Perspectives

Offering a take on things in film.

What’s New and What’s Going down.

New day, new year. All the bullshit. But hey, it’s all for the better.

Time has been here for a minute to figure out what to do next. I’m back in Chicago so I have a ton resources at my disposal one again.

But there’s a big problem that I was having. I didn’t really know where I belonged. I have this problem where I’m just not posh enough to hang out with the cool kids. Whether it be film, derby, or fighting games. I just never really fit in. No matter how much I wanted to. But it wasn’t all because they weren’t completely nice (some where actually quite cool) but it’s my problem of wanting to be me and no one else. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t kiss ass to anyone, don’t care who they are. Nor will I treat anyone differently than anyone else for any reason.

Which leads me to what I’m doing, we’re expanding what we’re doing.

We’re going to be active on Twitch and Youtube again… as well as Soundcloud now, doing various gaming a podcast type things. Got stuff planned, and it’s going to be fun.

On top of that, we’ll be releasing short films more often and maybe a new series or a feature or something. Dunno, we’re taking larger projects by ear. The focus is going to be on small, self contained things for now as the staff builds.

My intention is to build a space where we can all feel more comfortable being ourselves and making the things we want to make without the fear or necessity of having to conform to elements that might not be worth conforming for. No need to be posh, we’re just here to make cool stuff. It’s what makes us happy and fulfilled.

Not surprisingly I’m not alone in my sentiments.

There’s no doubt at all in what I want to do. I want to make stuff that’s fun. Not only for me but for those watching. That’s always the number one priority. However that can be a little difficult sometimes when you’re trying to make something new. It’s not always going to go the way you want it. But the important thing in the long run is to try and do things differently because you never know, you could be on to something.

But that’s where we’re at now. We’ll make some staff announcements soon. Yay. Let’s go.

 

See you guys at C2E2.

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Let’s Waste Some Time: On the movie, leaving leaving for Indiana, and general life lessons. Trying to make movie in Chicago, and other things you may or may not be interested in..

It’s been a crazy time filming this movie, I have to say. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But that’s kind of the way I am. If there’s not challenge then something will always seem off. I feel like it won’t be as awesome as awesome as it could or should. Everything I do I always give a lot more than I should. Why? Because I love what I do.
Why do I do it if it causes you such pain and frustration?
It’s simple. Look at my life. My life sucks. It just sucks. I got a family that hates my guts and has gone as far to try and have me institutionalized (that was a great story). Then you have so called friends that don’t even acknowledge your presence… until of course they need something. Then they feel like talking. It’s pathetic quite frankly. Time and time again

This is why I make movies. I have a unique chance to make people’s lives not suck so much for an hour or two at a time. It’s something I do pretty okay I must say (though I’m sure some would disagree.) But it really makes me feel like I’m contributing something.

It’s never about me. It’s about the project and everyone in it. I do my very best to stand up for my guys. I pay them. Everything about every movie is funded out of my own pocket because I believe in what I’m doing. I put everything into it.

I honestly wish those I work with felt the same  way. It’s a little heartbreaking sometimes but you really have to push through it.. They don’t know how hard you work or that most of their day is, but they’re actors. What do you truly expect right?

So I came to the decision that it’s time to go. There’s really nothing for me here. Much as I like Chicago I don’t really like the people that are in it quite frankly. It just seems like everyone is really full of shit as I’m learning. Lot of talk. Not a lot of doing. And I hate that. The more we talk, that’s less time we have to really get down and dirty and finish things that need to be finished and whatnot. It’s frustrating to say the least.

That’s kinda the deal with trying anything unusual and new. It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve had more support abroad for all of my projects than I’ve had in my own city. It’s like I have the plague. No one wants to really be associated with me, and those that do… don’t even really mention me at all. Like I’m nothing. Again, that really sucks but I’ve tried to not let it bother me. Have to have that diamond skin you know.

However, I’m a man of my word. And even though I’m moving to Goshen, Indiana I’m going to travel the 2 hours back quite frequently to finish it. Why? Because I’m a man of my word. And we’re going to finish the damn movie. Happy with anyone or not, I have to get it done because I don’t give up on things because they’re hard. I guess that’s the gamer in me.

But hopefully I can go where people don’t know me, make new friends, and finish school. Then go wherever I please from that point on. It should be fun times ahead. And I’ll be looking forward to watching roller derby and helping Willie because no one knows how to use a camera.

 

All and all, it took me a number of years, but I’ve come to this conclusion.

 

It’s not me, it’s them. I’m a nice, cool, guy. Everyone else just sucks and the people I know don’t deserve me.

If feels good to say for once. Fuck being humble. This city is awful and I can’t wait to be away from all these people for a very very long time.

“Friends will help you get your movie made”. Don’t make me fucking laugh. They’re the worst. Keep them the hell away from your movie.

Not-sure-if-dvz8nf So you’re going to make a movie. That’s great. You’re a really brave person. I realize now just how much courage I had to do what I do despite the mountains of opposition. That opposition of course being… ya know, everyone and everything. But this article isn’t exactly about “The Struggle” it’s about relationships. I’m sure if you’re alive, you have friends. Or if you’re here on the internet reading my musings about absolutely nothing and you have you damn friends.

Anyway, when I started making movies, I was told to not pay people right away, but to find friends willing to help. Being broke as hell I didn’t really have much of a choice. I managed to find people who would help and it was great. We got things filmed and it was actually rather simplistic. With the next movie, “Pump it Up: The Warrior’s Path”, we really upped the stakes… despite the issues that turned up… it was actually pretty good. HOWEVER, friends jumped on the project and seemed to support at first. But then when the actual work came around, they were sudden hard to contact… or would just flat out lie about going to shoots and leaving me high, dry, and looking like a fucking idiot. But a good directer/producer knows how to work around it. Always plan for the worst. That brings me to the current move I’ve been working on, “Everything Else: The Warrior’s Path. I’ve really leaned on those friends for support once more. But again, the lies all over the place. It’s crazy. We were supposed to film at once place on the 10th of May. It’s Ryzen’s house. We’ve been there in the past couple of movies. However, flaked on me at the very last second. Or the guy who was SUPPOSED to play Langer, has lied to me twice and is most likely going to get punched in the face by me really soon.

So remember, your friends most likely lack the passion, heart, and honor to make films. Or even to actually be real friends at all. Always remember to question everything in your friendships. You want good people on your movie? Pay them. Until then, get ready to deal with your shitty friends. I know now that mine have no heart. It sucks.

When Is it Okay to Use Rape Jokes?

Image

First of all. If you’re asking that question, you must have some sort of doubt to begin with. Don’t tell or write any jokes if you’re going to have doubt. It’s an all in deal. Don’t half ass your jokes. However, rape jokes can be quite funny in the proper context. Much like racial jokes.

Rape jokes fall in the same cookie jar as suicide jokes. They’re both highly traumatic and delicate situations and it’s hard to crack a joke without it being malicious or worse, just unfunny. It’s really all a situational thing. You don’t just walk up to someone and say, “Did you hear about the 12 year old that was raped by the creepy ass clown?” or something like that. Moreso it has to be used in conjunction with something going on.

For instance. When I’m getting my ass kicked by a Vergil sword loop in Marvel 3.
Which is all the time.

I tend to get those comments. “Just bend over Joe. This is happening.”

It must be used as a quip for someone being mercilessly overpowered and there’s not much you can do. Thus the term itself.

“Man, Hunger Games raped the box office last weekend.”

You see where I’m going with this? I hope so.

But like anything, there are lines. Don’t take the joke beyond a couple of lines. It loses it’s edge and frankly you’ll just look like a damn tryhard.

Also, if you want to make plays on alleged “Rape Culture”, that’s cool. Those silly, stupid things that I’ve never ACTUALLY heard anyone say before (seriously, I’ve never actually heard it come of out of someone’s mouth) such as, “she had it coming.” can be used again at the proper time. It’s all about the timing.

Oh, and jokes are no longer jokes if you’re being malicious. Remember that. But no matter when you make a rape joke, there’s always going to be people on your back saying it’s not funny. The same people who laugh at your jokes in private, but in public are a bunch of prudes. But that’s just the way it works sometimes. Humans are just weird like that. They put up that facade of political correctness, but deep down they’re more sadistic than all of us.

And again, it doesn’t take the severity of the situation away. Because of course it can be life shattering and all that. Everything can and must be joked about in society or we run the risk of taking ourselves too seriously… which can lead to serious problems. We’re just animals folks.

My friend and colleague Barrett… Needs More Credit

ImageThat hat was almost as good of a purchase as my horse head. Almost.

You may have remembered this guy and his shotgun loading antics. Well, he’s not with us anymore, he died last week. Not only did I really lose a one of a kind character, I also lost a one of a kind friend.

I remember when I first met him. I believe it was at Brunswick Zone: Oak Lawn when we were playing ITG a lot. Because kids, ITG used to be fun at one point. There was a rather large group of us, maybe a dozen or more who would just come in on Fridays and play rounds with one another. I don’t exactly remember how good Barrett was at ITG, but he would always show up with John (also pictured).

We really started hanging out more after I cast him in my first movie. He was really into acting and I can tell. Whenever someone is really into their role, it shows and you can always just sit down and think about how awesome it was. And you can just mention it and people will know what you’re talking about.

I’m talking about the shotgun scene. You all know what I mean.

But as the director, it’s good when an actor comes to you and really wants to break the character down with you… you know… like actors are supposed to do. Take note of that everyone. Believe it or not, the man actually knew what he was doing acting wise if you knew it or not. He would really disappear into character… as much as Barrett can anyway, because there was no one like him.

I remember one time on set, our camera guy Josh, who’s a fucking turd (just my opinion, I’m sure his mom loves him.) had his headphones on check the mic levels or something. The microphones we used are super sensitive and Barrett just yelled “Buttfuck” into it really loud, blew that turd’s hearing out for a little while. I found it hilarious, even then.

He was also in the 2nd movie, but we had to cut his scene after said turd stole a ton of footage from us and really messed up the movie as a whole. Those scenes are going to be put into the 3rd movie which I’m working on right now. And he was going to be a major player in this 3rd movie too, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen. Some rewrites are happening and we’ll get to filming in about a month.

Away from the film, we didn’t hang out as much as I would have liked. But when we did it was always a good time. He told the best stories… I love the one of Shadow and Shadow G. I forget how it went though.

I remember driving him home one day and we started talking about Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and the true meaning of it. The guy was really passionate about verses.

I guess that’s why he was so into poetry. Most people didn’t know this at all. But he’s been writing poetry since… well… a while. He would periodically send me stuff to read. I was course did and was presently surprised. It really looked like something he put his heart and soul into. Much like I do when I write and we bonded quite a bit over that. I really wish I could actually write poetry, but I lack emotions and stuff. But I respect those who can get their emotions on paper like that. He always said he wanted the world to see his poetry… I dunno, maybe we can do that. We’ll see.

I was just telling my friend last month that people don’t give Barrett enough credit. Him and I were really similar that way. People just simply misunderstood who we were and what we were trying to accomplish with what we do. They tend to fear us or just push us aside… which really isn’t right but that’s how we are in America I guess.

I just honestly wish everyone else saw what I saw. They’d think a little bit differently.

Guess I’ll close with that. I’ll certainly miss you Barrett. This next movie is for you and Jim.

Why Indie Filmmaking is Just High School All Over Again

It’s just me, doing that dangerous “Thinking” thing again as I struggle with my own self to make it from movie to movie without going completely crazy. It’s a tough thing sometimes and I try to rationalize it into something I’m familiar with.

And it came to me.

High School. And I’ll give you two reasons why

HighSchoolMusical

 

Okay, but there’s fewer catchy tunes and we all can’t be as photogenic as ol Zac.

 

1. Money

-In high school, you had two types of people. Those of us who are broke. And those that are rich and have things just given to them. I , despite rich parents was a victim of tickle down economics. So I was poor and had to work for everything that I got. But you had the rich kids that would go to fucking McDonalds for lunch every day. I was fucking jelly with my PB&J. But Goddammit it was the best fucking PB&J on wheat bread and I was still fed in the end.

-Same goes for making movies. You have people like me, who are trying to make really cool shit out of nothing. It’s quite a feat to even get a movie off the ground when you got no money. Money talks. Then you have those white suburban people with the parents that love and support their career choice to go into filmmaking. Again, I envy those people. But I know my hard work is truly going to pay off someday so it’s okay. It only helps me appreciate things more when I do get them and puts more weight on surrounding myself with good people. Which again, is good for the long run.

2. Cliques

– Damn, I never thought I’d have to use that term again. But we all remember those groups that tended to hang out together. Usually during lunch. Then you had people like me who were sort of an outcast, but had your other outcasty friends and you all formed your little outcast group out of pure survival. All the while, you had the popular kids who had big tables full of friends simply because they were “The Guy”

-Same thing happens in indie film world. Literally. You have groups of actors and stuff that stick together. This is all good and healthy. Just like high school. However, you do see a ton of worship somethings and it just makes you sit back and just watch in disbelief. If this person wasn’t doing all these things, would you even talk to them if you saw them on the street somewhere? The answer is always no. These groups, like in high school will single people out and basically tell them to fuck up. Even if they don’t even really no the person at all and that’s just fucked up. That’s part of the reason why I’m reluctant to go to these artists meetings. No one is leveling up. Everyone is just stroking their cocks and showing fucking suicide movies. Everyone thinks they’re being artsy but they’re really just forgetting they’re in the fucking entertainment industry. Entertain and/or move people or get the fuck out of the way and let someone else do it who truly wants that shit. It’s a hard world out there and we need to stick together.

 

That’s all I really have to say on the matter. I just have to work a little bit harder.

REAL TALK: Suicide and Such

SuicidePreventionAs much as I love to talk about movies and all matter of funny stuff on this site (when I get the chance to actually do it that is. Movie and all) But I wanted to talk about something I really don’t discuss too often, and that’s on the subject of suicide.

Yeah, way to be a downer Joe. I’m sorry but it’s some stuff I’ve wanted to say for a while

But it’s just something that hits real close to home with me for two reasons. Well three. One of them is just an opinion.

First off isn’t really so serious. It’s just what I see a lot in film making  at least at the lower independent levels. There’s a ton of indie dramatic shorts out there. But A LOT of them just end up with the main character committing suicide. I’m not saying those filmmakers shouldn’t end their characters in such a manner. I mean it’s their world and they can do what they want. But the problem I see is that they’re not taking the time to actually dig into that person’s reason for suicide. When a human being commits suicide, most often than not, they do it alone and away from people. That, and they usually don’t talk about killing themselves RIGHT BEFORE the fact. That always got on my nerves. Really the writer and or director go for the cheap payoff of killing off the character and generating feels that way. I just always felt it was cheap and really cheapens the very idea of suicide for those that don’t have to deal with it.

This is part of the reason why I do the comedies I do. They’re loud and silly. They have a special place in the realm of films that tie you up and force you to feel things. Yes it works, but like I said, it cheapens the idea and is just used as a magical mcguffin for emotion.

 

Why I feel this way is simple. Here are the two reasons.

1st off. There was my friend Airman First Class Jim Walsh. We spent many a day playing DDR and other arrow stomp. But more importantly we discussed our problems with one another and always helped each other out. I knew him for 9 really good years. But our conversations turned darker when he went to the Air Force Academy (quite an honor) He had issues dealing, plus medication. I spent a good deal of time some days talking to him, and cheer him up. He would always end up cheering me up too. But I got that call that he passed away and I couldn’t help be feel like I could have done more to help. And quite frankly I could have. This bothered me for quite some time. I think it always will. We all could have done a lot more him.

That leads me to reason number three, which is myself. What me and Jim had in common is the fact that we both tried to kill ourselves while in military. I was just lucky that I survived my attempt. However, that’s not the end of it. The whole memory and idea stays with you. No matter how okay you say you are. It’s really some crap and you’ll be dealing with for a really long time.

I guess what I’m getting at is you really can’t deal with this type of thing alone.  If you know someone who’s really on some hard times and may have mentioned the suicide thing before, just take some time to talk to him and check up on him. I never really had that. So even after my attempt, I always felt alone. I still actually still feel that today. I really wish I could have found a support group or something but I believe it’s a little too late for such a thing. Don’t take it lately, it’s a serious matter and should be handled accordingly and with love or else you’ll have a buttload of problems down the line. I have problems trusting people and building relationships and even just being around groups of people. Suicide, even when unsuccessful causes real problems.

Keep an eye on the people around you. Give them all the love you can give them. Because I’m sure they deserve it.

 

Now, back to fun things.