Who needs the movie business?!

In 2007 I learned a lot about the film business... I learned the hard way and I had to learn fast. So after doing things that everyone I knew in the business told me not to do which include turning down a six figure advance to hand "We are the Strange" over to a distributor and walking away from a seven figure deal to direct a film I didn't want to direct.... oh yeh that also includes not returning phone calls and emails to the major talent agencies and flaking out on a number of professional responsibilities because "I didn't feel like it"

As a filmmaker.... I want to make films and I want to make my films... I don't want to take meetings to talk about films... I don't want to be "famous" and I don't want to have to pretend to like people I can't stand because they are "important" I don't want to try to convince people that my ideas are marketable.... Did I say I didn't want to take meetings?

So in the eyes of many maybe I was supposed to be a Cinderalla story... The animated feature I made in a bedroom made its premiere at Sundance... a review out of Sundance said that I "should be the next Tim Burton if he plays his cards right" The stage was set.... and they had no fucking idea who they let in the room! Muahahaha those pallid cardboard fucks that go to Sundance looking to immerse themselves in the best imitation of the status quo albeit at a lower budget(usually) and with some new spin.... Muahaha... Yeh I was invited to this party at Sundance with "important" people... you know talentless son's and daughters of famous people... and there was one of those velvet ropes and a guy standing in front of it with a list... I saw that and said "Fuck that I'm not going in there...tell them to come out here" and they did...

I'm still standing outside the party... I'll never go in that party.. to meh its boring...a cesspool of mediocrity that has only been able to maintain itself and its ridiculous spending habits because of a lack of competition... the competition is here now....

So after turning down all the deals to maintain my independence and creative freedom I met the C.F.O. of FIlmbaby...we had lunch and talked about baseball... we shook hands and agreed we were a good match... So I went and authored my DVD's....designed the packaging and the awesome "We are the Strange" fanbase translated the subtitles into 17 languages.... I delivered the files to Filmbaby and four months later I'm able to fund my next animated feature film based on my DVD sales... So I would like to publicly thank Filmbaby and I highly recommend them to other filmmakers....

So after doing the things everyone in the business told me not to do I am here... Creatively I can do anything I want and I'll have the tools to make it so.... my own tools.... and my own place to use them thanks to my friend the mega ultimate artist David Choe....

No your not going to make a ton of money this way.... but if you got into making films for the money stop reading my fucking blog right now trying to glean some of my magic and go punch yourself in the face... So you can't live a glamourous life like this... you probably can't even afford to maintain a car and pay for gas here in Ca haha... I have a bike...it's better for the environment and you'll be healthier for it...Oh what you want to drive a black BMW and wear black rimmed glasses like that pretentious director in Mulholland Drive, Adam Kesher?! Now cool guy you can't afford to be like that and the world doesn't need any more of those pricks anyway.... BUT you are ALIVE and you get to make YOUR films YOUR way and you can share your film with people from ALL OVER THE WORLD... a filmmaker can't ask for anything more...

Those filmmakers that complain about all the things they don't have are just beehatches and who wants to see films from such passionless people anyway? I certainly don't ...there's enough of that shit in Hollywood...

I don't think an actor or director.... or anybody who works on a film... I mean its grown ups playing dress up and running around like fucking idiots with fake guns from monsters the cg geeks haven't put in yet... none of those people should be paid millions of dollars its ridiculous... Teachers are waaaaaaay more important and their yearly salary is less than what is spent on bagels in a regular big budget film... but I mean then we would need to reshape our whole society because guys that throw pieces of leather through hoops and run around in tight pants and tackle each other in pursuit of balls are a little overpaid in comparison to other more important jobs as well.... I mean I'm a filmmaker... Why should I be paid a million times more than a plumber...I can't fix your fuckin sink...

In this new route a filmmaker makes a humble living and he works hard... just like every other d00d who gets up every day with his hands swollen and his back aching to shovel gravel all day... I did that before and I thank my lucky stars that I get to play on a computer and put words in peoples mouths as my job now...

The film business just needs a big reality check... too many people got too rich and too fat because of a lack of competition... Come to think of it....No I won't get started on that ^ ^ But I'll just say that in the past I think the U.S. made the best movies in the world...we were the best storytellers, the most innovative.... You can kiss that goodbye today...Have you seen any remakes or sequels/prequels lately? And Asia destroys the U.S. when it comes to storytelling and innovation...Notice Hollywood remaking J-horror and adapting anime and manga? Yeh and there's more on the way.... The only thing Hollywood is the best at now is visual fx and even that is slipping away... Speaking of innovation and Asia... it was I, an American with the film I made by myself who beat two studio films from Asia at Montreal's Fantasia film festival last year....

MOST GROUNDBREAKING FILM

GOLDEN PRIZE:
WE ARE THE STRANGE - M dot Strange (USA)

SILVER PRIZE:
EXTE: HAIR EXTENSIONS - Sion Sono (Japan)

BRONZE PRIZE:
MEMORIES OF MATSUKO - Tetsuya Nakashima (Japan)

It was a great honor...I just saw Hair Extensions and thought it was great....So I'm doing my best to reP meh city and country even though the film business in meh country and meh don't get along... I think we're moving in different directions... Change has always come through small groups of extremely dedicated individuals some mega famous quote whose author slips my mind... Follow your own path and FIGHT till your eyes burn out and you too can compete with whole studios by yourself!!!!

BEST ANIMATED / STOP MOTION FILM

GOLDEN PRIZE:
TEKKON KINKREET - Michael Arias (Japan)

SILVER PRIZE:
WE ARE THE STRANGE - M dot Strange (USA)

BRONZE PRIZE:
AACHI & SSIPAK - Joe Bum-jin (South Korea)

There's only so far one guy can go.... BUT I'm getting better ^ ^ But anyway... the film business is goin down the tubes and true independent filmmakers like myself are going to rise up....

So we filmmakers don't need the film business anymore... I mean you do IF you don't want to be the master of your own destiny... but now that you have a choice why go any other way...

For years and years there's been this inferiority complex amongst independent filmmakers... like your not doing anything real unless its connected to Hollywood somehow.... like your feature doesn't mean anything unless it plays at Sundance... I'm here to say its all bullshit... You pal M dot Strange played Sundance....he got offered theatrical distribution deals.... he's been offered chances to direct "Hollywood" movies... he's been offered contracts by major talent agencies... yet he chooses to remain truly independent... AM I INSANE?!?! No.... I just don't see the point of boarding a sinking ship.

We are on the cusp of a new filmmaking revolution....that is IF you choose not to play the Hollywood game. In the end talent and passion will win... All they're tools are now in our hands... now will you try to fit they're mold or make your own? The choice is yours..... You already know what side I'm on and me and my team will never be defeated ^ ^

Comments

  1. Great rant! ^_^ Congrats on the awards, good stuff!

    I wanna see Hair Extensions, Suicide Circle was great...

    I FINALLLY ordered the WATS dvd today! Can;t believe it's taken me so long to get around to. :)

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  2. Alternate title: "Re: Little Miss Sunshine"

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  3. I liked the rant too. Some of us think there is a balance to be had by accepting the blood money from Hollywood in order to give us the financial wherewithal to make our own films, the films we're passionate about. But all too often it's a deal with the devil. The real artist doesn't fit in well with the Hollywood club. Most of the agents and executives in Hollywood have no talent, but have a lot of control over talent. They don't actually do anything, except try to grab hold onto the latest thing someone TOLD them is hot (ie., if Sundance and a few critics hadn't lauded M dot Strange, don't for a moment believe those agents would have knocked on his door--they'd never have the confidence nor the ability to spot the creative originality for themselves). And so we're now in an era where artists can actually create films without the help of studios. Hollywood's power is truly waning in this regard. And if M dot can make movies people wanna see without ever getting in bed with Hollywood, then I think he can be happier for it.

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  4. industry BS
    film and music have a lot of the same problems
    other than major studios and labels, there are really no other occupations where the cost of the product you make is deducted from your own wages.

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  5. It's fantastic that you are now to the point where you are self-sufficient. Congrats!

    That's probably the Hollywood investor's worst nightmare, too: An army of small independents who carve out niches big enough that they don't need outside investment to survive. Of course, not everyone can go to Sundance or be awarded the most groundbreaking film. ;)

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  6. So true mike,

    From one filmmaker to another - I totally respect you dude!

    If you're ever over in London - i'd like to buy you a drink (or an ice cream :)).

    All the best!

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