All right, haven't posted a rant/update in forever. Mostly because updates are being done via newsletter and I have been trying to hold off on my ranting for a bit. I don't think it's good for me though because I tend to become more angry about the industry when I don't blow off some steam in this little private area. So, before I rip into the industry with my words, I would like to shower some praise.
Have you seen Summer of '84? If not, you should see it, it's fantastic! Sure, the story isn't really anything new but the characters are really well done. It also really captures the 80's aesthetic, my only complaint is they had a Polybius machine in the arcade at one point. However, if that's my only complaint in a modern film, I think it's safe to say that the film is pretty bad ass.
Anyway, onto the main reason why I decided to write this article...post...thing.
I was browsing twitter, just looking for some sweet shitposts and lo and behold, I found the above tweet. Now, the reason this tweet annoyed me is not the tweet itself but the ideology that I've been seeing passed around in the art community for some time. It's basically a loving yourself ideology. Look, I'm all for loving yourself but lately, people have been taking it too far. I admit, I'm a heavier dude, but I love myself enough not to let myself put on any more weight. This is all beside the point.
Look, no matter how many times I'm told on twitter not to compare myself to Kurosawa, I'm still going to compare myself to Kurosawa. Akira Kurosawa was the greatest filmmaker who ever lived so of course, I'm going to compare every film I make to one of his. Silver Stars on Red Velvet might be better than The Most Beautiful (aka Kurosawa's worst film). However, I compare myself to guys like Kurosawa and Leone and Carpenter because I want to be better than them. I want to surpass Kurosawa some day.
The best compliment I have ever received is that I've made a ridiculous amount of leaps forward with every film that I've made. It is due to comparing myself to directors that I admire. It's the desire to one day obliterate Seven Samurai. That is the biggest reason I continue to make movies. I keep thinking my next film will blow Seven Samurai out of the water.
As I said initially, I think this type of thinking is making us lazy. It's making us accept our current circumstances and not seek to improve. I know people who have adopted this type of attitude and they are lazy and never want to do better.
I work normal day jobs to help pay for my films and equipment and everything else. I work these jobs so I can work towards something better, work towards something I want more. I want to work towards my film to surpass Dersu Uzala, to surpass The Bad Sleep Well, to surpass Seven Samurai.
That desire to be better is what drives me to want our DVDs to look awesome, to have decent content on them. It's what drives me to go totally insane whenever I'm putting together a shipment. I want nothing more than to be better. It's why I've been updating the website's homepage, creating shopping accounts, creating the newsletter, and working on films.
At the end of the day, I want our fans to be happy; but what I want more than anything else is to answer a simple question "would I buy from Decades Apart Productions?"
That is why I'll never stop comparing myself to others.
Hey everyone, it's been almost a year since I wrote one of these. I feel they're a bit useless now that I have the monthly newsletters going out. Which, if you aren't signed up for, I highly suggest it (it's on the main page). Last month I sent out a coupon for the store and the month before that I unveiled a few details about the new film I'm working on titled Silver Stars on Red Velvet. Plus, it's much more reliable than following us on twitter. The April one hasn't come out yet so now would be a great time to sign up, it's not like it'll cost you anything.
I have been putting a lot of thought into what I'd like to write about on here though. I recently did an interview for a small independent film website. One of the questions was what advice would I give to other up and coming filmmakers. I rambled on a bit about something because I didn't really know WHAT to say. I think I'm terrible about giving advice but people tend to ask me for advice nonetheless. So, I want to give a different answer. My advice to up and coming filmmakers? Prepare to be alone. This probably sounds absolutely mean spirited and angry but it's true.
I don't say this out of contempt for people in relationships. Heck, if you've managed to find someone good for you...well, good for you! I don't say this because "Boo hoo, I had my heart broken." I say this because it's something I've noticed to be a necessary evil. I have known so many people in my five years in the industry that drop out of it due to a relationship. Making Through the Devil's Eyes was brutal on my relationship to the point that we didn't talk at all during A Final Hit. The relationship went sour because she wanted me to settle down and I refused, I knew that I had to make movies.
Are my movies any good? Who are you asking? Me? I say every film I've ever made is complete and utter trash, but I'm my own worst critic. I have people who like my stuff and people who hate my stuff, so...that. Anyway, sorry to go off on that tangent, back to my point. During one of my films, I worked with a young lady who wanted nothing more than to be an actress. She also had a jealous boyfriend who didn't want her kissing actors. She was planning to go out to Hollywood for a summer and audition her ass off but he didn't want her to. She stayed behind for his sake and has slowly pulled out of the industry.
On another film, I worked with a VERY talented actor who disagreed that it's better to stay alone. He wanted someone so bad, to the point that he married the first chick to say yes. He pulled out of acting and went back to school. I'm sure many of you reading this are like "That's great, at least he's not a loser like you!" It would be great, if he was happy with his life. He told me a few months back that he's not happy with his marriage and laments not sticking with acting.
I try to keep in contact with everyone I've ever worked with because I enjoy talking to them. I enjoy knowing how they're doing. I don't expect everyone to stick with this. Some people just do it as a one off and go live productive lives. Those are not the people that my advice is directed towards. I'm talking about the people that WANT to stick with this but their loneliness gets to them.
I know another director who used to think I was just bitter for saying that it's better to stay alone. He was in a relationship for a while but she wanted more commitment from him and he wanted to stick to making films. She left him and now he's realizing that maybe he is better off alone.
My final story is not even about film. It's about my buddy who is running his own business. For a long time he thought I was crazy for telling him, "Dude, unless you can find someone who can tolerate all the BS, you should just remain single." He was convinced that I was just being a weirdo and shunning him for wanting someone. Two years later he asked me, "why do girls not understand all the stress that goes with running a business?" I simply told him, "Dude, it's not just chicks. It's people in general. They don't understand all the sacrifice that comes with getting a business of the ground. Most people just don't want to deal with it."
I'm not telling about these people to air their dirty laundry. Heck, maybe they aren't even real stories. Maybe I made them up to make a point. Maybe they are real but I'm not giving out names because I don't want you, the reader, to know the people I'm addressing. Either way, that is what my advice is to anyone aspiring to do something more with their life. Appreciate your loneliness.
Hey everyone, sorry I haven't been in touch lately, I've been kinda busy with everything else in my life. I've been looking over Keeping Justice to make sure everything is in place for when I get the animation and the music and I still really like the movie. I'm sure a few of you have been wondering if I'm having an existential crisis, due to some of the shit that has been posted on twitter. Let me confirm, this is not an existential crisis, this is a getting back to my roots. Since 2013 it feels like so much has changed while simultaneously nothing has changed.
I started using social media to market my films because I didn't know what else to do. I wasn't sure how to market my films outside of that. I got involved with the film community on there and they're all just the most pretentious of pricks. They're always going on and on about the newest movies coming out and why they're the best movies ever and how they want to make films just like them. This is a big reason why I put my 20 years rule in effect.
Do you remember when the indie industry was happy being the indie industry? I do. I remember when independent filmmakers used the independent banner to get away with stuff that big studios were too afraid to gamble on. Now the indie community wants to turn out the same garbage as Hollywood, it's sickening. I've stated before that I prefer the metal community over the film community but I don't think I ever went into detail as to why.
Whenever I've hung out with metal dudes, I always feel at home. I never had the anxiety of upsetting someone or committing some faux pas, it always felt like home to me. I always expected to find the film industry to be as accepting but that never happened. It was a world of backstabbing, underhandedness, hypocrisy, and lies. The film world was not where I wanted to be.
This is what I'm talking about when I talk about getting back to my roots. See, when I was in a band, I'd invite people I knew to my shows. Granted, most of them wouldn't turn out, but a few of them did. I would chat with these people afterwards and hang out with them. This is what I want to do with my films. I want to show them in a theater and invite everyone I can out to see them so I can spread the word. I want to try something different with everything.
I've tried doing things the way all these other film people do them and I really haven't made any progress other than that fact that I've made more movies than they have. I want to take a different approach, my rocker approach. The people who have been the most supportive are from the music industry, I guess it's just where I'm supposed to go.
I decided long ago that I don't want to stop making films, it's definitely something I love. Just dealing with the politics of the film industry is sickening to me and it's not something I want to deal with. I just need to get back to my roots, it may take some time but I have confidence that I'll get there.
Okay, so I don't think I've talked about Keeping Justice for quite some time, on the website anyway. I mention stuff here and there on twitter, gab and occasionally facebook but those are small details; when you want the big fish you check in on DecadesApartFilms.com. I think I've mentioned in the past that I'm trying to get some bands on the soundtrack for the film. I've now received permission from all of the artists to use their music. They've all been awesome about everything so I'd like to ask that you guys please give them support by picking up some music from them.
Elephant Gun Riot
As I said, they've all been really cool and I just think it would be really cool if you showed these great people some love.
In other news, Paco has sent over a few music samples to give me an idea for Keeping Justice's theme and I just wanted to share that with you guys.
Oh and I realized that I forgot to share a little of the animation segment that I keep talking about. You guys probably think I'm crazy, but no it's totally real.
I'm so excited to show this movie to the world, so many people have been seeing bits and pieces and they're all very excited. We've also recently received a very nice review for A Final Hit.
This is all stuff that's been going on while I've been away from the website. I don't want you guys to think that I've given up or I just don't care anymore, I just don't feel like updating as much as I did when I first started out. I remember back in 2013 when I was making Invisible Diary that I shared everything with you guys (the ups and the downs) but as time has gone on, I share less and less. Mostly because I want people to await the final product but also because my schedule has become so hectic that I no longer can update as much as I once did.
Anyway, if you've stuck around this long, here is a little cherry on top of the sundae of Keeping Justice updates: a small clip from Keeping Justice.
Have you ever just felt off your game? That's how I've been feeling lately. I just feel off my game lately. I'm going to finish Keeping Justice, of course I am. I've just been dealing with a lot lately and it's just a lot to process.
I just wanted to update you guys so you're not worried about me. I'm okay, just dealing with a lot. If you don't hear from me for a while, that's why.