By the end of my tenure with April Showers, I wasn’t sure how best (if even at all) to proceed with the business of film. During the process of making April Showers I was introduced, exposed and otherwise privy to a lot of varying emotions; some of them good, some not and some just plain strange. In all honesty I was tired. Tired of working on the film, tired of being told how great or how shitty I was, tired of negotiating and frankly tired of playing the game.
Make no mistake Hollywood is a game and I learned with April Showers that I don’t have much tolerance for games. Not to say that I believe everything should be black and white or right and wrong, it’s just that Hollywood lives on promise; the promise of more should I do something for someone else today. None of its real; it’s all credit based and at every turn someone is expecting payment, whether it be literal or figuratively. You do what you can and try and appease everybody, but at the end of the day it doesn’t leave much for you. I’m not ashamed to admit (if for the first time) I was drained. I tried to get right back into working but it probably wasn’t a smart move creatively or professionally, for I found myself creating out of frustration and anger more so than out of love. The once great promise of bigger, brighter and better seemed to fall by the wayside and with it my chances at a “real” film career -or so I thought.
It was only after I “quit” did I begin to realize what my initial hopes, dreams and objectives were in the first place. You see I’ve never set out to be the next name your director. I never set out to be famous or even rich. I simply wanted to tell stories that interested me. That’s how April Showers started. But alas, sometimes simple goals get away from you and the thoughts or expectations of others soon become your own. It isn’t difficult to lose yourself in any creative or professional endeavor -most of all in film. It has taken me literally years to understand myself once again and now that I do I know I don’t wish to go back.
Having worked in and around Hollywood for a little over a decade now (wow, that went fast) I know now that I don’t really like it much. I guess I should say I like the idea of Hollywood but its practical application is somewhat screwy. I love movies, I do, I love ‘em. I believe movies are the greatest form of communication and storytelling we have -they’re magical. For that reason and that reason alone I’m drawn to them and endeavor to make my own each and every day. As for the movie business? It is what it is. It’s played by those who believe it’s their own empire to run and its propped up by others who want desperately to be among them. It’s not that industry is bad or even wrong -it serves its purpose – just not one I find myself caring about all that much.
I don’t mean to come across as some broken-down, bitter filmmaker, I’m actually quite excited about what lays ahead for me. For once I realized that it was okay to let go of the “promise” of Hollywood I began to feel creative again and look at the process of making movies from a new, unique perspective. You see, technology has leveled the playing field in many respects, which scares Hollywood a lot, but plays to independent filmmakers like myself quite nicely. I know this “news” isn’t new, especially coming from me, but for the first time I’m actually practicing what I’ve been preaching all these years. You wouldn’t believe how with one breath I would consult with other filmmakers on their projects, telling them they needed to go totally indie and screw the man and yet with my next breath take meetings with millionaires in an attempt to score a larger budget.
And who’s films got made?
I recently received an email from one such group that I consulted with informing me that their film was picked up by one of the major pay cable networks. I’m proud of the filmmakers as well as the film itself; for they had a story they needed to tell, regardless of whether or not it was “in” or “marketable”, and they found a way to get it done. I kept the email to remind me to stay focused on the story not the BS that tries to attach itself to it. You just have to be strong enough to say enough. Cut crap, move forward and just it done. Be creative by any means necessary and let the business take care of itself. A good story is a good story and so long as your barometer for success is realistic and not some trumped up ideal set by someone else, success is always obtainable.
As always, thanks for reading. Until next time, take care and stay tuned…
UPDATE: The romantic comedy, Love In Training, referenced in this post has been put on hold indefinitely. I apologize for the confusion. For more information please read my announcement detailing the change.