Thursday, May 17, 2007

THIS is why I love film

It's an episode of IFC's Dinner for Five, hosted by Jon Favreau, featuring Roger Corman, Rob Zombie, Bruce Campbell, and Faizon Love. It's also not work or kid safe, as there's a lot of colourful language.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

This episode, for me, defines what I feel about film. While I love my Hollywood event movies, it's the guerilla indie spirit that drives me. Both Corman and Campbell are two of my idols, not necessarily for what they've done, but how they've gone about it. These guys, along with James Cameron in the early days, symbolize the gonzo world of guerilla film making. The hit, run, and fix it in post mentality.

The odd thing is that while I consider these guys my heroes, and I love the genre stuff they produce, it's not what I'm good at. I'm a romantic comedy guy. Still, I find that genre film making, especially SF and horror, is film craft at it's best. If you can put a scare in someone, or make them believe that they're watching something happening on an alien world, that's something and it's directly linked to the craft.

Rom-Coms are a different beast. It's all about the performance. If you can't believe that there's chemistry between the people on-screen, you can't fix it in post. (Well, with CG these days, you probably could but it defeats the purpose.) Jokes are jokes, with the writing being equally important to, if not more than, the performance. Sure, it's all about timing, but if the joke isn't funny, perfect timing isn't going to help. Film craft doesn't really apply here, and if Kevin Smith can shoot a successful comedy, anybody with some film background can. Smith is a funny guy, and it comes natural to him, at the same time he's a pretty mediocre (to be diplomatic) director. He's very smart to not step outside his niche, despite badgering by the Harv to do otherwise. (I cringe when I imagine how the Green Hornet movie might've turned out.)

All that said, I'm also a big fake. I haven't done anything since film school, and really, all I do is talk the talk these days. My school years were a pretty dark time for me, but my film work was what got me through. I think I've actually been afraid to go back and embrace it, but I'm going to try and change that. By this time next year, I hope to have something in development. It's going to be indie. It's going to be cheap. It's going to be me back on my game.

Who knows. Maybe I'll get Roger Corman's attention.

That would be cool.

(And, yes, I am %$#@ing dreaming.)

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