The value of replaYabilitY

As I r making this film and thinking about the future... I think that to be successful and survive as an artist you need to create things that people will want to watch more then once... Putting the film in its entirety up for free on Youtube will always be part of my plan... NOW if I only had income from that I would be deD... I had to sell DVD's to survive to make another film... So besides the 2 people who bought my DVD cause they pitY poor lil weirdo meh... I figure there was something about WATS that made people want to watch it more then once... Was it all the audio visual madness packed into it? Was it the several soundtracks? Was it for the bonus features? I da know... but thats what I'm trying to figure out...

What is it about a movie that makes you want to watch it again? What is it about a movie that makes you not just want to watch it for free but buy it to watch again?

NOW... I think it has a lot to do with the narrative and how solid or open it is... there are plenty of movies I've seen that I LOVED when I watched them but since the narrative was so straight forward and sealed up by then I had no desire to go back and try to unlock some mysteries or search for other interpretations... So I watch those movies but I do not buy them... NOW one film I bought that I watched several times was "LOst Highway"... you can watch it 10 times and have 10 different interpretations...

HERE is the catch though... when a NORMAL audience encounters a film like lost highway and they are unable to totally decipher the narrative they assume it has a "bad story" Since the normal person watches films as an escapist activity and doesn't want to use they mind whilst doing so they believe it is the film that is fault and not they own lack of mental activity...

SO as time passed directors became WIMPS and started to FEAR they audiences... and when the biZ and the bean counters took over that spelled the end... So they cooked up "good stories" which means... dumbed down stories you've seen 100 times before repackaged over and over...

So as a filmmaker I believe you have to RISK losing some of your audience the first time they see the film... its worth it though because if you succeed...a great deal of the audience will watch it three more times...

It works the same way in life... You can give people cliched responses to everyday questions OR you can say something odd... they might not get you at first BUT they probably won't forget you ^ ^


  1. I tend to agree with you about risk losing some of your audience. Look at the experience of the Sundance showing. Some people get it and some don't. But I think there are a lot of people out there who do get WATS and enjoy your comments/vids, etc. YOU are an interesting person along with your film. People want to know about both.

    As 1 of the 2 people who bought the DVD, I love hand-made work because it is compeletly non-commercial and is unique. yes, all of the special features were great (all the soundtracks blew my mind, NO ONE does that), but it was the film and it's quality presentation on DVD that did it for me.

    Why have I watched the film several times? Because it is a very unique animation that has so much packed into it you can't possibly get it all in one run. I refer to the film all the time with people I talk to about movies/animations. It's right up there with Tetsuo and Lost Highway for me (great sound).

    I think if you put your thinking cap on, you'll come up with ways of adding unique content to the DVD. Perhaps, like they do with the Blender projects, you could include some assets from the film (models, textures, etc). Maybe event a Super Deluxe Outer Space Edition with all kinds of extra shit. But the big thing is the movie. If it's great (and I have a feeling HSM will be wonderful) then all the extras in the world will just be icing on the cake.

  2. Glad you wrote this d00d. It underlines something that I believe is very important. Maybe i'm different, but I tend to consume cinema in the same way that people do with music (i'm passionate about both).

    All the films I love stand up to repeated viewing. They can be very different but they all have one thing in common - they are interested in world and how fascinating and strange existance is and not merely hurtling from A to B as fast as possible.

    Most films, (esp. mainstream ones)seem to be there to enforce the status quo of keeping everyone asleep and in fear - living life at scan speed. this clip below sums things up quite well..

    Fuck 'plot' for the sake of plot. it's empty and shallow. I could never create a movie like that. I want to create worlds that the viewer feels existed before the start of the film, and will continue for infinity.

    The problem with most movies is that they are way too 'neat and tidy'.

    People are so terrified of living in the present and they are programmed to feel anxious when confronted by life's strangeness


  3. Well I loved the style music, plot, and I especially loved the characters! Emmm and Blue felt like really pure characters. Ori was silly and crazy all the time without getting obnoxious,therefore he was enjoyable, Rain seemed burden on his shoulder and HIM was basically the ultimate evil. I like how all the characters were honest..I dont mean honest as in not lying all the time but I mean they didn't feel fake. You watch movies today and the cast seems so FAKE! even if its live actions it's so stale and unreal. YOu can't connect with fake feeling characters in my opinion.

    The whole style was great! Not only was it strange and wonderful. The video game and anime styling really brought me back.It reminds me of my childhood really.

    Basically there isn't another movie like We Are The Strange. It is a movie that feels very honest with it self and it has hEarT

    The first time I watched it was because of interest, second time was to see if I missed anything and because I wanted to see more. 3rd wanted to studio it from a technical perspective and every-time after was because I either wanted to watch it with a different soundtrack, or simply because I wanted MORe.

    I'm excited for HSM but your last post worried me just a bit. How its all going to be bloody and cussing and evILE like that..It just makes me worried that the Heart wont be there. I dont mean to criticize your movie before its hatched but I just dont want to see something mindless .. Ofcourse I also know you have already proven yourself to be a amazing film maker already. Im sure it will be great.

  4. origonality and unique story was certainly the key for me, when i first saw wats i was kinda like huh but i blame my slow connection speed that i was watching with so i had to come back to it to see a little more until i could see the whole thing in its entirety.

    usually when i buy a dvd it's for the extra stuff like the commentary but for this one it was like getting twice as many presents for christmas with how many extras you stuffed into the dvd

    your the only filmmaker out there that i'm aware of that is essentially a friend of your audience which makes me like wats that much more

    i hope this was coherrent =)

  5. Everyone's answer is going to be different as to why they'd want to watch yours or any other film more than once. There's billions of reasons down to the color scheme of certain scenes. There's certain movies I don't like due to outside circumstances that have NOTHING to do with the film. My stomach could've hurt upon viewing, I could've had a headache. The best thing is to just keep doing your own thing, and hopefully you're creative and original enough that people will dig your work. I think that's the problem with Hollywood producers.. they sit around trying too hard to think about what a mass group of people want. Where as they should just be aiming to make a decent movie. If there's honesty behind your work, and you understand filmmaking, then you shouldn't have any complaints at the end of the day. If you can make just a small handful of people happy, that should be all that matters.

  6. I come from a more comic book view of things.
    I see a story where it continues till the character dies. Not just one event in a dudes life but the dudes entire life.

    Example that some folks may not like Dragonball Z. Yes I'm a fool for it. Loved it long ago but what I liked about DB was that it told the life story of Goku.
    It started when he was young as a boy and ended when he was old and grey and had grand kids.

    I like characters like that where you can follow through life.

    I don't design a story to be a funny story and put in the cliche charactrs. WE don't run around in real life with cliches. Funny is not always a punchline and it is not all the time.

    I like to take normal life and then put that normal life in extreme circumstances.

    I like random things here and there. That is why I love Asian Cinema.

    Survive Style 5
    Big Man Japan
    20th Century Boys
    Lady Vengeance

    They each have this moment that makes you go WTF. They just go crazy. There are no rules in Japan cinema especially.

    Have you ever seen Casshern? There is like this giant metal thing that comes out of the sky that is never explained or even talked about yet it sets things in motion. Nobody knows what it is. It is so random!

    By the way I was at I LUV VIDEO in Austin. You need to do a guest appearance sometime. It is a great video store. They were playing WE ARE The strange in the store! I was like "aweseome" We started talking about how cool you were.

    PS I hate 2001 a space Odyssey!

  7. I bought the DVD for the HD quality and convenience of watching, after seeing most of the film on youtube.
    The story is obviously really important, but in HD I found myself watching elements of the design, such as that boiling sky, and enjoying those parts just for their artistry.-Kate

  8. Thanks for all the great comments everyone! I will do my best to include such things in HSM.

    That video is great Adam..really sums it up well.

    @Me I've seen most all of the films you mentioned ^ ^ I saw Zeiram when I was in college and loved it... it really influenced me.. I did a claymation in 2002 that was very Zeiram-ish ^ ^ And thats AWESOME about that video store! When I was in Austin for SXSW in 2008 I was totally bored wandering around by myself haha

    So yeh I'll include all the things yaLL liked + over9000 new suiTe things ^ ^

  9. The first viewing was entirely just to be weirded out by something unique. The second was an attempt to understand the plot. After that it was mostly combination of the beautiful backgrounds and sound effects plus the multiple soundtracks.

    I still want to actually buy those movie soundtracks XD

    Oh and the case was worthwhile in itself.

  10. I would define it more broadly as usability. For the much of the audience that will be playability but for some (many of them influencial) it will be important to be able to do *something* with the film after they've seen it once.

    Can they recut it? Can they add their own soundtrack? Would you allow them to dub in their own voices?

    So as much as playability is important I think audiences are starting to want to do more than just watch, and indie filmmakers will have a leg up if they can make these peoples dreams come true.

  11. @Price: I think the idea here is to encourage people to really make their own films.

    I've been pretty frustrated about it myself, but now feel I finally got a software with a UI I like, and that has instruction that doesn't skip steps, so I'm happy.

    For those who don't want to bother to learn that, maybe the thing to do would be to get a game called "the movies," and play with that.
    By Lionhead Studios. Seriously, I don't want to offend at all, but they could probably do a better job for what you're asking for. No offense to M Dot either!

  12. @Price: I think the idea here is to encourage people to really make their own films.

    I've been pretty frustrated about it myself, but now feel I finally got a software with a UI I like, and that has instruction that doesn't skip steps, so I'm happy.

    For those who don't want to bother to learn that, maybe the thing to do would be to get a game called "the movies," and play with that.
    By Lionhead Studios. Seriously, I don't want to offend at all, but they could probably do a better job for what you're asking for. No offense to M Dot either!


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