I love movies. Adore them.
The truth is, I like movies more than cooking fancy recipes or riding bikes or knitting or sewing. Shawn and I watch a lot of movies. Countless. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you might have heard about our Halloween movie parties where we’ve watched horror movies for days straight without stopping (or sleeping).
Since movies are such a big part of my life and I wanted to incorporate that love a little bit more on the blog. I’ll be featuring a few films here and there that I love, just to share them with you all.
I’m starting with one of the most amazing films Woman Under the Influence It’s a portrait of a slightly eccentric woman, but also a peek into a family in 1974. While many of Cassavetes’ films are dominated by a male presence, this film is really an ode to Gena Rowlands.
I was completely captivated by this film the first time I saw it. Rowlands seamlessly portrays a woman who is on the brink of normalcy, just a touch stranger than everyone else. It is uncomfortable to see her act out, but you love her all the same. You can see how her husband, played by Peter Falk, loves her just as much because of her quirks as in spite of them. It is an intimate story of a family that could be like any other but just isn’t quite. (more…)
Generally speaking, I try to keep this blog on a positive note (there are of course exceptions on occasion). This week I have reached my peak in frustration though. It’s a culmination of things that was pushed over the edge when our good friend, Liz Hayward, showed us the logo design in the trailer for the movie Crazy Stupid Love. You can see it above. You might notice a distinct similarity between it and the logo that Liz designed for Brainwashed Love
I know this sort of comparability happens quite often in design, and who knows, it could be a complete coincidence. On the other hand, perhaps it’s not. There is a definite trend right now where larger companies are directly taking ideas, whether they be films or handmade items or photos, from individuals and using them as their own without any kind of credit.
Larger organizations are preying on the ideas of the creative community. I read recently about a photographer who’s image was lifted from flickr and used on the Delta website front page without any compensation or permission. The photographer only found the image by chance when he was looking to purchase a ticket from the airline.* Or what about this blogger’s face being plastered on t-shirts and sold without any kind of permission/credit/compensation for either her or the photographer who took the photo? There is essentially no repercussions for this blatant plagiarism as quite often individuals don’t have the means to go after the perpetrators.
Months ago when the 30 Seconds to Mars video for Kings and Queens came out, I expected it to look a lot like the photos Shawn had posted to Midnight Ridazz over the years, as there were thousands. What neither Shawn nor I expected was to see a stop motion wildfire in the middle of the video. For no reason. Just a few clicks away from Shawn’s many photos on Midnight Ridazz, one would find his short film Ignite, which is, as you might have guessed, a stop motion film of the Griffith Park fire. The music video also reuses Banksy imagery amongst other things so it’s clearly not trying to be original, but I’m sure Jared Leto just felt this was all derivative. I mean he did pay a bunch of cyclists to ride to the MTV music video awards with him and pose as his bike friends. Because that’s the sort of thing you can do when you have money I suppose.
That’s what it comes down to…money. Which is what makes this so frustrating. It’s frustrating because Shawn and I spent everything we had and more on making Brainwashed Love. We made a super low budget film on our own terms and I’m so proud of what we did. Since we made a truly independent film we’re left to rely on film festivals as one of the only options to get the publicity needed to distribute our film. Unfortunately, this often puts us up against “independent” features which cost 100 times the budget of our film. It puts us against films with Hollywood stars trying to earn some industry cred that are enticing to festivals who can in turn use those names to promote the festival itself.
So when a Hollywood film comes out, before we’ve even had a chance to get our movie released, and it has nearly the same logo as the film that we poured our heart and souls into it makes me want to scream. It makes me crazy that money gives you power and that this movie which could be a complete piece of junk will be seen by so many people with a logo just like ours and there is nothing we can do.
Here is where in another place this post might turn into a Kickstarter campaign to help us distribute the film ourselves. That’s not what I’m looking for. I have faith that we will find a way to get this film out there. Instead, I ask that you watch our opening sequence with its awesome titles by Liz Hayward. Or instead, check out our teaser trailer. Become a fan of Brainwashed Love on Facebook so that when we are able somehow get this film in theaters we can let you know. If anything though, this lit a fire in my heart again to ensure the success of our film baby.
Most importantly, support your creative contemporaries. And if you’re out there making stuff, keep making. Don’t give up.
Oh and if by chance you happen to know anyone looking to distribute a great feature film, in any capacity, feel free to send them my way.
*I of course, now can’t find where I read this article, so if anyone has a link I’ll gladly take it.
I’ve been trying to think of what to say about the Brainwashed Love screening last Friday, but I just can’t come up with the words to express it. Shawn and I have worked so long and hard on the film so there isn’t any way to wrap it up in just a little recap. We produced it completely ourselves and we really wanted to send it off into the world right. We held our screening for just over 200 of our cast, crew and closest friends at the Downtown Independent.
The whole week prior, I was a ball of nerves. Neither Shawn nor I got much sleep, Shawn especially, as we tried to make everything as perfect as possible. By the time we actually made it to the screening, I was pretty overwhelmed with all the people that came. It was so awesome.
I would say without a doubt the screening was a success. Since no one had seen the movie in it’s complete form, it was the first time we got to hear any feedback. So many people told us they were shocked at how good it was. I can’t express how good it felt to know that people actually really liked it. It really validates all the effort and time and money and caring we put into the film.
We were really lucky to have a photo booth donated by Polite in Public, to take shots all night. We chose a Halloween themed backdrop and they had a ton of great props, perfect for the start of October. I figured I’d just share these photos and a few that I was able to snap during the night instead of trying to describe the event itself.
Hopefully, there will be more screenings in the future. Maybe good things will happen for us. You can always follow us on twitter if you want to keep up with where the film goes.