in spite of the fact that said younger guy was actually more experienced at doing the job.

I've had the guys who have 'paid their dues' actually acknowledge in the end that I knew what I was doing and clearly enjoyed doing the actual work.

You see, I do like doing the job. It was that way in my former profession and it's that way now. I believe in a practical application of theory:  I desire to be a filmmaker, so I find a way to make a film. The economy is such that a lot of indie filmmakers aren't making anything. Regardless of whatever press release you may read. But there are some who want to make films so much, they find a way. I'd rather produce and have a film on DVD to market at my website than merely be talking about the film I'm going to do. I honestly would rather be making a $500 short that I control, rather than an 'industry standard' film controlled by everyone but me.

And this idea of 'paying one's dues'? It's bullshit, in the arts biz. The first time filmmaker who makes something that makes money has paid his dues. Frankly, the 'dues' are films that people enjoy, are considered good, and make money. No amount of checking the boxes or climbing through the ranks or putting in your time will ever change that, and that's what pisses some people off. The 'dues' are merely bringing something to the table. Investors? If their agenda is anything other than producing an entertaining film, they're poisoning their own waters. Real investors care about the bottom line and they trust the filmmakers to produce the film. My point is, you make a good movie the investors figure they can make money on, you'll get the money. I've pitched guys like that, I've won their faith. It's the economy that's thrown a wrench in my progress, in that regard.

It's just a matter of time before I prove myself right. I've been there before. I've outlasted naysayers more than one time and come out right where I said I would be. I've been through the forge, you might say, so I'm confident I can do it again. Sure, I might have to do it in the indie film world. That's perfectly all right with me.

Anyway, I stayed up through the dawn and got my shots -- in spades. The last set-up looks great. It will show on the screen. My producer (and I do have one) is pleased and leaves me alone to be myself and make my film. If only three people read this blog, those three will know where I'm coming from.

Now, I have to plan Friday's location shoot...

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