Simple & Sexy

I got to crash Los Angeles for a month where I turned over another year of life.  What I found interesting was that, though big ideas are never out of season, many aspiring filmmakers are taking somewhat of an East Coast methodology to their feature projects.  Creators of my generation – that weird generation tragically caught between film and digital – are coming around to conceiving very simple projects.  Cameras are everywhere.  The new iPhone 6s will be able to shoot high definition video in 4K.  People are being yelled at.  “What’s the hold up?!”  “Pick up the camera and shoot!”  My theory is that many filmmakers of my generation grew up in the established Blockbuster Era and admired an antiquated system.  I’d say this goes especially for those of us that studied at an academic institution where the process of making films was theorized.  We studied the classics that defined the limits of the art form.  Then we studied the intimate themed pictures from the 60’s and 70’s that questioned the inner natures of mankind.  All the while, the number of movies being produced per year were shrinking to a small pot of “shoot ’em up” and “catastrophic CG events.”  The questions became, “What stories are being funded” and “How does this story reach an audience?”

I’m happy to see that the wave is now about making the damn thing.  That’s slowly becoming everyone’s motto and not just the guys on the fringes of the industry.  I have a camera.  I have some friends and some professionals that are interested in being a part of a good story.  I have actors that want to speak some truth.  I believe the independents are reclaiming the art form. The numbers to create are back to resembling those of the 1970’s and 80’s when it was relatively cheap to process a 35mm print.  Since digital is beating out film, shooting on 35mm has gotten even cheaper than it was 10 years ago.  This is a great time to take five or less actors and make a film.  At times, I admonish myself for forgetting that I loved films like The Last Tango in Paris.  So simple.  So sexy.  So influential in regard to the personal relationship one could have with the camera.  American palettes are becoming slightly more European as it’s become more feasible to produce micro budget films.  Therefore, the lane is wide open for the “set up and go.”  In honor of my rejuvenation, I give you this clip from Bertolucci’s Last Tango…


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