Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Risk Being Stupid
Steve McQueen once said an actor is only as good as the extent to which the actor risks being bad (I paraphrase). This means embracing risk is our stock and trade. We are not the only people in a business that is partly built of risk.
Other jobs require a different sort of hard work: the guts to be wrong, a confrontation with the risk of being stupid.
More and more people now have jobs that require them to confront the risk of appearing stupid on a regular basis
(from Confronting Stupid).
Monday, July 11, 2011
The Archer's Manifesto
- We owe allegiance to nobody except the financial interests which provide our money; and, to them, the sole responsibility of ensuring them a profit, not a loss.
- Every single foot in our films is our own responsibility and nobody else's. We refuse to be guided or coerced by any influence but our own judgement.
- When we start work on a new idea we must be a year ahead, not only of our competitors, but also of the times. A real film, from idea to universal release, takes a year. Or more.
- No artist believes in escapism. And we secretly believe that no audience does. We have proved, at any rate, that they will pay to see the truth, for other reasons than her nakedness.
- At any time, and particularly at the present, the self respect of all collaborators, from star to prop-man, is sustained, or diminished, by the theme and purpose of the film they are working on.
(from a letter from Emeric Pressburger to Wendy Hiller asking her to appear in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, via Serena Bramble on indiewire.com).
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Being Here is Win
Simply being in LA is amazing, great, wonderful: deserving of congratulations. Moving from anywhere to here is deeply challenging, and once done, good to remember as a great accomplishment. One of my professors advised that success in LA comes to those who stay here; it will be a marathon, not sprint.
I have known people who plan "I'll go to LA for [fill in arbitrary amount of time] and if I haven't [fill in arbitrary career progression] by then, I'll move back." Since I suspect life does not follow such rigid plans, in most cases this does not lead to satisfaction.
Some obstacles are worked through, some around. Some are tackled, some destroyed. And some obstacles are simply outlasted.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Acting is Not Genteel
Acting is not a genteel profession. Actors used to be buried at a crossroads with a stake through the heart. Those people's performances so troubled the onlookers that they feared their ghosts. An awesome compliment.
Those players moved the audience not such that they were admitted to a graduate school, or received a complimentary review, but such that the audience feared for their soul. Now that seems to me something to aim for.
- David Mamet
Friday, July 01, 2011
Buying Instead of Renting with UltraViolet
In coming months, most major studios will launch UltraViolet, a system designed to let consumers stream and store movies and TV shows they purchase on multiple devices. It's the next step beyond Apple and Amazon's digital cloud services, which allow users to access music and eBooks on multiple devices.
The hope is that UltraViolet will tilt the equation back in favor of owning movies and TV shows rather than renting them through Netflix or Redbox. With the crucial fourth-quarter disc selling season around the corner, UltraViolet can't launch soon enough for certain studio execs