Art is the Goal
Sometimes you get so worked up thinking about the end goals that you forget to focus on the journey to get there. I let small set backs and problems with actors distract me from the fact that I am making a movie. I mean really who gets to make a movie? So who cares if things go wrong? So what if my first film isn't perfect, even if that is the goal! It's practice. It's a step towards where I want to go in life, doing what I want to do with my life. A thousand hours of practice makes anyone an expert. This is the start of my training. After all on set experience is a million times more useful than all the schooling in the world.
An interview with Ice Cube set me straight. He talked about not falling in love with the industry but falling in love with the craft itself. Before I started to go to school for film I wrote and acted and filmed for fun. Because I loved it not because I thought I could get something out of it. I need to get back to that. The art of writing is what I enjoy the most in this world and trying to make it so bad has ruined it. Now it is time to go back to having fun.
I spent all day writing today. Close to 8 hours and got a lot done on the second script of Crusaders. This was the most writing I have finished in a lot of time. There was no effort to it. No forcing myself to write but enjoying it. It was like I was reborn. My old self was back and I loved it! Write because you love to write, not because you want to break out. Love the art and not the end game. That's what I have learned from this summer, because success is fleeting but art is forever.
Falling into place
So I have some exciting news. Well nerve wrecking news more like it. We are about half way done filming Trapped in the woods and we already have a distribution company interested in it. How amazing is that? One of our actors is a singer and he put in a good word for us. So the past couple days I've been in talks with them. Now nothing can move forward until the film is done but so far everything is sounding good. They are even talking about letting us pitch ideas for a sitcom. Can anyone say TV?
The other day I was doing a pod with Saul and we got to talking about the old days. How back then I would always talk about everything I wanted to do with my life but it was just talk. I would write, sometimes pod or do a youtube video but I just let things come to me. I never went out forced things to happen. My podcasts, my short stories and Trapped in the Woods are all things I forced into being. The time wasn't right and I was scared and part of me wanted to put it off but I kept moving forward and now it is starting to feel like for the first time in my life everything is starting to fall into place.
No matter how hard things in life get you have to always move forward. Don't let other people get you down and don't wait for the perfect moment. There is no such thing. It's now or never and why pick never? Life is just waiting for you to reach out and grab it.
88 Cups of Tea
Surprise surprise I started to listen to a new podcast called 88 cups of tea. So far it's really good. It's hosted by Yin Chang, an actor turned writer who interviews other writers. She hopes to help inspire people and I have to say that it worked. I always stress about how long it is taking me to get to where I want to be. How hard the road is and how I don't know if I'm going about everything the right way. One of her guests talked about how everyone has their own unique path into Hollywood and no two stories are the same. It's something I've heard a lot before but for some reason it never really hit home till hearing it on that podcast.
Taking Kevin Smith's advice to always have many plates spinning, I've started many different projects all at once. Sometimes it feels like too much, other times not enough. But it is all things that I want to do. All things that I needed to create. Maybe this is my path? Maybe doing all these different projects will help me achieve my goals.
This is a big year for us and I hope it all plays out the way I hope it does, but more than that, I hope all of you join us for the ride!
Here is the link for the 88 cups of tea podcast. http://88cupsoftea.com/podcast/
So the plan for today was to watch the new Fantastic Four movie and then write a review. I decided to skip the review. But I do want to take a moment to talk about the director Josh Trank. Here is a man who has had the opportunity that we all wish we had. Now I'm not saying it was given to him. Far from it. He earned it. He set out and made a short film, a skit really with some friends by the name of "a stabbing at Leia's 22 birthday". He got Fox to greenlight a movie for him in which he had full control and then got hired on to do Fantastic Four and a Star Wars movie. I mean, I know that I have been vocal against the Star Wars movies but that is only because they cancelled the EU. Something that I loved and kept me going through some very hard times in my life. Let's not kid ourselves that Star Wars is one of the greatest franchises alive. Need I also point out that he has done 3 and a promised fourth podcast with the man himself, Kevin Smith!
Sounds like a dream come true right? Well let's take this apart real quick. Not taking anything away from him or his friends but the skit wasn't mind blowing. Youtubers do more amazing stuff than that everyday and yet here is this guy in his mid 20's who got a deal out of. He hit the jackpot. He should be thanking God for the opportunity he was given and instead? He spit on the hands that fed him. Fox gave him the chance to make a movie, Chronicle. It was a good movie, I loved it! Then they opened up Marvel's Fantastic Four to him and let him do whatever he wants with it. The problem is that he did what ever he wanted with it. He changed all of their backgrounds, he told the actors not to read the comic books because this was going to have nothing to do with those. WHAT!!??? How do you make a comic book movie without looking at the source material?
It would seem that Trank let his ego get the best of him. Just last week he was telling Kevin Smith and all of us Fatman on Batman listeners about how great his movie, Fantastic Four turned out. Now the day before the film came out he tweets that he had a great vison of this film a year ago and the movie out now is nothing like that. Let's not forget that he was forced off of the Star Wars film. This young guy, who had the chances that all of us are fighting to get, has gone out of his way to burn every bridge he can find. Why in hell would you do that? If the movie doesn't come out the way you would have liked, well than that sucks. I'm sorry, but deal with that later on. Don't attack the only people giving you work. Don't tell the world that you are hard to work with, not this early in your career.
If I make it, no when I make it! I won't attack the people helping me. If I mess up, I will own my mistakes and accept the fall out. After all, as the director the buck should stop with you. Not somewhere else. Be a man and own up to your responsibilities. I only hope that he fulfills he's word and comes on Fatman on Batman one more time. I can't wait to hear how he spins this. And who knows, maybe between this and Fox wanting to make an X-Men TV show Marvel can get the rights back to the Fantastic Four. Time will only tell.
What is with Windows 10?
So has anyone else upgraded to Windows 10 yet? It's been driving me crazy. My touchpad mouse doesn't work anymore and I've run out of space on my laptop. The headaches it has caused are enough to drive a man insane.
Anyway, that isn't what I wanted to talk about today. I've been toying around some more with the idea of radio plays and more and more it sounds like something I would like to do. I need to find a few more actors, well voice actors. It's a lot harder to convey emotions when you can't use your eyes to help get your point across. I think we can at least start with the cast I'm using for Trapped in the Woods and we can move on from there. I'm having a really good time making this movie. Well when people aren't fighting or changing their schedule last minute that is.
Everyone knows I'm really big on Marvel movies and have been really against the Fantastic Four reboot but after listening to him on the last couple of episodes of the podcast Fatman on Batman by Kevin Smith I find myself really inspired. As soon as we finish the film I can't wait to get started on some shorts again. But this time they won't be silly little things to make me laugh. I will go all out to make interesting new things and push myself to my limits as a film maker. Can't wait for you guys to join me on the ride.
Dealing with People
Everyday is a new challenge, a new obstacle. This film has been teaching me more and more about how to deal with people and how to juggle personalities. I thought that working as a supervisor at Traders Village taught me these lessons. Whatever I didn't learn there I figured I learned at all the jobs that I have worked at after. Turns out that they taught me nothing.
It seems that everyday on this set I am putting out more and more fires. Trying to do nothing more than keep this film on track. I think I made the tactical error of trying to make everyone happy. I had the frame of mind that since I wasn't paying anyone than I had to make sure they were all taken care of and made happy. I still believe that but I let it become a priority over the film itself and that is where the error lies. Ashley told me time and again that that was what I was doing but it took me a while to notice it.
The goal now is get things back on track. I've worked hard on this film so far and I want it to be the best it can be. I need to get everyone on the same page and get us back on schedule. The only good thing is that everyone seems to really want to help and put their best foot forward.
On the subject of Warzone, I haven't yet seen any of the drawling for the comic revamp. I have no idea what is happening with that. I had the notion of making a radio play instead, or as well. That is the current plans for Crusaders so I have already been working towards that goal. It might be nice to see how it works out. I'll keep everyone posted!
Weekend in the Woods
I have risen! Sorry that I haven't been on here of late. I had internet trouble for a few days and then spent two days on set. I'm sorry to say that over the four days I've been gone we have dropped below at least 15 views a day. We have been getting over that mark for over a month now.
While I was away one of the actors asked me if he could post some behind the scenes stuff. I talked it over with Ashley and we decided it was a good idea. Get the word out and everything. Once we saw what he posted we changed our mind. He showed a clip he took that showed everyone the big twist of the film. That was not what I was expecting. Note to self, always check what they want to post before agreeing.
Let's jump into what happened on set. Friday was a good day. We worked out some problems in the schedule. The only way we could work it out is to extend the shoot into September. First we refilmed Zelda's bathroom scene then we went out to set and waited for our last actress and finished up some wood scenes. We filmed our first death scene and saw the dead bodies for the first time. It was a really cool experience. The blood came out better than I could have ever hoped for. I thought we would film a bit longer but we made great time and everyone was tired so we treated ourselves to an early night. It was about 2 in the morning. So yeah, real early but hey, it was the first time we finished everything we had planned. Well except for the car scene but we called that off the day before.
Saturday after sleeping in for a long time we went and recorded episode four of the buffy pod and then met the actor playing Lex. We had just hired him so we were meeting him for the first time. It was the first time we filmed in the woods on a Saturday and it was hell. I mean our actors were on point and even without a crew, me Ashley and Lawrence did everything fine on our own. The problem came with all the cars that kept driving past us! Non-stop! We only finished part of what we set out to do but it was out of our hands. Besides me and Ashley kept getting attacked by ants.
Over all I think both days went good and we got a lot of good stuff out of it. I can't wait for next weekend!
Jonathan Gutheinz vents about everything under the sun.