Mine is the last analog generation. As film students, we were still very much film students, complete with the sliced knuckles that come from using guillotine splicers in the middle of the night. I am pleased to say that I once managed to draw blood editing with an AVID, but that’s also because I still have a manual typist’s touch on any keyboard I encounter. Hard to believe even that was nearly 20 years ago, when non-linear editing and AVID saved Apple before Apple figured out that they could also be in the post business and then damn near handed AVID its hat.
It’s not original to observe that the means of production, promotion, and distribution have transformed our industry; and while it sounds like sour grapes to describe anything as a young person’s business, I think it’s fair to say that the new paradigm favors youth. Certainly, it favors anyone who has the energy and the freedom to be producer, creator, and PR department simultaneously — and all on spec for as long as it takes to make some noise. A close and old friend just looked at the gone Elvis FB Page and asked me, “What? Now, you’re chasing the dream?” When I told a different friend in LA that I intend to get back in the game, he said, “There’s nothing like being forced to do what you wanted to do in the first place.”
This latter comment is pretty damn close to the truth. I spent more years than I’d intended using what I know a about filmmaking to produce a lot of corporate and marketing videos — so many years that I began to believe I had probably killed the artist. But as the economy kept turning from bad to worse, it became clear that a full-fledged transition to theatrical filmmaking would be my only hope for survival, let alone happiness. I don’t have a backup plan; I’m a lousy carpenter.
I grew up in L.A. and around the movie business but had to run away from it for reasons I won’t discuss. But over the last several months, as I began writing again, began looking for projects, the people who have come out of the woodwork, both old friends and new, who have responded with support, encouragement, and wisdom have been invaluable. This recent endeavor, embarking on a Kickstarter campaign to solicit donations from both friends and strangers to make a low-budget, short film is anathema to my upbringing and training. If we are successful, I hope that I can earn the trust and, perhaps, offer some old-school observations along the way for anyone who might be interested.