When you’re making a movie you kindof just want to cocoon yourself with film and live in that place for a long time. It’s a great place to be. For me, it’s very hard to divide attention. Because of how large and all-encompassing “Trailer: The Movie” is – not in a bad way either, but there is a lot to do – it is very difficult for me to do any fictional writing. I think it is because I have created (and intend to continue to foster) a link between acting and directing. They fold into one under the banner of Filmmaking. Writing is the first step to directing. Anyway, it’s different with acting, because I’ve always kept writing and acting separated. Point is, I still like to write and want to write, and I still have ideas, but I’m not pursuing them at the moment. So, when I can spare a moment, I write blogs, journal, and read. So that satisfies that side, while the director side is in full swing.
Anyway, none of that is the point (these muscles they are rusty). What’s surprised me is that I’ve been finding time to watch a lot of movies, as well as listen to a lot of interviews and podcasts. I’ve been loading up my iPod lately with them, and I’ve been ingesting them rather quickly. In addition to my regular routine of listening to Battleship Pretension and Filmspotting, I ocasionally listen to The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell, and I have begun listening to the Creative Screenwriting podcast, with Jeff Goldsmith. And it’s great! There is a whole slew of interviews: Charlie Kaufman on “Synechdoche, New York.” Jody Hill on “Observe and Report.” David Wain on “Role Models.” Andrew Stanton on “Wall-E.” (Just now looking through, I found 7 more to download. I’ve got driving to do this weekend). The interviews are in-depth and almost always at least an hour long. That’s amazing! Most Q&A sessions are about 10, maybe 15 minutes long. These interviews cover everything from origins of projects and how the subjects got involved either in writing or directing or filmmaking in general. It’s comforting for a young filmmaker to hear that Charlie Kaufman worked for 11 years before anyone would read anything he wrote. Or that Jody Hill made “The Foot Fist Way” for $70,000.00 less than 5 years ago. It can be frustrating letting people know you want to write and direct because the two most popular responses are both polar opposites and totally unhelpful. One is the person tells you it’s impossible to break in to the business and you might as well not try. On the other hand, the person assumes you’ll be famous two months after you move to LA. No. I won’t. Yes, I get it; it’s difficult. Thank you for opening my eyes.
And in a strange turn of events, the Kansas City Film Festival is going on this weekend, and guess who one of the judges is? Jeff Goldsmith. Tonight he is recording an interview with Rian Johnson after a screening of his 2nd film “The Brothers Bloom.” Unfortunately, it’s sold out, but I’m still thinking of trying to stand in the will-call line just for the experience. I loved Johnson’s first film, “Brick” and he is also a good friend/ fan of Filmspotting. And the world gets smaller still. If you have any interest in making films for a living, check out the podcast, you’ll be glad you did.