- Raindance Film Festival
I haven’t blogged in a little while. I’ve been content to just post new episodes of the New York Cine Radio show. A few interesting things have happened. Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast, a film that I directed with Jon Gorman continues to sell well in the U.S and Canada with less than two hundred DVD’s in it’s first run. I was speaking with Jon the other day and he had some interesting news. Beast was sold to the South Korean territory and in result it is streaming throughout the country. My first response was “well that’s better than North Korea”. In all seriousness, one of my favorite films Castaway on the Moon is South Korean and if you looks at films like Old Boy or the trailer for Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring, you can see that some of the best films in the world come out of South Korea. I know several filmmakers and I deal with a lot of personalities in my life. I know many directors who really wouldn’t care that they sold their film to a territory but I was never in this for the money so if someone somewhere in the film industry in South Korea likes Mark of the Beast enough acquire it for streaming I will take it as a huge compliment that my work is making an impact somewhere. So I say thank you to the powers that be.
For those of you who don’t know me. I’ve been making feature films since I was 20 years old. I’m now 37, I still feel 20 but just fatter. I’ve been entering film festivals since the beginning and I’ve screened in some large ones but there have been many top tier festivals that have eluded me. I’ve never gotten into Toronto, Sundance, Slam Dance, Raindance, Cannes, Tribecca, New York Horror and many others, though I have gotten into California Indie Fest, New York International, Boston Underground, Hoboken Intentional, New England Underground and and a dozen or so others. I’ve even collected about 15 wins for my films last time I counted. On a side note there is no way to know how much money I poured into festival entree fees over the years but it’s several thousands for sure. So why am I telling you all of this? Well the weirdest thing happened. The Raindance film festival (one of Europe’s largest Independent film festival) made a list of horrors films to watch on Christmas a few months back and at the end of the list they mention Bikini Bloodbath Christmas, a B-movie horror-comedy feature I directed with Jon Gorman five years ago. I think most people would brush that off as a minor thing to be mentioned in passing, to be at the end of a top 12 list. It’s a strange thing, for the most part in my career I’ve struggled to be respected or taken seriously and I’ve entered so many top film festivals to no avail (with films like Everything Moves Alone, Land of College Prophets, London Betty, Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast). So when a five year old wacky horror flick I did (the third in the series mind you) manages to not only get coverage but a recommendation by The Raindance Film Festival, I have to scratch my head. I worked with Jon to make the BBB film series because we both grew up watching Troma films and B-movies and we love the genre. So we made them because we wanted to and the last thing we expected was to be respected in regard to these films.
So what have I learned from all of this? Is there a larger lesson in all of this? Well I do know that you will probably never get success in the way that you imagined, it will never come at the right time for your liking, it will never feel like you thought it would feel, it won’t satisfy you in the way you felt it should, but you should take a minute to stop, take it all in and appreciate it. Try to imagine the 20 year old “you” and how they would feel. Try to imagine if you knew 17 years ago that you would accomplish this thing. You have to decide what’s important to you and what it means to you. I truly feel that to make films and to create art is a selfish endeavor and you do not deserve anything at all for your vanity. So be happy when things come your way. You perhaps should be disappointed and angry and strive violently to accomplish more but in addition to that, you must appreciate your little wins. For me I strive to get people to watch my films in the hope that that might have a connection to the work and be inspired in the way that I was inspired with the films that I watched growing up. Thanks to anyone who ever supported my projects or treated me kindly. That’s my two cents.