There have been many times in the past when I’m in a holding pattern creatively. After 8 feature films, doing everything from the writing, directing, editing, festivals, marketing and actually selling the film to a distributor I get worn out and I am worn out currently. After finally achieving a picture lock on my latest film Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast (Starring Debbie Rochon and Ellen Muth) I am happily waiting for the score to be done and the sound design to come back. This will take a few months at least. I’m am happy to have the extra time. The current state of Indie film is such a mess. Blockbuster has tanked and Netflix is buying far less small films. Budgets are harder to get these days.
For years I directed features like features like London Betty or The Land of College Prophets which were low-budget but offered a lot of action and famous character actors. Yes I sold them (to Maverick and York Entertainment) and they did very well for their respective companies but didn’t put any money in my pocket. With Jon Gorman I directed Three feature films Bikini Bloodbath 1,2,3. We released them through MVD and the series became extremely popular! The money we take in from those films goes right back into next film. I guess I’m at a loss and I know I have to choose my next project very carefully. Will it need a star? Yes! Can I get one? Fuck yes! Will I get a budget? Fuck yes! (A tiny one) But what to do? Mark of the Beast was one of the most satisfying experiences because we were able to slow down, get better performances and do longer takes. I have limitations that I can not break outside of. I have limited money and limited time. If those things never change I still need to find a way to improve from one film to the next. So I think trying to do and action film is just not a smart idea. I may want to try to stick to horror-drama like Mark of the beast but depending on how the film is received financially and critically I may not be able to do this again. You see when you put out your own films you start to see why the studios do what they do (without condoning) Bloodbath Pictures CAN NOT release films that don’t make a profit.
To be honest in my opinion stars don’t sell films like they used to. This is what I mean. If you have a video store that’s still open near you. Look on the shelf and looks how many stars are in films you’ve never fucking heard of. This is to say the those actors “Star Power” weren’t enough to propel the film out of obscurity. So you need a hell of a title that can communicate to people what the film is. For instance Bikini Bloodbath states clearly that you will see violence and girls in bikinis, that is IF you deliver. That being said. I think the next film I make will have to have a catchy title that states what the film is, have a star in it, have brief nudity but hopefully have a soul. This is a tough trick to pull off. Some days I feel like a fool for continuing to make indie films while my friends buy houses, take vacations and have children. Fuck it man. If a broken clock is right twice a day then by that logic one day I’ll have HUGE hit one day as long as I keep making films. I just hope I’m not an old man by then.