Friday, September 13, 2013


Lately, I've been lacking in the motivation department.

A lot of this has to do with negativity. A lot of it has to do with how the world is.

We live in a world where people have joy from making people lose their job over a stupid tweet. We live in a world where talking about someone's criminal past gets you trouble, and yet the same person can go on and perform at awards shows, and be told he is a respected member of the community.

I don't care about Miley. I don't know why anyone cares about Miley. Do these people not know how to use Google? Who the heck watches MTV? Who let's their children watch MTV? Who decided that they should let a Disney Channel teen idol be a role model for their children?

You know what I mean?

Do these people actually watch the old Disney movies? Do you know how dark Snow White is? Or Sleeping Beauty? Let alone how dark the original material was.

I want to come up with a new term. I'll call it "brand evangelism". I mean, you can call it fanaticism, but fanaticism is such a redundant term that it wouldn't explain this new phenomena.

People have this strange notion of how things should be. This notion is created when content, whether that be a film, story, album, whatever, grows into something more due to its marketing and cultural acceptance. And from that point on, all of these things become a bigger part of whatever the original material was.

Star Wars comes to mind. Can you imagine how hard it must be for George Lucas to watch a movie without someone mentioning his work. He wants to relax and watch Breaking Bad and now he has to watch Badger talk about the Death Star. An artist can feel alienated when he feels he is received the wrong way.

Or worse, he is received the right way by people he is trying to offend. I like Jackie Brown more than I like Pulp Fiction. I also like Reservoir Dogs that same way, and I think a lot of that has to do with this. Any idiot can give the Royale with cheese speech. But you can't do that with anything from Jackie Brown, so I don't have all those images of all those idiots in high school messing up the Royale with cheese thing.

Trust me, I've heard a lot of those.

So when I watch Jackie Brown, I feel like I'm watching the film as it's originally intended.

And yet, I have a fear that some of those people will receive me openly. Like, you work on things to rebel (in like a Nirvana against hair metal kind of way) and you find that all your hard work gets assimilated and it's back to square one.

A lot of times, I watch a plethora of films that have received raving festival reviews and wonder what the hell all those people were thinking. And then I remember that what I'm responding to is someone watching a film as it's intended for the first time before anyone can get their hands on it and claim it as their own.

Of course, ironically it's these festivals that have critics putting their hands all over the movie and completely ruining it before it gets out of the gate.

The only way to get the same effect from a film is to watch it many years after it has gone to DVD, and people have moved on. But that can be a long process to wait. And even though that's great as a viewer of film, it can be hard to measure successfully as a filmmaker.

A film can only be successful if other people like it. And for some reason, the general public has this nasty habit of forgetting what the entire meaning of things is.

I watch Breaking Bad and I can say that selling drugs is not fun. I would not want to put myself in the same situation that Walter and Jesse have put themselves in.

And yet, when the press junkets arrive, and when pop culture lampoons it, it's all fun and games. Every junket has some bubble headed girl who asks the question "How fun was it making all that meth?". That wasn't the point of anything that was going on lady. People have died. Come on now!

It can be hard for an artist to continue to create and promote his work due to this promotional nature. A lot of people like to complain about how evil Hollywood is. I've never seen anyone actively support it. I mean, I don't even think that Spielberg likes Hollywood. No one likes Hollywood, but everyone seems to be in such a hurry to work there.

What I have discovered is that Hollywood is much like any other business or bureaucratic group entity. There's people who do it well, and then there is a corporate back and forth where a project you have worked on for a long time is pushed aside. It's not just Hollywood that does this. The only difference is that you're dealing with people's dreams.

You're dealing with people who have fantasized about leaving a conventional dream for the flash and the fantasy only to realize that show business is a business like everything else and that your company promoting revolutionary change sells handbags at Wal-Mart.

Again, this can mess with people.

But at the end of the day, the media is just people. It's just a lot of people talking. The biggest issues with your life goals probably has more to do with you and your circumstances than any collective entity. Or maybe it can be a component, but it can be dealt with.

This also gets scary when people stop making good movies and they get thrown in the gravitational pull of other people's agendas. Like when some committee called Raiders of the Lost Ark one of the best movies for kids.

Raiders of the Lost Ark. The movie with the dude who gets chopped up by the propeller.

And then when Temple of Doom came out, every half wit wrote a letter complaining about its violence.

So, Lucas and Spielberg listened. And that's how we got Jar Jar.

No one thinks about the other implications of this stuff.

I mean, we're getting soft. It's amazing the Syrian Electronic Army hasn't just hurled a bunch of racist and homophobic tweets to make us piss our pants.

At the end of the day, these "offended" people are the reason why the prequels sucked. George Lucas and Spielberg catered to that.

I am writing this as a letter to my future self.

Tell the housewives to piss off. If they don't like it, they can wake up at four in the morning and make their own damn movie.

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