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Matt Kieley

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  1. Like
    Matt Kieley reacted to Liam in Giving Up   
    (I'm in no way an authority in this area)
    I thought Carte Blanche has some nice dialogue and complicated emotions and relationships. Enjoyed the oddities. I honestly understand where you're coming from with some of your own criticism of it, but that's you learning or developing your own style. and I think in some ways people really aren't supposed to be corrected when they make something artistic with a vision. we only really get amazing films when someone breaks all the rules and ignores the authorities or doesn't know what they're doing anyway. I'll have to check out more of your stuff
  2. Like
    Matt Kieley reacted to Cinegain in Giving Up   
    Seems that's the mindset you should begin with in the first place and should continue to have going forward in any future endeavour.
    If you're not init for the sake of having fun and doing what you love... then you're doing it for the wrong reasons. And what's the use in that?
    You know how many people in the music industry or doing comedy for example out there have mad talent but don't get the recognition they deserve? Kind of the same thing. You shouldn't expect to be the next big thing just overnight like that. Just stick with what you love and try to find some ways to get the bills paid. For these artists I just mentioned that means accepting the little gigs in pubs that don't pay very well. They might get their big break one day (and perhaps first have to sell their soul and identity to get there)... they might not (it's hard to get noticed in a world so big and with so many others). But atleast they're not working late cranking out those quarterly figures that need to be on the bosses desk first thing in the morning I guess and doing something they're passionate about. And you don't need to walk red carpets to have a fulfilling life. So just stick with what makes you happy. And if anything... you just doing your thing is exactly the thing what will bring you success in the end. It's not chasing after that magic formula, but staying true to yourself.
  3. Like
    Matt Kieley reacted to Ed_David in Giving Up   
    Good for you baxter. Filmmaking should be fun. Success does suck. Ask kurt cobain. Failure is even better. Thats why i write. To fail.
    Let me lnow if you need crew or gear for your next film.
  4. Like
    Matt Kieley reacted to Sekhar in Giving Up   
    ​I'm not qualified to advise you on your career, but as someone who's been married for some time I can tell you this (having someone who loves and supports you) is worth more than everything else you mentioned when it comes to happiness. My suggestion is to recognize and cherish that.
  5. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from jpommier in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  6. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from IronFilm in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  7. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from agolex in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  8. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Jimbo in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  9. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Axel in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  10. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from nahua in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  11. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Ed_David in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  12. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from tokhee in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  13. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Zak Forsman in Giving Up   
    This is another existential filmmaker post spawned by a few recent threads. You've been warned. Also spoilers for a film.
    Recently I saw a film that articulated a question I didn't know I was asking. That film was "Frank" the story of a talentless, wannabe songwriter/keyboard player who is recruited to join a band led by a man who wears a fake head at all times. You might have seen it floating around Netflix, and maybe you even disregarded it because it sounds gimmicky, or the poster looked like quirky nonsense, but I decided on a lark to watch it, and it was absolutely devastating. The "protagonist" of the film seems like a nice, sweet guy in the beginning, until he starts exploiting Frank's talent by secretly filming and posting videos of their rehearsals to youtube, eventually earning them a slot at SXSW. He tells Frank "People love us." to which Frank replies "People love us?" The pressure of the show, and pleasing an audience cause Frank to have a nervous breakdown. This film resonated with me in a major way. I watched it once, over a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I thought about how fame and success never occurred to Frank. He just created music for the art and expression of it, and when faced with the pressure of a major debut performance at a festival, he creates a terrible song that he thinks is his "most likeable song ever". The entire experience breaks him.
    The whole film forced me to think of my goals as a filmmaker. I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I saw the Making Of Jurassic Park on TV when I was six years old. In high school, I got serious about having a career in film after seeing Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. I then discovered the French New Wave and John Cassavetes, and I wanted to make honest, devastating, achingly truthful and beautiful masterpieces of cinema. I made my first feature at 21...and now I'm almost 28, with not many shorts, and not a single follow-up feature since my first. My first feature was extremely disappointing to me. I was obsessed with it for years, and even tried to make a quasi-remake of it, which was a disaster. I've been struggling to come up with an idea for another film that I like. I haven't been able to finish even a first draft in two and a half years. I used to be able to crank out script after script, draft after draft with all the blind confidence in the world. And since my feature, I've come to the realization that I only really have a few basic themes that I keep going back to, and I keep trying to force myself to think of something different, to be a different filmmaker, but I'm not. And now I'm questioning my goals.
    I've wanted a career making indie films so I wouldn't have to work a crappy day job. I've been working the same crappy day job for almost four years straight, except for the nine months where I moved to LA to pursue my career. I could't even find a day job to pay the rent. Toys R Us interviewed me twice and wouldn't hire me to work in the stock room during the holidays. I sold a bunch of my lenses, and the DVX100 I didn't use anymore, for rent money. I moved back to my hometown a year ago, broken and miserable. A year later I'm in a great relationship with a woman I'm moving in with in a month. She also has a three year old daughter, and though I thought I never wanted kids, now I can see myself raising this child with my girlfriend, and marrying her. We both see it. She's extremely supportive of my filmmaking, and doesn't want me to give up. But I just feel discouraged. Discouraged that my films will never look good enough, have good enough acting or be important enough. And I still want to make films, but I'm wondering why I want, or need, to be successful at it. Before I got "serious" about it, I used to have fun making movies. The same group of friends and I would get together and film shorts on the weekends. Most people here I'm sure had the same experience. I think all I want now is to form a troupe of actors/crew members and make cheap movies in our spare time for fun, and perhaps never even show them to anyone else. I'm accepting that I'm nowhere near the level of talent as Francois Truffaut, Paul Thomas Anderson, or David Lynch, and it's okay. I'm giving up on success. I just want to make shit.
  14. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Liam in Snapshots   
    kJust a little home movie of a trip to LA, shot on the NX1.
  15. Like
    Matt Kieley reacted to Zak Forsman in The small film festivals and the good vs bad of the democratization of filmmaking.   
    You've got to research your festivals. And then have the willpower NOT to submit to the shitty ones just because it looks like an easy in. There are 100% legit regional festivals that have huge sponsors and attract audiences to the festival. They don't simply rely on who the filmmakers can bring.
    I'm leaving in a few days for the Phoenix Film Festival. This is a regional fest in a largely conservative state that attracts more than 23,000 ticket buyers of independent cinema every year. I had a feature-length movie world premiere there in 2013 and we sold out 2 of our 3 screenings without lifting a finger. There are many more like this... deadCENTER in Oklahoma City, Dances With Films in LA, Cinequest, Austin, Sidewalk in Alabama. 
    It takes work but there are ways to learn which festivals to submit to. Moviemaker magazine puts out yearly lists of great festivals worth the submission fee. This makes it easy to avoid festivals like the Buffalo-Niagara Fest that pressures filmmakers to buy advertising in their program and whose screenings are routinely attended only by other filmmakers who happened to travel in for the festival.
    All in all, there are too many festivals, I agree. Most suck. But there are a select number that do a great job and serve a large audience that's hungry for independent movies. They might be harder to get into, but that's the point right? They have to be more discerning because they've built a reputation based on the movies they program each year. Which points to the real difference i see between successful fests and unsuccessful ones. Successful festivals make the experience of the festival AND the films they screen into the main attraction, unsuccessful ones rely only on who the films attract, which as we know, often doesn't amount to jack shit.
    I've learned to navigate through the garbage and thankfully, it's been more years than i can count where i had the misfortune to attend a festival I'd describe as "lonely".
  16. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from IronFilm in Samsung NX1 vs Canon C300   
    I just ordered an NX1 this afternoon, and I can't wait to use it. This should be a significant upgrade from my hacked GH1, which is now a fossil.
  17. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Christina Ava in Your Top 10 Most Influential Feature Films (fun/non-gear-related)   
    As a child, Batman, Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 were the first movies that made me want to make movies (even though I didn't know what that really required and meant when I was that young). But the first films that motivated me to make a movie were Scream and Halloween. I was way too young to watch them, but, nevertheless, I did, and they changed me. There was something so visceral about the horror in Scream (the satire was lost on me when I was 10) and Halloween was the first time I became aware of the camera, with that great steadicam cinematography (in 4:3 on VHS, no less. seeing it on DVD in widescreen years later was an even bigger revelation). At age 12, I finally made my first movie (on Hi8): a parody of slasher movies. Of course, in high school, the first movie that made me realize I could be a filmmaker was El Mariachi. My Hi8 movies looked like crap, I thought making real movies was too expensive and impossible, so I had thought about just being a novelist, even though my heart was really in film. With that out of the way, the films that really influenced me artistically...
     
    2003-2004 were huge years for me. My sophomore and junior years in high school. Earlier that year (2003), Silence of the Lambs opened my eyes to the possibility of genre. It was technically a horror movie and a detective film in a drama's clothes. I think this was the first really artful film I saw, where I was more aware of the craft: the direction, writing, acting, cinematography, editing. I was aware of all of those things before, but this was the first film where I could see how they all worked together as a whole. And I realized film could be something beautiful, even with ugly subject matter. Speaking of which...
     
    The summer of 2003 was huge. It started with Taxi Driver. That film knocked me out. It didn't have a conventional plot to speak of. It was more episodic. It was crazy. It was gritty. De Niro, whom I had known better for Meet The Parents at that time, was incredible. THAT was acting. His monotone voice-over, his charmingly psychotic smile, his lack of emotion during the graphic shoot-out. And of course, Scorsese. The slow motion, the overhead tracking shot a the end, the heavily processed footage of the streets, from inside of the taxi. It felt surreal. And the script; the things Bickle said in the voice-over really got under my skin.
     
    Later that summer, in one weekend, I saw Rushmore, Ghost World and The Graduate. The Graduate I didn't really appreciate until I was older. I liked it, but it didn't fully click at the time. But , Rushmore was sort of a teenage version of The Graduate. I noticed the influence The Graduate had over Rushmore immediately, but I connected more to Rushmore. I was even the same age as Max Fischer when I watched it. Wes Anderson's filmmaker was so striking and bold. The tracking shots, the sharp, deep-focus widescreen, the colors, the wardrobe, song choices, title cards, curtains with the seasons, just...everything. Much like Taxi Driver, it existed in it's own slightly unreal world.
     
    Ghost World I watched three times in a row, in one sitting. Like Rushmore and The Graduate, it was very melancholy, but also, in my opinion, then and now, the funniest of the three dramadies I watched that weekend. The dialogue was so real and so sharp. The filmmaking was pretty anonymous, but the storytelling, tone and mood were part of a clear vision. It felt so real, and as a teenage boy trying to navigate the secret world of teenage girls, it felt like a real window. I knew girls like Enid and Rebecca. I was surprised that the film was written and directed by men. I also had a huge crush on Enid. Not Thora Birch, but the character of Enid. Ghost World is still my favorite film of all time.
     
    Later that summer, and into the fall, I saw Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill Vol. 1, which had just come out in theaters. Tarantino was practically all I thought about for a year. I read everything I could about him. I read all of his screenplays, and obsessively re-watched everything. I was an addict. I wanted to keep re-experiencing the high of watching Tarantino's films for the first time. Much like Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese, the filmmaking was mind-blowing. It was bold, brazen, different. The structure and storytelling choices were unlike anything else I had seen. And that dialogue... I ended up writing a ton of Tarantino-inspired scripts for a year.
     
    2004 included the release of three films that came out in theaters at just the right time: Shaun of the Dead, Kill Bill Vol. 2 and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Of course, the last two were by filmmakers I had just fallen in love with, but Shaun of the Dead came out of left field. I saw it early, in the summer of '04 at comic-con, with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright doing a Q & A after (Greg Noctero, Robert Rodriguez and Ken Foree were in that audience too). All I knew about the film was that it was a British zombie comedy. I hadn't seen a trailer, or knew much else. I hadn't heard of anyone involved with it. I saw it totally blind, and it was like walking down the street and finding a million dollars in cash in a bag. It was special. It was one of the funniest films I had ever seen, but it also had very real human issues and character drama. And of course, it was well-made and gory as hell. Earlier that year I had become obsessed with Romero's Dawn of the Dead, which had become more accessible because of the re-make (Romero wouldn't be a real influence, just an obsession at the time). After the screening, I was using the restroom and Simon Pegg peed in the urinal next to me. It was the closest I came to God at the time. I told everyone I knew they had to see it immediately. I don't really need to say much more about Kill Bill or Life Aquatic, since I said enough about Wes Anderson and Tarantino already. 
     
    Later that year I saw two more important films, the first being A Clockwork Orange. I don't know what else to say about it, other than it was like Taxi Driver all over again. It was one of the most extraordinary films. The opening, with the synth score, the long-zoom-out from Malcolm McDowell as Alex, staring into the camera, immediately put me in a trance that I've never awoken from. That halloween I dressed as Alex. Around close to the same time, a kid name Johnny I knew peripherally, but not well, approached me, wide-eyed, asking me if I had ever heard of Eraserhead. I said I had heard the title, and indeed I had seen the iconic poster image of Jack Nance as Henry Spencer, with the hair sticking straight up, back-lit, with a crazy expression on his face and dust in the background. "You've gotta see it, man." Johnny told me. The next day, he presented a VHS tape to me. The cover art was there, though it was clearly a regular VHS box cut up into a slip cover to fit on a clam shell. I don't think the tape even had a label. It was a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy, with video static at the bottom of the frame that Johnny claimed added to the experience of the film, and indeed it did. That night, I turned off all the lights in my bedroom and watched it alone. It was the first film I had seen that really, truly captured the feel of a nightmare. I thought about the visuals and sound design for several weeks after. I haven't been the same since.
     
    Looking back on my life, those were the films that really had the most profound influence on me.
  18. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Aussie Ash in Your Top 10 Most Influential Feature Films (fun/non-gear-related)   
    As a child, Batman, Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 were the first movies that made me want to make movies (even though I didn't know what that really required and meant when I was that young). But the first films that motivated me to make a movie were Scream and Halloween. I was way too young to watch them, but, nevertheless, I did, and they changed me. There was something so visceral about the horror in Scream (the satire was lost on me when I was 10) and Halloween was the first time I became aware of the camera, with that great steadicam cinematography (in 4:3 on VHS, no less. seeing it on DVD in widescreen years later was an even bigger revelation). At age 12, I finally made my first movie (on Hi8): a parody of slasher movies. Of course, in high school, the first movie that made me realize I could be a filmmaker was El Mariachi. My Hi8 movies looked like crap, I thought making real movies was too expensive and impossible, so I had thought about just being a novelist, even though my heart was really in film. With that out of the way, the films that really influenced me artistically...
     
    2003-2004 were huge years for me. My sophomore and junior years in high school. Earlier that year (2003), Silence of the Lambs opened my eyes to the possibility of genre. It was technically a horror movie and a detective film in a drama's clothes. I think this was the first really artful film I saw, where I was more aware of the craft: the direction, writing, acting, cinematography, editing. I was aware of all of those things before, but this was the first film where I could see how they all worked together as a whole. And I realized film could be something beautiful, even with ugly subject matter. Speaking of which...
     
    The summer of 2003 was huge. It started with Taxi Driver. That film knocked me out. It didn't have a conventional plot to speak of. It was more episodic. It was crazy. It was gritty. De Niro, whom I had known better for Meet The Parents at that time, was incredible. THAT was acting. His monotone voice-over, his charmingly psychotic smile, his lack of emotion during the graphic shoot-out. And of course, Scorsese. The slow motion, the overhead tracking shot a the end, the heavily processed footage of the streets, from inside of the taxi. It felt surreal. And the script; the things Bickle said in the voice-over really got under my skin.
     
    Later that summer, in one weekend, I saw Rushmore, Ghost World and The Graduate. The Graduate I didn't really appreciate until I was older. I liked it, but it didn't fully click at the time. But , Rushmore was sort of a teenage version of The Graduate. I noticed the influence The Graduate had over Rushmore immediately, but I connected more to Rushmore. I was even the same age as Max Fischer when I watched it. Wes Anderson's filmmaker was so striking and bold. The tracking shots, the sharp, deep-focus widescreen, the colors, the wardrobe, song choices, title cards, curtains with the seasons, just...everything. Much like Taxi Driver, it existed in it's own slightly unreal world.
     
    Ghost World I watched three times in a row, in one sitting. Like Rushmore and The Graduate, it was very melancholy, but also, in my opinion, then and now, the funniest of the three dramadies I watched that weekend. The dialogue was so real and so sharp. The filmmaking was pretty anonymous, but the storytelling, tone and mood were part of a clear vision. It felt so real, and as a teenage boy trying to navigate the secret world of teenage girls, it felt like a real window. I knew girls like Enid and Rebecca. I was surprised that the film was written and directed by men. I also had a huge crush on Enid. Not Thora Birch, but the character of Enid. Ghost World is still my favorite film of all time.
     
    Later that summer, and into the fall, I saw Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill Vol. 1, which had just come out in theaters. Tarantino was practically all I thought about for a year. I read everything I could about him. I read all of his screenplays, and obsessively re-watched everything. I was an addict. I wanted to keep re-experiencing the high of watching Tarantino's films for the first time. Much like Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese, the filmmaking was mind-blowing. It was bold, brazen, different. The structure and storytelling choices were unlike anything else I had seen. And that dialogue... I ended up writing a ton of Tarantino-inspired scripts for a year.
     
    2004 included the release of three films that came out in theaters at just the right time: Shaun of the Dead, Kill Bill Vol. 2 and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Of course, the last two were by filmmakers I had just fallen in love with, but Shaun of the Dead came out of left field. I saw it early, in the summer of '04 at comic-con, with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright doing a Q & A after (Greg Noctero, Robert Rodriguez and Ken Foree were in that audience too). All I knew about the film was that it was a British zombie comedy. I hadn't seen a trailer, or knew much else. I hadn't heard of anyone involved with it. I saw it totally blind, and it was like walking down the street and finding a million dollars in cash in a bag. It was special. It was one of the funniest films I had ever seen, but it also had very real human issues and character drama. And of course, it was well-made and gory as hell. Earlier that year I had become obsessed with Romero's Dawn of the Dead, which had become more accessible because of the re-make (Romero wouldn't be a real influence, just an obsession at the time). After the screening, I was using the restroom and Simon Pegg peed in the urinal next to me. It was the closest I came to God at the time. I told everyone I knew they had to see it immediately. I don't really need to say much more about Kill Bill or Life Aquatic, since I said enough about Wes Anderson and Tarantino already. 
     
    Later that year I saw two more important films, the first being A Clockwork Orange. I don't know what else to say about it, other than it was like Taxi Driver all over again. It was one of the most extraordinary films. The opening, with the synth score, the long-zoom-out from Malcolm McDowell as Alex, staring into the camera, immediately put me in a trance that I've never awoken from. That halloween I dressed as Alex. Around close to the same time, a kid name Johnny I knew peripherally, but not well, approached me, wide-eyed, asking me if I had ever heard of Eraserhead. I said I had heard the title, and indeed I had seen the iconic poster image of Jack Nance as Henry Spencer, with the hair sticking straight up, back-lit, with a crazy expression on his face and dust in the background. "You've gotta see it, man." Johnny told me. The next day, he presented a VHS tape to me. The cover art was there, though it was clearly a regular VHS box cut up into a slip cover to fit on a clam shell. I don't think the tape even had a label. It was a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy, with video static at the bottom of the frame that Johnny claimed added to the experience of the film, and indeed it did. That night, I turned off all the lights in my bedroom and watched it alone. It was the first film I had seen that really, truly captured the feel of a nightmare. I thought about the visuals and sound design for several weeks after. I haven't been the same since.
     
    Looking back on my life, those were the films that really had the most profound influence on me.
  19. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from Sean Cunningham in Your Top 10 Most Influential Feature Films (fun/non-gear-related)   
    As a child, Batman, Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 were the first movies that made me want to make movies (even though I didn't know what that really required and meant when I was that young). But the first films that motivated me to make a movie were Scream and Halloween. I was way too young to watch them, but, nevertheless, I did, and they changed me. There was something so visceral about the horror in Scream (the satire was lost on me when I was 10) and Halloween was the first time I became aware of the camera, with that great steadicam cinematography (in 4:3 on VHS, no less. seeing it on DVD in widescreen years later was an even bigger revelation). At age 12, I finally made my first movie (on Hi8): a parody of slasher movies. Of course, in high school, the first movie that made me realize I could be a filmmaker was El Mariachi. My Hi8 movies looked like crap, I thought making real movies was too expensive and impossible, so I had thought about just being a novelist, even though my heart was really in film. With that out of the way, the films that really influenced me artistically...
     
    2003-2004 were huge years for me. My sophomore and junior years in high school. Earlier that year (2003), Silence of the Lambs opened my eyes to the possibility of genre. It was technically a horror movie and a detective film in a drama's clothes. I think this was the first really artful film I saw, where I was more aware of the craft: the direction, writing, acting, cinematography, editing. I was aware of all of those things before, but this was the first film where I could see how they all worked together as a whole. And I realized film could be something beautiful, even with ugly subject matter. Speaking of which...
     
    The summer of 2003 was huge. It started with Taxi Driver. That film knocked me out. It didn't have a conventional plot to speak of. It was more episodic. It was crazy. It was gritty. De Niro, whom I had known better for Meet The Parents at that time, was incredible. THAT was acting. His monotone voice-over, his charmingly psychotic smile, his lack of emotion during the graphic shoot-out. And of course, Scorsese. The slow motion, the overhead tracking shot a the end, the heavily processed footage of the streets, from inside of the taxi. It felt surreal. And the script; the things Bickle said in the voice-over really got under my skin.
     
    Later that summer, in one weekend, I saw Rushmore, Ghost World and The Graduate. The Graduate I didn't really appreciate until I was older. I liked it, but it didn't fully click at the time. But , Rushmore was sort of a teenage version of The Graduate. I noticed the influence The Graduate had over Rushmore immediately, but I connected more to Rushmore. I was even the same age as Max Fischer when I watched it. Wes Anderson's filmmaker was so striking and bold. The tracking shots, the sharp, deep-focus widescreen, the colors, the wardrobe, song choices, title cards, curtains with the seasons, just...everything. Much like Taxi Driver, it existed in it's own slightly unreal world.
     
    Ghost World I watched three times in a row, in one sitting. Like Rushmore and The Graduate, it was very melancholy, but also, in my opinion, then and now, the funniest of the three dramadies I watched that weekend. The dialogue was so real and so sharp. The filmmaking was pretty anonymous, but the storytelling, tone and mood were part of a clear vision. It felt so real, and as a teenage boy trying to navigate the secret world of teenage girls, it felt like a real window. I knew girls like Enid and Rebecca. I was surprised that the film was written and directed by men. I also had a huge crush on Enid. Not Thora Birch, but the character of Enid. Ghost World is still my favorite film of all time.
     
    Later that summer, and into the fall, I saw Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill Vol. 1, which had just come out in theaters. Tarantino was practically all I thought about for a year. I read everything I could about him. I read all of his screenplays, and obsessively re-watched everything. I was an addict. I wanted to keep re-experiencing the high of watching Tarantino's films for the first time. Much like Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese, the filmmaking was mind-blowing. It was bold, brazen, different. The structure and storytelling choices were unlike anything else I had seen. And that dialogue... I ended up writing a ton of Tarantino-inspired scripts for a year.
     
    2004 included the release of three films that came out in theaters at just the right time: Shaun of the Dead, Kill Bill Vol. 2 and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Of course, the last two were by filmmakers I had just fallen in love with, but Shaun of the Dead came out of left field. I saw it early, in the summer of '04 at comic-con, with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright doing a Q & A after (Greg Noctero, Robert Rodriguez and Ken Foree were in that audience too). All I knew about the film was that it was a British zombie comedy. I hadn't seen a trailer, or knew much else. I hadn't heard of anyone involved with it. I saw it totally blind, and it was like walking down the street and finding a million dollars in cash in a bag. It was special. It was one of the funniest films I had ever seen, but it also had very real human issues and character drama. And of course, it was well-made and gory as hell. Earlier that year I had become obsessed with Romero's Dawn of the Dead, which had become more accessible because of the re-make (Romero wouldn't be a real influence, just an obsession at the time). After the screening, I was using the restroom and Simon Pegg peed in the urinal next to me. It was the closest I came to God at the time. I told everyone I knew they had to see it immediately. I don't really need to say much more about Kill Bill or Life Aquatic, since I said enough about Wes Anderson and Tarantino already. 
     
    Later that year I saw two more important films, the first being A Clockwork Orange. I don't know what else to say about it, other than it was like Taxi Driver all over again. It was one of the most extraordinary films. The opening, with the synth score, the long-zoom-out from Malcolm McDowell as Alex, staring into the camera, immediately put me in a trance that I've never awoken from. That halloween I dressed as Alex. Around close to the same time, a kid name Johnny I knew peripherally, but not well, approached me, wide-eyed, asking me if I had ever heard of Eraserhead. I said I had heard the title, and indeed I had seen the iconic poster image of Jack Nance as Henry Spencer, with the hair sticking straight up, back-lit, with a crazy expression on his face and dust in the background. "You've gotta see it, man." Johnny told me. The next day, he presented a VHS tape to me. The cover art was there, though it was clearly a regular VHS box cut up into a slip cover to fit on a clam shell. I don't think the tape even had a label. It was a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy, with video static at the bottom of the frame that Johnny claimed added to the experience of the film, and indeed it did. That night, I turned off all the lights in my bedroom and watched it alone. It was the first film I had seen that really, truly captured the feel of a nightmare. I thought about the visuals and sound design for several weeks after. I haven't been the same since.
     
    Looking back on my life, those were the films that really had the most profound influence on me.
  20. Like
    Matt Kieley got a reaction from jessecompton in A 'cinematic' journal of my life in November. Any critiques or questions are very welcomed.   
    Really lovely piece. Great imagery.And it's always nice to hear Jon Brion's score for Eternal Sunshine. What camera/lenses did you use?
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