“Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe; you just don’t know it yet.” – Nick Fury
The above quote was from none other than Samuel L. Jackson, playing Nick Fury for the very first time. The moment would be the first in a long line of after credits teasers designed to allude to a larger story overarching the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in 2008, on the tail end of the first Marvel movie, before we knew of what was to come, it was simply an idea of what could be built towards. And with Doctor Strange, the 14th film in the series, we are seeing just how big that universe really is.
Looking back at the ancient posts preceding this one, it’s easy to see a trend — Frustration, apathy, and angst. Only now do I realize I was going through film puberty, and one that had been building for years. Ironically, it was Star Wars that started this process years ago, and it’s Star Wars that ended it. So why do I feel different? What’s changed? Well, a lot and very little. Man, I’m the best writer ever.
Have you ever been angry at a film? Or a film maker? Have you ever taken it personally? You may never meet the people who made the film that angered or upset you, but you hold them personally accountable. Because, as I have stated before, deep love of a film can make you become possessive of it. Maybe it speaks to you or feels intrinsic to who you are, and when someone messes with these films, it’s natural to be upset. Indeed, this is how I felt for years about George Lucas. I love Star Wars and saw Lucas as a personal hero, so the prequels were an affront to me on everything I loved about the original films. I was downright livid with George. How could he make such horrible films? Was he not trying hard enough? What’s wrong with him? Doesn’t he know Star Wars is OURS?! Clearly he was doing it wrong and he was a bastard for that. Despite the fact that I have not and probably never will meet George Lucas, I held him personally responsible for my disappointment and demanded justice…whatever I thought that meant.
Here’s the thing — I was wrong. Not with my opinions about those films, but with what I felt. My anger was misguided. George Lucas didn’t ruin Star Wars, he simply made films I didn’t end up liking as much as the originals. End of story.
There are some movies that get so over-hyped online, that I find myself at odds with my feelings about them after the first viewing. Obviously my expectations are high on a film like this, heralded as a action classic by many. Only through time, and multiple viewings, do I really start to understand what my true thoughts are about the film. Especially when I come out of them so conflicted. Case in point, John Wick. Most, if not all of the movie news websites I read every day gave the film glowing reviews. And indeed, this one seemed right up my alley. I love revenge films, and I love action films even more. But as I get older, I find I demand more from my action films. Sure, a film can come along and have excellent set-pieces. Often because they had an incredibly talented second unit director and fight choreographer who know how to shoot action. And make no mistake, John Wick, directed by veteran stuntmen and second unit directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, has some great action beats. But by the movies end, I found myself somewhat cold to the whole endeavor. And I just couldn’t pinpoint why.
Star Wars has always been a larger conversation than just a handful of movies. It takes on a life of it’s own in the minds of a rabid fan base. But part of the problem (at least for me) in something this wonderful becoming a franchise is that ultimately the purity of what the thing started out as, a single movie before any sequels were made, can get kind of lost in the shuffle. And now, five sequels later, we are returning to the original timeline. The original cast is coming back, and the Millennium Falcon will once again grace cinema screens. And I find myself hopelessly apathetic to that fact. There was a time that this news would have basically exploded my brain. But that guy is gone. Star Wars broke my heart. Continue reading
It’s been far too long since we chatted. So let’s catch up shall we?
Mild Mannered, my new web series, is on it’s way. We have two days of filming done, and we are just getting started. It’s been a really wonderful experience. If you haven’t been to the website yet then check it out now. I’ll wait www.mildmanneredtheshow.com
But just in case you are too lazy to click that link, I’ll embed a little behind the scenes video I cut of the first day of the production. I plan on having one of these posted for every shoot. And a new behind the scenes vid should be posted on the site later today.
So how appropriate that there is a ton of Superhero cinema news in the world.
I’ve been fascinated with the sub-genre for some time. Horror films often fail to scare me because of their production value. It’s hard for me to feel real fear behind the safety of what is obviously a movie. Not that any traditional horror films have failed to frighten me in the past. The Exorcist, the Shining, and Poltergeist are examples of horror films that work. They are creepy, scary, and ultimately fun to experience. But they are only movies, and at the end of the day I can distance myself from what scares me about them. Which is ultimately why I kind of adore the found footage film when done right. Presenting the events as fact while filmed through the characters own camera has a way of cutting through the production, and getting to the heart of what scares me. Not all films are successful, but when done right the genre is amongst my favorite in horror.
I like making movies. There, I said it. And one of the first things you learn is that you can’t do it alone. Second thing you learn is it costs money. Third thing you learn is that 1 and 2 are great reasons to make nothing 😉
And so, with the new year, I re-affirm my goals to produce something great. And I think I have something great in the new web-series I’m producing called Mild Mannered. It’s a comedy set in a world where superheroes exist. But it’s focus is on the average people and has fun with how un-impressed they would become if the fantastical was an ever-day occurence. It’s also a pretty touching coming of age story between two friends as they grow and move on with their lives. And it has people in tights. you can’t go wrong there. My goal is to produce six episodes. I’ve written four. We have also done some casting and have gathered a pretty spectacular group of actors who are gonna make me seem far more talented than I am 😉 I’ll have more updates soon on the project and have set a goal to finish the final episodes, a 2 part epic, by weeks end. I’m really exited about the project, and am determined to do it right. And of course I decided to start production in December. So yeah, filming hasn’t commenced yet. Blame it on the holidays mixed with rain and a suddenly full work schedule. But in the meantime I’ve been working on scripts, finalizing the website, and basically getting everything into place. I really believe in this project, and my cast and crew seem to as well. So now it’s time to put up or shut up 😉 Even thought I’m not really sure what that phrase means. Odd.
But also, since I have set up an ambitious production, I have also added another venture I hope to pursue. Because the sure path to success is to bite of more than you can chew obviously 😉 I’ve entitled it iPhone cinema, and my goal is to start producing shorts using my iPhone 4 as my primary camera. I posted a while ago about being in the market for a small but good camcorder and proclaimed my joy upon the release of the iPhone 4. It does indeed record nice video and I have decided to make a new short every month. They’ll be simple and completely filmed with the new phone. Why would I do this you ask? Well first off because it’ll be fun and secondly because there is something nostalgic about producing simple shorts by yourself or with a friend. Maybe it’ll keep me young 😉 So I ask that you, gentle reader, keep me accountable for this silly endeavor. And if anyone want’s to join in on the fun, by all means let me know.
So that’s what I’m planning for myself. There may be bigger news down the line as I make some big steps towards making my dreams come true. got the girl, now it’s time to get the career ;).
Sooo many winkey faces. Ah heck, here is a few more 😉 😉 😉