Well, this seems to be it. My movie has been on shelves for almost 2 weeks. The sense of finality has come. The HORRORS OF WAR chapter of my life seems to be over. I’m relieved and glad. This has been my life for so long that I can let it go. I have some final words on the subject, and for the most part it can exist as something in my past. Now that it’s in the public eye, there are some reviews and opinions coming in. Exactly as I thought – the blue Hitler cover is great, but it is greatly misleading and not really right for our movie. One review on AMAZON.COM clearly states a warning to buyers not to be fooled by the cover into thinking it’s a war epic. Now I understand the distribution companies thinking. A great cover will get people to rent it or buy it. And their attitude is simply, “We’ve got their money already, I don’t care if they like the movie or not.” This is simply an ignorant way to run a business like this anymore. We live in the “information age”. By getting one person’s money and disappointing them, they can write a bad review on the Internet and prevent 10-20 more sales or rentals from occurring. An honest approach in marketing is always best. Misleading people or attempting to make your movie into something it isn’t will alienate the audience.
Most other reviews are either positive or dreadful with very little in between. People either love it or hate it. Another one of my predictions has come true which is the criticism over the storyline being jumbled by the non-linear story telling. Our “Directors’ Cut” is the story in a linear, chronological set of events that builds character development and plot in a better fashion. I’m hardly surprised people are less than enthused with the cut currently for sale on DVD. Following the characters or story makes for an effort in the cut on DVD. The words that will live on in my brain forever are “I don’t care about story or character; I just want more action and explosions in the first half of the film…” and I was proven right again.
I will trust my instincts a lot more in the future. I will never allow myself to be painted into these corners again or I will choose not to make the movie at all. My instincts on storytelling, audience response, and marketing were all spot on. The next feature will not suffer the same fate as HORRORS OF WAR. I learned a lot and I am still proud of the movie, flaws and all. I’m still getting emails and pictures from the DVD on shelves (or rented off shelves I should say) from BLOCKBUSTER’s all over the country. I still get chills from that. I’m going to stop reading reviews of the movie on all sites. I feel I have learned what I needed to from it and I know how I feel about the movie as is. Time to truly move on.
Speaking of which, I’m re-reading the feature length script for my next feature. Working with other writers has its benefits. I’m 95% committed the project, but the screenplay needs work. I will get more involved in the next few weeks with writing, re-writing, and then casting. I’m targeting early 2008 to start shooting. I have a better vision for what this needs to be tonally than what I did 4 months ago.
Editing trudges forward on ETERNAL for the Derek. I don’t have enough hours in the day for all that needs to be done. I’m knee deep in editing work all day, then trying to manage to find time to write my articles for VIDEOMAKER magazine, plus produce videos for them now too. My first article hits in January along with my first produced video with them. Now I’m doing another one on transitions. Speaking of which, I have to get back to writing THAT today too. My weekends aren’t free of work, and no longer periods of relaxation – just more work I didn’t have time for during the week.
Here is a situation brought to my attention. If a filmmaker is online begging for donations – AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE!!! THEY DON’T DESERVE YOUR MONEY! The cost of making simple movies is nominal in the day & age of digital. If you want to be a filmmaker bad enough, you can make it work within your schedule and finances. The worst thing in the world is when these crazy yahoos pull a number out of their butts and say, “I need $10,000 to finish my movie.” There is no budget; there is no breakdown of where that money will be spent. Don’t give them a dime; you’re only wasting it on someone who won’t be able to accomplish their goals.
If these wannabes can’t raise $10,000 to finish a project that cost $35.67 to shoot, they ain’t gonna spend that money wisely. It’s obvious they don’t have a grasp of film financing and budgeting with things so lopsided. It’s like donating cash to a crack addict, not helping an artist achieve their goals.
Too many whiners out there are expecting life as an artist to be easy. It’s not. Quit crying, baby, grow up, and play the cards life dealt you. Seems like everywhere you go, there’s some girly filmmaker crying about “I have to work full time and because I have rent to pay and food to buy, that somehow prevents me from succeeding as a filmmaker….” Well pussy, life is hard. There is no magical pussy filmmaker fairy that will grant your wishes. Make great movies within your meager budgets. Find the balance and harmony between your world of employment and desires to make movies. If it’s meant to be, you’ll find the happiness and money and opportunities will find YOU. No one wants to donate to some crybaby that whines about the world being against them. There are no short cuts and nothing will be easy. Life as a filmmaker ain’t for wimps. Pussies need to stand up and take responsibility for their own actions.
Life in Rossdonia moves forward. The new bathroom and kitchen will begin anew before the new year. Investing in our condo can’t be a bad thing. “V” is verboten to be in the bathroom, a.k.a. the MAGIC ROOM. I have no explanation for this, but “V” is obsessed with the bathroom. Just being in there makes him purr and relax. He can be mad as hell, but 2 seconds in there and he is relaxed, purring and positively glowing with happiness. With the floor being up and the walls exposed, we don’t want him eating things that will hurt him, so his Magic Room time is limited. Sometimes he cries at the closed door.
At night, he sleeps on my back. Cousette is not allowed on the bed or “V” will attack and pounce. Jealousy abound in Rossdonia. I try to make it up to her during the day.
I’m trying to cook more. I want to make more of my own food but until the kitchen gets remodeled, this will be difficult.
Look, I won ANOTHER award on Sony Picture’s CRACKLE.COM! I can’t turn around without getting some kind of accolade. How many awards till someone can call themselves Award Winning? Answer: one.
I’ve re-made the “Best of Sonnyboo” DVD for Amazon.com, which will soon have it for sale on their site.
I’ve lost steam and must get to paid writing now.
Trailing off into confusion,