Why is it taking me so long to do another feature film? That’s easy to answer. I don’t want to just make another film. I want to make a good film. This starts with the script. Choosing a script or writing one is also easy. Getting a great script is extremely hard. I want my next feature film to be great, not just good and definitely better than the movies I’ve made before.
I have raised my own bar. I do not want to compromise the quality of the movie unless there is no other choice. I don’t need another mediocre movie. I only want to make movies of a surpassing quality. This is all subjective of course, but I have my own standards to live up to.
The culmination of my decade of making film must be used to service a story. In reading my 8th draft of my intended next feature, ACCIDENTAL ART, I am not pleased with it. It starts great, there are a few very small bits in the middle that are good, and it ends great. That’s not good enough for me. I want it all great or it’s not worth doing. I have been working on this since 2006, on and off. Mostly off. My mind has to be in a place to deal with all the issues left undone.
Part of the problem is going at this alone. I like collaboration, but a script is such a personal and private thing. I’ve tried working with writers, several on this screenplay. Only one has worked out well, but I get derailed pretty easily when it comes to writing. I even did a table read of this last draft. I have a recording that has been on my hard drive for 3 years unlistened to because I am afraid of the massive amount of work that will proceed from this.
My first feature film left me wasted, emotionally and energy. My physical condition has deteriorated immensely. I have gout, about 40 more pounds of fat, substantially more gray hair and a lot less of it on top of my head. Now I am losing teeth. Getting old sucks. I’m almost 40 years old. That’s not young anymore and I failed to take care of myself at all.
I don’t want my only finished feature film to be HORRORS OF WAR. I love the movie like it’s a child, flaws and all. It is special to me and taught me a lot and still has some shining moments, but overall it is not the best film I can make. I can do better. I know how to make a better movie now. So maybe I will.
The cruel mistress that is serendipity visits me on occasion. Sometimes I can make that bitch do what I want, sometimes she controls me. I feel like taking her by the reigns and not letting go until I’m done. In the last week or so, I’ve grabbed her by the horns and a lot of good has come from some simple conversations.
I’m not inspired by competition. I’m just not interested in the drama or how two faced people have become. To have a “friend” compliment you to your face after you’ve helped them to having that same person consistently bash you behind you back is not something that interests me. Cowards and weak-willed individuals will never gain the respect of their peers or achieve anything worthwhile in life. Or maybe they will. Either way, it’s got nothing to do with me directly. I don’t care if other people make movies, have success or not. It’s none of my business what other filmmakers do or don’t do, say or don’t say. I’m staying out of the social bureaucracies of local film for now.
None of this junk helps me make a movie. I’m just not that interested in being friends with film people right now.