A story about grants... "films" and "Arts" organizations...

So a lot of people ask meH "Why don't you apply for grants? I'm sure you would get them"

Let me tell you a true story about me and grants etc....

So back in 2005 when I was in the middle of making "We are the Strange" by myself... I saw that there was a $6000 grant offerred to a "local filmmaker" by a San Francisco based "Film" and "Arts" organization... I thought oh perfect I'm a local animator making this feature film by myself I'll probably get it?!?! The organization had offices, staff, weekly events... lots of stuff going on... So I applied... I even sent a DVD with the 30 minutes or so of WATS that I had so far...

They didn't pick me... instead they gave they "filmmaker" grant to an "experimental projectionist" I'm not making this up.... they gave they "FILMMAKER" grant to a guy that had a 16mm projector that he used to project OTHER PEOPLES FILMS then he "manipulated" them in real time... he liked scratched the film and put crap on it... cough.... Sounds like a great "filmmaker" whose films... oh I mean... other peoples films you couldn't wait to see him like scratch up...like live... yeh....

FAST FORWARD to January 2007.... The "We are the Strange" trailer was on the front page of youtube and it got accepted to the Sundance film festival.... now guess who contacts me? THAT SAME FILMS ARTS FOUNDATION... NOW they want to be affiliated with me because they think what I'm doing is great blah blah and I'm local BLAH BLAH... They wanted to be affiliated with me so they could have something to talk about because I guess their experimental projectionist boy didn't work out...

Seeing as I have teh I DO NOT FORGIVE I DO NOT FORGET mentality like teh internet... I reminded them of they choice choosing the projectionist guy and made it known that...that was they choice and I would not be affiliated with them.... within 6 months THEY WENT UNDER and now they no longer exist ^ ^

The "its who you know or who you blow" ALSO applies to most arts funding organizations... who usually gets the grants? Either some kiss ass thats always around them OR some random old guy over 9000 miles away who did something tite like 30 years prior...thats how it always seems anyway...

When they announced the projectionist winning it was like "a young latino San Francisco native" I've never understood this... What the fuck does your film or art have to do with your race or culture or where your from?!  Its like people will see it and be like "THIS IS CRAP.... oh wait he/she is X race...from Y... I guess its good then" I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE MADE THEY CAREERS OF THIS CRAP but those times are ending my friends.... you will live or die based on the quality of your work and nothing else... the excuses are melting away... So make things that are GREAT regardless of who made them and/or why...where with whatever skin color nah mean....

I recently got invited to be a part of some other site or company or some shet... I don't even know what it was... they wanted to profile me as it was part of some artists getting paid site er something I da know... but when I saw one of artist examples and like the first few sentences was about they race, sexual orientation and where they lived... I told them I couldn't do it because I was too busy... and I always am too busy for artistic gated communities like that... LET MY WORK TO STAND TO LIVE OR DIE ON ITS OWN or I want no part of it.... if I have to make it seem appealing by living some exciting or exotic lifestyle than odds are my work is CRAP... all those people can have they "lives" and exciting lifestyles.... I'll just sit here in this room with my cat, my green tea and my toast and MAKE TEH BEST STUFF! BECAUSE when its time for your film to play...you cant stand in front of the screen and make excuses for it... you can't say like "At the time I was pregnant with alien triplets from the time travelling father and my exciting lifestyle didnt allow much time to actually work on the film"....

Which reminds me....

In 2007? 08? I was invited by some magazine out to NYC for some thang like hosted by Al Gore or some shit...I just remember thinking that he's a lot fatter in person... but anyway it was supposed to be like the brightest young directors in NYC or something... YEH they ALL had some cultural song and dance and yeh they ALL looked "hip" and all that.... at the end of the night everyones films were screened... BIGGEST LUMP OF GARBAGE I"VE EVER SEEN... they ALL FAILED HORRIBLY!!! I was like WTF am I doing here?!?!? AND they were all networking with each other...patting each other on the back making excuses for they mediocrity... i just sat off to the side and watched them all and came back to SJ and got back to work on what was the early form of HSM....

Long story short... Most all of those organizations are FULL OF SHIT and are USELESS for the cause they are supposedly dedicated too... SO if you want to try to get some grants... choose ones that dont take too much time and no money... if you get it c00... if you don't whatever... DONT PAY ATTENTION TO ANY FEEDBACK THEY GIVE YOU because it is worthless...it will only be helpful in kissing up to them... These thangs are all dying anyway... they will be replaced with things like Kickstarter and Flattr... which is awesome... no middleman... you to teh people....ok I start worK pEAS oUT.


  1. uhm, you do realise that things like kickstarter are a middle man? In fact they promote themselves as "safer" than connecting directly with the creative person/s.

    Which is dangerous motherfucking bullshit of the worst degree.

    What's more, as they mature, they will begin to choose and promote in exactly the same way as arts organizations.

    Sorry, but technology doesn't stop people from being people.

  2. AMEN!!!!!!! ;D thx for sharin' that story. verrrrrrry insightful! kayyy backkk to work for me (AND ESPECIALLY YOUUUUU!!!) muahahah ^_^

    hahah remember when you were working on WATS and you'd have your fans yell things at you like "BACK TO WORK SLAVEEEEE!!!" hahah that was fun.

  3. @Davey Oh yeah I remember that! I was all like "Back to work ya lazy bum!" or something like that XD

    So what I'm getting out of this post are two things.

    1) Don't go relying on getting a grant to get where you want. If you do get one then great but if not then watevar.

    2)Don't be all "Look at me! I have the Million dolla Cyber space dogs from Norway and Many of the Russian girlfriends!"
    Focus on your film and let the film speak!

    That sound right?

  4. @Drainage64
    Sorry Im from Nebula
    I like here cyber-puppies^ ^...
    But Cyber space dogs 0_0 what is that?
    Cyber? Space Dogs? ^ ^
    and whats bad with russian girls ?0_0 ^ ^

    I have a bad broadcast channel today with dark ambient waves
    but I see something like Big Fat Filmmaker
    with Escort Ladies?^ ^ and what happend in Norway?

  5. @16bit

    Sorry for the confusion. There's nothing bad about russian girls.
    Sorry if it came out that way. I didn't mean anything bad by it.

    What I meant by that is I see lots of rich dudes who are like "I have the gold bathtub and the Rich car etc, Basically just showing off what they have to make themselves look all special. What I meant was that instead of making myself look all special and cool, I need focus on my film and not on me.

    and about cyber dogs from norway...That was just the first thing that came to my mind.

    I used to have a toy robot dog as a kid that was called "Cyber Dog" I think..

    and norways that country where the vikings were from I think....

    Again sorry for the confusion.

  6. Great post, mdot. I'm pretty much in agreement. Most of the director friends I know who applied for grants and such ended up feeling like it was just a waste of time.

    Make awesome art. People will watch it. We all win. The end.

    ~ J


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