It takes a village... but really it takes all of you.

It takes a village... but really it takes all of you.
 Today was a frustrating day of writing, preproduction... and life—also, a day when a lot of the puzzles started to fit. You see, making a movie started a long time ago. Connections and bridges you never burned, sttaying late, and helping friends and coworkers when you were off the clock and just having a relationship with someone and keeping in touch, for no other reason than that. 

You can go to film school for sure and learn a lot of things. But relationships are the way you actually make films, or it's how I have.

Writing with friends in mind, location scouting before you write, knowing what your merchandise and plan of action after you wrap are all things that will propel the film that you have in your mind onto the screen.  

Filmmaking is 10% filming and 90% paperwork. And it's lonely. The 2 or 3 weeks that you get to be around all the cast and crew is exciting for sure. But filmmaking is a year-long or more process. Preproduction is where you make your film. That and the editing room. So get yourself boxed wine, some cozy pants, and a chair that doesn't hurt your ass. You are now a filmmaker.

I look forward to watching your film. I'll be in the front row, the guy with the cowboy hat on and comfy pants. 

 
- Josh

A Dark Comedy About the Death of American Filmmaking.

  A Dark Comedy About the Death of American Filmmaking.
The Player, Robert Altman's 1992 film, still speaks the truth today. After popping popcorn and pouring a prosecco or two, Jess and I settled in for this month's final Friday Night Film Club. You have to be settled in when you watch an Altman film. Before the titles even start or before it fades out to black, for that matter, you have to be ready. I love Altman,  a fire, aim, ready type of filmmaker. Actors could act and walk over each other's lines. He would find the dialogue in post and make the film in the edit, covering his bases. 

Altman invented what indie film is today, except the studios paid for all of it. It pulls the curtain back on the machine, the great and powerful Oz. The thriller, comedy, and drama aspects are all just words on a page for Altman to poke holes in the Hollywood industry. And they paid him well to do so; he always got the last laugh. 

Tim Robbins said, " Bob told me there will be people around that are going to try to tell us what to do. I want you to know that if it becomes a pain in the ass and it's not fun anymore, I want your word that you'll walk off the set with me."

That's Robert Altman, my spirit animal. 

"I think that eighty percent of my creative function or work is finished the moment I get the film cast."
- Robert Altman

I believe this to be true. You write with people in mind or cast the right people. You pick the crew you want to have fun with and trust their gut. The rest becomes your playground, And who knows where it will take you? 



- Josh

Rhythm of the Night

Rhythm of the Night
So I recently rewatched Jane Campion's Power Of The Dog. At first glance, it has visual feelings of a John Ford "The Searchers" style, but when I watched again, underneath, the tone is definitely on the type of  Claire Denis's "Beau Travail, the film we watched for this past Friday Night Film Club. You can now enjoy the 4K restoration of the once hard-to-find BEAU TRAVAIL (1999) on Criterion BluRay or online streaming. 
Both of these films peel back the scab of toxic masculinity, both in their unique way and both with stunning visual excellence. These films are like an onion, revealing something new after each watch. I realize that female directors like Clarie Denis and Lucrecia Martel are some of my favorite. We need more. 

Lastly, I saw Beau Travail at the Texas Theater. Not knowing much about it, I took the advice from a friend and went and saw it by myself. 
The last scene of the film blew me away. Never saw it coming. I sat in my chair with a feeling I hadn't had in a long time. 
I stumbled out of the theater crossed to the dark parking lot lit by the Texas Theater Marquee, unable to process my feelings. I knew everything had changed. I wanted to make movies that feel like that. 

Thank you for that gift, Claire Denis.
- Josh

The Magician

The Magician

"The Magician" by Ingmar Bergman will save you $250,000 in film school tuition. Buy it for $20 on Amazon or do yourself a favor and get The Criterion Channel subscription for $10 a month. My son Julian gifted me this Blue Ray for Christmas; it was beyond perfect. Also... are you kidding me, making a film like this in 1958?  It's sharp, moody, sensual, funny, and makes you want to pour another glass of Prosecco. I don't want to point out anything I thought about this film because I was so drawn into and shocked by the opening scene: the framing, the everything. I wrote a whole diary entry and then deleted it. You need to dive into this film. We can all hope to make films like this. I know I do. "The Magician." Thank you for this perfection, Ingmar.  Join the Friday Night Film Club; it's virtual and flexible; everyone has a seat in this theater.



- Josh

Dallas Ice Storm

Dallas Ice Storm
 Dallas, Texas, isn't known for its trusty drivers in the snow. So we are hunkering down tonight with Jess's pozole verde, a nice glass of red wine, the Criterion Channel, and some cats. They like to watch movies from 8-10. Let me know what ya'll are watching! 
- Josh
 
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