It’s 7:26 pm
It’s a very warm and humid day here in SE Michigan. Its been in the upper 80s this week,hard to imagine that three weeks ago,we had snow on the front lawn. Summer is rearing it’s head,ready to get all the fun activities that comes with it going.
This is going to be a very different blog entry,I am happy to have famed Hollywood writer/director Alex Proyas let me share his latest editorial that he posted on Facebook.
Alex is a very gifted director and his movies have always been among my favorites,”The Crow”,”I,Robot” and “Knowing”. He also directed one of my Top 50 films in “Dark City” which has one of the coolest soundtracks ever.
Last January “Gods of Egypt” which was directed by Alex came out and in which he was wrongly criticized for his casting choices. The wave of bad press hurt the movie here in the United States but surprise(!),the rest of the world loved it and came out in droves to support it proving once again,we like our movie stars and a fun story full of action and romance.
Alex wrote passionately in defense of his film on his Facebook page and just wanted it to be viewed and judged for the film itself,not torn apart by critics who know nothing about a studio works in getting a movie made.
I went and saw the movie as well and I blogged about it as well ….Concerning Gods of Egypt and other adventures .
So when Alex started posting a series of editorials about trying something new in Hollywood in the movie making business,I read it and the several pieces he shared.
I sent him a message asking if I could run his series and gracefully said yes.
While the series seems disjointed,its because Alex was setting up the links to stories he wanted to highlight.
As I said,it a different a entry today….
BUILDING A NEW MODEL
The studio system is broken. Film makers need another way to get their work seen, and to earn enough from their films to be able to keep making them, with complete creative freedom. The revolution is coming, Dear Friends. Here is some early evidence…
The media “titans” are perhaps not the answer in the long term, but certainly a stepping stone for indie film-makers.
Here is a menu of existing distribution platforms for filmmakers, thanks to PBS.
I believe tomorrow’s great filmmakers will appear through digital distribution platforms such as the ones listed on my previous post. As much as it pains me to say it, big screen movies are feeling more and more like remnants of some bygone age. Don’t get me wrong, I love a big screen as much as the next guy, but the studio/distribution/exhibition stranglehold on big screen entertainment is untenable. Creative original movies (i.e. indies) are being increasingly marginalised – Hollywood seems only capable of making franchises & remakes, encouraging “traffic cop” filmmaking for the big movies, just safe bets. How do original visions prosper in this environment? They don’t. They do it some other way. Bring on the revolution!
Some film-makers support the notion, others do not. The exhibitors have the most to lose here. But I doubt this is a game changer for film-makers themselves, though perhaps a stepping stone to something great down the line. Who should be “fearful” exactly? Not me.
In 1999 I set up a website which I hoped would ultimately become the distribution and release platform for my films and like minded others. This was before Facebook, or Youtube, or any of the countless streaming platforms currently bidding for attention. Mystery Clock was ahead of it’s time and suffered the fate of many things which appear when everyone is not quite ready for them, and in this case the technology was not quite able to sustain it. It withered on the vine. But it was a bold experiment and those who participated seem to remember it fondly. I think it is time to bring it back.
(I asked Alex to explain what Mystery Clock was – Michael)
“Mystery Clock was a site “by film-makers, for film-makers”. It had various interactive content, a flash animation series, many of my short films, and some films made specifically for the site. The idea was to stream my films and also films by others that I liked and wanted to give a platform. This was when download speeds were horribly slow. Now it might be more viable.”
Kickstarter,you have our attention…..
Nothing like a headline proclaiming “Make Money Now” to get people’s attention. Well this looks like one alternative, but roughly 50/50 with the film-makers, though sounding better than the world we all know, still does not really cut it for me.
We cannot hold back the future. Movies have always been a technological medium. Technology made them possible and now technology continues to re-define them. It will all eventually be down to personal tastes as to what kind of experience the audience want. Those who want to see it on a big screen, or those who want to watch it on their phone while heading to work on the train. Everything will be possible. But the result will be freedom for individual film-makers like never before – to make what they want, on their terms, and keep making them. Just think how ridiculous it would be if every band in the history of contemporary music had insisted that the only way you could listen to their music was on a studio quality sound system or at a live concert? Sometimes it is okay to hear a song on AM radio. The quality of the song still comes through and if you like it enough you can go buy the album. It should be the same for movies. And one day – if not right now – most people will be able to watch movies in their own home at quality matching or better than most theatres. Maybe we are giving up something, but we will be gaining so much more.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today. Love to hear your opinion on the format and also Alex’s editorial.
Thank you Alex for letting me share your words with my readers.
If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400