Monday, March 20, 2006

what have we learned from this sweet lonely monster DIY

This is in response to Caveh Zahedi's recent blog article on DIY titled "Apologia Pro Vita Sua..Please read his original entry as i dont want to paraphrase..
http://blogs.indiewire.com/caveh/archive/007520.html

"while i agree with your assement Caveh (in parts), we must not forgot our own subjective stance, as fed by our realities. your manifesto is an example of that, and how our positions for exceptance carry many many ways. If for example, we do not have a distributor(or we dont want one, hard to believe?) , we must proceed and we must validate its idealistic postition as you did in that article, as i've done for my own work. but when we have a distributor, we have to balance the joys of people having access to the work, but the fact that in many ways its not yours anymore, and should film ever be anyway(this is a seperate arguement)? but lets not forget the efforts of many people who have chosen, whether through ideals, drive, lack of talent, too much esoteric talent, who have chosen DIY as a model, the same model that media makers have chosen in the Indie Rock Scene, in the Punk Rock music scenes, all forms of art, publishing(this is an example of that) and of course, film. I think that DIY does not mean doing it all yourself, but more of a way to press forward, to establish a community of artist and ideals, the ultimate freedom if it can ever exist(which i think now, is a noble ideal maybe to difficult to attain). How do you take rejections from distributors, festivals, from systems, from people, when you still truly believe in what you do. Can we all assume that if it were good enough, it would get recognized. Well history is riddled with the opposite. I say DIY is not a myth, maybe not the best strategy, maybe extremely taxing and indeed alienating in film, but nothing could be more than human. To push an image farther then someone allows it, with your bare will. Time will tell if it ever has a chance in MovieMaking, i believe it might for some, but time will tell".

8 comments:

The Sujewa said...

Thanks for posting that Amir.

For anyone interested, my response to Caveh's postcan be found here (Caveh responds to that at his blog/at comments on the original entry):
http://filmmakingforthepoor.blogspot.com/2006/03/response-to-zahedis-diy-is-myth-post.html

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

let's try to comment again (sorry if this shows up twice)

thanks for the post Amir.

my response to Caveh's post can be found here (he responds to it at the comment section of the original post at his blog):
http://filmmakingforthepoor.blogspot.com/2006/03/response-to-zahedis-diy-is-myth-post.html

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Hmm, that posting of the URL did not work out so well, just go to Filmmaking for the Poor (link on right side of front page)& look around to see my response, if u r into it. thanks.

sujewa
http://www.filmmakingforthepoor.blogspot.com/

Blake Calhoun said...

Hey Sujewa, nice retort. I know he's in an awkward situation based on his various past and current statements. But in the end, I think he made the right move. To me distribution is about getting your film out so more people can see it (and any financial reward that comes along is nice too - especially if it allows you to make another film).

-Blake

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Hey Blake,

Thanks for the comment. Only Caveh will be able to tell, possibly, way down the road, if going w/ IFC for "Sex Addict" distro was the right move (it probably was, I think). Plenty of people get to see the movies, other art, & filmmakes, other artists make money
from DIY distribution. The choice depends on the film, who it needs to reach, and the filmmaker. Typically indie DIY distribution accomplishes, on a smaller scale, what Hollywood distribution does on a larger scale.
However, the filmmaker/entrepenuer has more control over all facets of the project through DIY distribution (also, believe it or not, the artist may make more money, & faster, through DIY then through Hollywood type distribution). What George Lucas & mel Gibson has done recently is Hollywood scale DIY distribution, with recent Star Wars movies, Passion - so DIY does not have to always equal small. Also the whole thing is heavily affected by your world view (how you believe the world functions, your role in it, how your actions affect others, what is important in life, etc.), and from that standpoint I am a 100% believer in DIY distribution because DIY is a self-empowering thing, and the vast majority of the people on this planet do not have or do not claim adequate power to change their lives for the better even when those abilities are their just waiting to be claimed. DIY can grow in one arena of life - such as filmmaking, but it can also be applied to many other aspects of life - politics, activism, making bread, etc. & can be a very positive thing. I guess in religious terms DIY would be having direct access to the ultimate whatever, & the Hollywood type thing would be having to go through priests & maybe kings in order to have access to the ultimate whatever. I like direct access.


Sujewa
*******

Blake Calhoun said...

I agree with all you've said. Being empowered is a good thing at any level of filmmaking.

One thing to note though is that Mel Gibson and George Lucas did self-finance their films (Lucas is the biggest indie film guy out there), but they did NOT distribute their films. Star Wars was distributed by Twentieth Century Fox and Passion was distributed by New Market Films. Now they did both have major back-end points on the distribution which filled their pockets very full....

-Blake

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Hey Blake,

As far as I know both all the recent Star Wars movies & Passion were self-distributed, meaning, Lucas & Gibson hired the respective distribution companies to take their movies out to the theaters, etc, in exchange for an amount of money. Check some articles on indieWIRE on this when u get a chance, if ya wanna be sure. Hiring a distributor-for-hire is still self-distribution since the person who is doing the hiring is the ultimate authority on the project & is taking the most financial risk.

BTW, are you on indieLOOP yet? ifn not, get on it, very useful.

Sujewa
*******

Blake Calhoun said...

I guess it depends on the way you look at it, but I see what you're saying...

And, I haven't had a chance to join indieLOOP yet, but I plan to very soon. Thanks for the invite!

-Blake