Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm very lost right now.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011


My Brother is still in the hospital. He's on a respirator. They say he's slowly showing signs of improvement. So I continue to hope for the best.

Despite my worries I have to move forward.

I would like to thank the 11 folks who have pledged to REDD's Kickstarter so far.

I'm in the midsts of doing re-writes for the script for REDD. The reason the last blog post was titled Mystery Box was because I've had Mystery Boxes, Macguffins, Plotlines, and Twists on the brain. Specifically the idea of Mystery Boxes due to this TED talk from JJ Abrams.

I swear I could watch TED talks all day. It's so enlightening and inspirational to hear intelligent, thought provoking, dialogue from passionate people.

JJ Abrams talks about his obsession with magic, design, technology, and making mysteries inside of making movies and telling stories.

This speaks volumes about what I find interesting about what I'm doing. I am building a mystery. And I often do. 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If I'm not thinking about how much I love my wife, I am thinking about stories. Movies play in my head. If you ever spy on me when I'm alone in a room, you'd think I was insane. I talk to myself. characters speak through me, I act out scenes. If not, then I'm sitting, zoned out, staring into nothing, watching the secret screening room in my head, piecing together the puzzle that is the movie that I want to make for you.

The earliest memories of me doing this were in church. 8 years old, sitting in the pew, as the Catholic Deacon reads today's passage, I was choreographing fight scenes in my head and coming up with witty dialogue. Fast forward 28 years later. Not much has changed. Even as I write this, my brain is still working out scenes. I build Mystery Boxes all the time. I place them in scenes in hopes that it will finally reach you from inside of my movie, and when you open it, you'll be taken in and blown away all at once.

And JJ Abrams is right, with today's technology, a no-budget filmmaker can do almost anything. So what ever scenes I work out in my head, I know I can make it happen.

Sort of.

I have to keep myself tethered to whatever assets I have or can get. And I've blogged about this, making movies on what you've got, it's the very essence of Guerrilla Filmmaking. The very essence of Guerrilla Warfare. (As I've done before) I quote Gene Hackman from ENEMY OF THE STATE.

In guerrilla warfare, you try to use your weaknesses as strengths. If they're big and you're small, then you're mobile and they're slow. You're hidden and they're exposed. Only fight battles you know you can win. That's the way the Vietcong did it. You capture their weapons and you use them against them the next time. That way they're supplying you. You grow stronger as they grow weaker.

In Guerrilla Filmmaking you do the same. You could see your lack of money as a weakness. But in reality it's an opportunity for you to push yourself creatively. I can't afford a prop department to build my gun props, I have to make them myself out of plastic bottles and hot glue. I couldn't afford a really expensive Werewolf costume, so I made one out of materials I already had, cardboard and duct tape.

And when you're building a Mystery Box guerrilla style, it gets even more interesting. And that's where I'm at now. There is a sense of mystery, magic, passion, and cleverness I'm trying to instill in this Mystery Box called REDD. And I'm doing it Guerrilla style. Perhaps we'll be able to get ahead production wise if we can raise the money from Kickstarter, but in the end it's still about doing this with what I've got and not letting it hinder my creative process, but letting it inspire the creation of the Mystery.

Building the Mystery Box. It's a conundrum that I love to fascinate over. I love playing the detective, solving a case with no solution. Puzzling over a riddle that has no answer. The only true answer is the one I come up with, but it has to be one that resonates with me. Only then will the entire movie truly resonate with the audience.

Inspiration is the key to opening and creating the Mystery Box, even and especially when you're doing it guerrilla style. I turn to the great words of Jim Jarmusch.