If a tree falls in the woods and no one instagrams it with the official hashtag, what's the point?
Well, Memphis doesn't have financial support. The state incentives aren't there (see an earlier Flyer story on those details). And honestly, incentives are just prop ups for the bigger budget films to have a somewhat stance of legitimacy (referring back to that Weekend of Bernie's corpse comment further up by someone). If those incentives in the current hot-spot cities are slashed by the next elected officials then the film industry bolts from those towns too, no matter how scenic and soulful and magical the area is. And trust me, we haven't accepted it as our fate, I'll prove it by letting you fund my next film.
I think Bill you are not seeing that in the picture above, it is a majority of storytellers and creatives with a varying range of technical production experience ranging from professional quality to still learning the craft. No, you wouldn't hire most of those in the article to be your Assistant Camera or Key Grip. But the above want to make movies that will eventually have the need for a local crew profesisonal. You don't "crew up" with a writer. There might be some stepped on steel-booted toes on this article because some of those creatives up top are for now acting as their own grip & electric, assistant director, production assistant, editor, whatever… but they eventually want to hire you and the experienced pro crew to make their movies (and I count at least 15 filmmakers in that photo that did pay crew positions on their last productions).
All this is showcasing is that there's a pool of storytellers looking to still make movies in Memphis despite some challenges, get good at it, and make bigger and better movies in Memphis, which is good for all of us.
Well Bill, the next great strong script won't just magically appear overnight. Odds are it's going to come from one of these creatives who keep at it and sharpen their craft. I've apparently met some of the most talented geniuses with the next big script that's just one more re-write away and 10 years later it's now yet another re-write away from changing the whole world. I'm beginning to lose faith in those guys, I'm only giving them 2 more re-writes, tops.
Also, your comment about writing a book only takes an idea, a pen, and some paper probably made writers just as insulted as you are right now. Not to mention that pesky need for editors, and publishers, and marketing.
As for the harsh reality that 99.99% of no budget productions are terrible, I hear 3000% of Hollywood blockbusters are terrible too (citation needed). That's why it's always about making the next one better, at least it is for the low budget indie filmmaker.
“This article is really insulting to everyone actually doing the very difficult legwork to raise funds to create quality work.” -- The only thing whinier than a person who says “I don’t have any money, so I’m going to do this for practically nothing, who’s with me?” is a person who says “I can’t be a filmmaker because I don’t have any money.” By the end, only one of those people is actual going to have a film in their hands and a calling card to try and make a more polished, higher-end production for the next go-around.
“People will work for free or a reduced rate on low budget productions with the understanding that when well-paid work came around that the favor would be returned.” -- True, and I don’t see anywhere in the article where a filmmaker says they will never pay someone no matter what in the future. Also, some people will work for free or reduced rates because they really love the project and the people attached to the project and want to see it become a reality VS waiting on all those noble fundraisers to come up with the dough to make that “quality work.”
“Low budget productions are wildly different than no-budget productions. If you want to get together with your friends on weekends to make no-budget youtubes, that's great.” -- Cute way to minimize our efforts. We get into festivals right alongside the big funded LA movies too and we get theater presentations that pack a crowd and we sell DVDs and merch to help cover costs and maybe even get over that broke-even hump. Also, I don’t know anyone in the article doing no-budget. No-budget is filming Christmas morning with an iPhone. There’s some cost involved no matter how small a production is. It’s that there’s a huge discrepancy in the subjective definition of “low.” Every film festival has the conversation of two economically down-trodden filmmakers. The Hollywood-minded person that just wants a few million for their low-budget movie and the other filmmaker that was thinking “low” meant a few more zeros were chopped off.
“It's silly to put a bunch of people playing make-believe on the cover of your newspaper when there are people hard at work, on set as I write this, making the film industry in Memphis a real thing.” -- It’s silly to say we need to shut up and sit down and everyone ignore us because we sure as hell aren’t the answer for bringing or making something bigger here. Hollywood came and went through here, TN politics isn’t going to do anything for us soon, and we’re staying in Memphis, so this is how’s it working out for us to make it better. Also, I hope the AD smacks the iPhone out of your hand and tells you to get back to work.
Bill, I suppose if it was renamed "Pro Bono" instead of "Free" then it'd sound more admirable because lawyers and doctors do that often for causes they beleive in, to keep their name out there, and to keep their skills sharp. You can read it as "exploit some hobbyists for free labor" or you can read it as "people passionate in a creative art who strive to be in it as much as possible", we know which is the accurate one.
Truth Bus, sure, there's no scene here. Scenes and communities are made up buzz words usually for someone to push an agenda of sorts. I agree set expierence is great. We're often the ones on the sets for whatever comes into town or we're on our own sets. We know what we're doing out there. Maybe you've confused the entire group of filmmakers with a student production you happened to walk by one time? We do things our own way here because it works a different way here. We aren't trust funds kids with NYU or USC film degrees, we don't have uncles in Hollywood, so we make do with how we can acheive things here. But seriously back to the important part, have you heard of The Walking Dead...zombies...they're awesome, get over it.
Also Truth Bus, you devalued your rant right off the bat saying we have medicore ideas. Have you watched our work? I've had 6 festivals full of an audience already for my boring zombie movie schlok and it's just getting started on the fest circuit. It seems to be doing quite well. Thanks for your long-winded concern but I think we're going to be okay out here.
Concerning Jordan's point, he's spot-on. You'll often find the crew really running the show. Nothing beats hiring a talented and expierenced crew member when you can. Also, hire Jordan, he does amazing work.
-Edward Valibus, filmmaker
Everyone's a critic, and no one wants to like anything anymore. Bobo's work is fantastic and this piece is a great addition to the Square. No business directory as art, no #ILoveMarketingCampaign901 attached to it, it's just public art for the enjoyment of art, perfect.
He that wants money, means, and content in Germantown is without three good friends.
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