Perspectives

Offering a take on things in film.

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.

 

 

Well, the movie is out. Before you go and watch… Let’s see what I learned.

304353_287171841382470_592871023_n

Production started in August… of 2011… and now the movie is finally coming out more or less.

I’ll have a Youtube link for you guys as soon as I get back.

I just wanted to go over everything that happened and why the hell it took a year and a half other than the 4 months of turnaround with the first movie. I can tell you why. Personal problems.

In general I like to keep my lost tempers and anger strictly in a private setting. That’s why you haven’t seen any (really) angry posts and a lot of woe-is-me bullshit. Because blowing it up and making a scene will really help no one, especially. But there are just some cases where it’s just too funny to keep it to yourself and I’ll get to that.

First off it was back in January of last year. I had people over from New Years (I got a pretty nice setup, so it was really the place to be.) But long story short, one of my actors ending up having sex with my art director’s girlfriend… in my house. Yet he got all mad at me. It made no damn sense and everyone ended up mad at me. Sucks doing the right thing sometimes but whatever. I’d do the same thing again for any of my friends.

Secondly, it was my DP Josh. It was a weird relationship. We had worked together before and it was great. He came to me and said he thought we could do even better this time. How can I really deny that type of enthusiasm right? But when I make a movie, and as my actors and the like know. I like to have a particular type of relationship with my actors. While they work with you, they’re your family and should be treated as such with the utmost respect, even if you don’t get it back.

He really didn’t see things the way I saw it. I never want to put them in a bad spot. I need them to be 100% for me or not at all. Thus why I’m open to communication at all times during the day. He frequently argued with me about these things. But that’s the deal with me in those one on one arguments. You’re gonna lose to me every single time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. He realized this after about the 10th time and decided to drag everyone else into it and I was all like “hell no”. That’s when I decided to fire him. He didn’t take it well and took some footage with him. You’ll notice the movie gets really shaky at times. That’s why. We’re missing about 20 minutes of movie that would have made things make a hell of a lot more sense. We also lost 2 characters in the process. Three actually since I couldn’t fit Barrett’s scene in there anymore.

He was surprised at what I did and said he thought I was “Nice guy”. That’s also why initially pretty cold and mean to everyone. Because nice guys tend to get screwed over all the time. This is no exception.

And lastly it was just me. It’s all a bunch of judgment calls really. I shouldn’t have lost my temper with Josh, but that stuff had to happen if I wanted to get this done. And everyone just needs to expect a little less nice me the next time around. Just because. Not just to be mean but because more needs to happen. If you’re not 100 percent with me I got no time. Simple as that. I work too hard for absolutely nothing to not get the cooperation I actually work for and deserve.

But I’m actually going to stop this now and try and collect myself before screening tonight.

What I Learned in Filmmaking is…

Okay, we’re getting really close to the GenCon Premiere (less than a month). But I thought I’d take a break from working to discuss some things. As a filmmaker, if you’re not learning every time you go out, you’re doing something completely wrong.

1. Show up on time.

Now this is just something your mother should teach you. If you’re not early, you’re late. That’s how it was when I was in the military, and that mentality stuck with me even afterwards. Because in this business, time is money.

2. Yes it’s work, but enjoy the fuck out of it.

You’re getting to play pretend. Nothing is more awesome than being a grownup and playing pretend…

3. You don’t owe anyone shit.

People are gonna want to keep taking from you without giving anything in return. It’s one thing to be nice, it’s another to let yourself be used.

4. YOU ARE NEVER ABOVE ANYONE ELSE ON THAT SET.

This is a big one. The more you work around people, you’ll see this a lot. Directors, DPs, or even some actors will think that their wants and needs trump everyone elses. On set, you’re all equals. Decisions of one affect everybody and that should be held into account. Nothing pisses me off more than totally blatant disrespect for your follow film person. In any film, everyone from the director to the PA is an essential part of the filmmaking process and should never be shit on… VERY MUCH SO that the low level I’m at now. The people around you will see it, and they won’t want to work with you again.

So much more to learn too. Can’t wait to get back on set for more schooling.

 

The FP and Dance Dance Revolution: The Warrior’s Path… they can co-exist.

Okay, it’s been a long time coming, but I finally saw The FP last night with a rather large group of DDR players.

First of all. Shoutouts are needed. Thanks to Brian Ho and the Indy folk that traveled so fucking far to get their Beat Beat Revelation on with us. Shoutouts also to the fat old white man who fell asleep during the movie and was snoring, even over our hoots and hollers.

I don’t think I need to explain to you all what exactly The FP is by now, but in case you were living under same kind of a rock, here’s a trailer. I’ll wait.

Yeah, that’s it in all it’s glory. Awesome right?

Now I’ll show you the trailer for last year’s Dance Dance Revolution: The Warrior’s Path.

People wonder how these two go against one another and if they’re really the same movie.

Here’s the answer. They really don’t. These are two very different movies with lots to say.

DDR: TWP plays like a drama, until people start talking. It’s set in the real would and has real world limitations (most of which are budget wise) but somehow I made it work. It has it’s own set of rules. FP hits as a satire right from the get go and has not real established rules. It’s not tied down by lame things like reality. Over the top dialogue sentence after sentence. Not to mention the best ending in recent cinematic history.

DDR: TWP is Internet: The Movie.

FP: Breakin’ 2 on crack.

Both of which deserve your hard earned money. I just wish there was more of it to enjoy. Both movies are short.

That being said, I would love to see a Warrior’s Path/FP crossover of some sort. Many laughs would be had. But I also would like a pony. You niggas hook me up with a fucking pony!

I’ll be pick up a Blu-Ray of The FP whenever that mess happens. Maybe we’ll have a contest here for DDR/FP double pack. Who knows?

Pump it Up: The Warrior’s Path is ready for filming by the way. We gonna get in there.

New year… drama, logistics, fuckin’ dumbasses ugggggggggghhhhhh

My face when talking about the Pump Movie.

The holidays are over… it’s a new year… and in case you didn’t know, there had a lot of shakeups in the Pump Movie. Refer the picture on the right.

Those of you who talk to me or hang out with me on the regular know I’m one of the most level-headed and calm guys around. Again, refer to picture. But certain events transpired over the course of the holidays and I wasn’t amused. I’m not going to call out anyone by name, as usual because I’m not an asshole like that today.

You know who you are: You’re stupid, and you can go straight to hell, not pass go, and not collect $200.

You also know who you are: Hope you come to your stupid senses sometime soon. You idiot.

It takes a lot to truly draw my ire. But it was done. I can be your best friend or your worst enemy, there’s really no gray area. I try to do the best with whatever actors I have. But at the end of the day, actors are actors I guess… evil at heart.

But that’s not really a fair assessment I know. But I can count the actors I really like on one hand. Not even one hand really. I really hope that changes as I move on, but things aren’t looking so hot.

But like I said, I really hope I’m terribly wrong. I’ve met some really nice people. But I guess it’s a #directorsanddivas thing.

Oh, and read the shit I give to you all GRAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Me working out the fucking logistics for this movie

Now, it’s question time!

1. When does filming begin for Pump it Up?

-March 17th is day one. I really don’t give a fuck, that’s when we’re starting things.

2. Are there still roles left?

-Yes. But no one is going to know the new additions until day one.

3. Will you be raising funds for this?

-The project is being funded okay for now, but things are about to get real. So yes. We should actually have a little something next week.

4. What are you doing next?

-In case none of my cast and crew figured this shit out already… this is one huge audition. We have bigger, better projects coming up… I’ve even discussed this with a few of you.

5. Will there be another dancing game movie

-No. If anyone else wants to pick up where I left off. Power to them. I’ll support them the whole way. But these movies have been a wonderful experiment, I have a few friends for life. I’m out there. I helped other people get out there. It’s all good. But making these is nothing but stress. Okay working with professionals or those attempting to be so from now on. Because this is just retarded at times.

 

Let’s close now. I can be anyone’s best friend or worst enemy.

But let’s all stay positive, I’m doing what I can. I make myself available 24 hours a day to anyone, anywhere. I actually like the conversation. I’m not comfortable unless you’re comfortable . If not, we can’t work together. Sound hot? Hot. Now, I have to continue working things out on this movie. Only 2 months until showtime.

Your early Christmas Present, Let’s Do Something Diffrent

Because we've all been here before.

I spend a lot of time talking about these various. Projects and things. But mostly as a service to those who will be working with me during this next year. It would be good to know that I’m not a serial killer (yet). That’s why I like to meet everyone beforehand… mostly so I can be comfortable, as well as know their limitations. You can learn a lot by a simple conversation or three. I also like to keep a running log of people’s fears. It’s quite interesting, try it sometime.

Anyway, let’s do that thing I hate. Talking about myself. Furry, formal military, mental patient… simple ways I can describe myself. But who really describes themselves? That’s stupid.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. You’ll notice right away I’m not your average type of director. I always value my actors thoughts and opinions on what I write, which is why I leave every step of the process open to you all… at least on certain projects like the current one. You actors are playing the characters, not me. So I want to try to fit your skill set as much as I can, while at the same time pushing you into something new. But then again that’s what acting is all about… but then again, I’m not an actor so maybe I’m doing it wrong.

Those who worked with me before you the deal. New folks, brace yourselves for something quite different.

I got 5 movies I want to do this year. Let’s see how it goes… Work never stops for me. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually get paid for something in 2012.

Well, tootles all… I have lots more production work to do over the holiday weekend. Peace out.

To all my dear actors: This is not how to carry yourself.

Okay, as everyone who’s ever worked on a movie or something like it knows… it’s not always beds of roses with sunshine and butterflies. It’s where professionals get down to the nitty-gritty and do whatever it takes to create the best product they can. Pump it Up: The Warrior’s Path is no different in that respect. I hand-picked each and every member of the cast. I tailor the characters to the actor to reach that maximum awesome. That’s just how I roll.

I’m also one of the nicest directors you’re going to run into out there. True story.

As the title of the article suggests, I’ve been kicked in the dick pretty hard by an actor who shall remain nameless. We’ll just call them Bobby. I spent a great deal of time talking to Bobby and breaking down the script to him. He seemed quite excited at the time and pretty pumped (no pun intended) to be part of a pretty unique production. This of course makes me as the director and producer pretty damn excited as well. A professional thinking what I’M doing is cool? Fuck yes.

I even went into the city to meet Bobby and just take in a film with them, see what makes them tick. As I talked to Bobby though, things started to unravel a little bit. Apparently his morals conflicted with the character a little bit. This movie is full of fucking assholes. I don’t think you’re supposed to feel morally attached to them. Just sayin’. But, being a professional actor… you would think this guy would just do what I’m going to pay them to do and just play the role of this character?

Apparently not.

A message from Bobby later via the facebook.

Hi Joseph!
I read the entire script and had a couple of notes:
I, as an actress (and writer), try creating characters that don’t swear or fornicate (I mean actual penetration) on camera–although these things can always be alluded to. I just think it would sound like Emma was a real psychiatrist if she spoke properly and didn’t curse, don’t you?

This is where I, or many other writer/directors might take offense. You read the script. You know the tone. And I’m not asking anyone to be penetrated on camera either. Don’t know where that came from . But Bobby shouldn’t be filling my head with these ideas. I’m not going to make a character squeaky clean because it makes a person uncomfortable. I thought acting was about being someone you’re not? Shoot me if I’m incorrect.

But here comes me… giving folks the benefit of the doubt. Thinking she’ll warm up to the cast and crew. We’re actually a pretty tight bunch. Even our dearest Claire was a bit cold in the beginning, but warmed up to us.

But things continued. Here’s a running dialogue.

Bobby: I believe it.
Hey…tell those guys…if they happen to be speaking of MY titty meat–that I don’t know them quite well enough for a joke like that. Although I do get the strawberry reference!\
sexywolfen: Of course. Bacon and strawberries. There we go.
Bobby: Bacon??
sexywolfen: Guys like bacon. Everyone likes bacon
Bobby: Yes, I know I do.
sexywolfen: You’ll adjust to all this I’m sure.
Bobby: I dunno.
sexywolfen: You will, everyone’s pretty great.
Bobby: They seem like it…just a bit vulgar for me. Sometimes..
sexywolfen: Vulgar yes, but they mean well
Bobby: Okay! Okey-dokey.
sexywolfen: Just trying to drag you down a level to where we are lol
Bobby: Hm. That’s not very likely to work, but I get your sense of humor. It’s good that you want me to be one of y’all.
sexywolfen: Just trying to create the best environment before you get jarred with all this at once.
Bobby: It would be nice if I could meet with someone at least three times in person before the strange jokes begin..?? Have a good night!

Okay, yeah. I’m starting to get the idea that Bobby had no idea what he was getting his bubbly ass into. It makes me wonder if the script was actually read. It’s really looking like it wasn’t. If that’s the case, I’ve been being lied to. That’s not okay. It’s shitty. You shouldn’t do things like this to people.

Here’s the kicker. I got this message while I was taking a break with some NBA Jam.

Hey, Hey, Hey!  It was nice meeting you the other day.  I’m very sorry, but I won’t be able to be in “Pump it up.”, I’ve got too much going on!  I know that you will be a great director and maybe we’ll meet on another set again one day very soon!  Cheers, and good luck filming!  🙂

I’m glad there was a smiley at the end of that or I’d be pretty fucking pissed /sarcasm.  Sorry, doubt we’ll meet up again. I sold you as such a wonderful professional to everybody and then you just turn your back on me and fart in my face. Everyone else thought you were pretty cool too. Maybe I should have known better, but I like to give anyone a chance who wants to work for me. They just need to act like decent human beings. When I read this message. All I could see was, “Fuck you”. Maybe I’m being melodramatic, but that’s the way I felt. When I have the chance to hash out a character with someone, I try to make it fit them. But to completely flip the demeanor of a character, fuck that shit. Doubt we’ll be meeting another film set man.

You want to be a professional? Fucking act like one. Now… I need to get back to my filthy little script. Thankfully I have a full backlog of replacements. Stupid me.

If I was a worse person, I’d use their actual name. Don’t wanna ruin them though. Maybe they’ll get a clue.