Published at: Sept. 15, 2010, 5:21 a.m. CST by headgeek
Hey folks, Harry here with a link to an interview that Guillermo Del Toro had with Mike Fleming at Deadline up at the Toronto International Film Festival.
In this interview, Fleming decided to go on a exploratory conversation with Guillermo about the nature of the industry as it stands right now. There was very little that I loved this summer. A few things I enjoyed a bunch, but overall... this summer's films were underwhelming. They felt safe and as expected to me.
But a lot of the mega-successes we've been seeing have been very bold moves. I'm reminded of that conversation that the L.A. Times did with the Best Picture Directors earlier this year, that focused on this same issue.
Guillermo is somebody that goes for it. Right now, we're holding our breath till Guillermo starts lensing AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, but this industry needs that film so incredibly badly that it is ridiculous. We've gotten to the point, where they have got horror in a ghetto of micro-budgets, remakes and sequels... and we don't have A level horror around. And really, that has never been a staple of the industry. Save for the birth of UNIVERSAL HORROR - Robert Wise's HAUNTING, a few titles in the 70s, a handful in the 80s... But right now... We have AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS staring us dead in the eye.
Once this starts filming... Like on many of Cameron's films, there will be an epic story about the MAKING of the film. This film will be the embodiment of what Guillermo is talking about in this interview - and that story will capture our imaginations, and that of the audience. I'd bet on it.
I also love Guillermo's optimism. But it continues to feel bleak - as many of the best movies I see are being relegated to DVD & BLU RAY releases. Too often money is becoming the substitute to an actual original marketing campaign. Just look at Quint's interview with Drew Struzan - and read it. There's a reason why Drew's posters became classics - first off - just look at the films that chose to employ him. Look at the filmmakers that insisted. Filmmakers that CARE how their films are sold and that have to power to be listened to.
I believe in film. I know that in every economic hard time since the advent of FILM - profits and film popularity has increased. And I have been amazed how in this opportunity, when Audiences are desperate to be entertained, so many of the studios are scaling back their slates, no longer financing or even paying for their own marketing plans, instead, dividing up the pie, where they have low risk and a small portion of the profits... They're slitting their own throats - and more and more, i'm hearing from filmmakers that are beginning to no longer need the studios beyond distribution, and that's changing quickly with Digital Distribution to Theaters.
The fact that in order to see the best films of the year, you must go to a major film festival... or wait for Home Video... is absurd.
Right now - it is the BEST TIME in recent history to get into Film Distribution. There's a gigantic hole in this business that is ridiculous. That a film like THAT EVENING SUN, with one of Hal Holbrook's best performances ever - is going straight to BluRay and DVD yesterday - is disgusting. It is an incredible story. Brilliant filmmaking and it is absolutely a film that had awards potential for Hal. BUT - as an industry, we've turned the Oscar Race into a $15 million dollar marketing club, to even sit at the table. By distributors not willing to even attempt Campaigns, films are not getting qualifying runs in Los Angeles and New York. With the film getting platformed through the Awards season... Marketing it to the over 30-ish crowd, which are dying for movies to see. Instead, most will see this stunningly beautiful film - if they ever decide to chose to - at home.
The problem with articles like this is that people won't name names. Well, I'll tell you a name. Whoever completely backs and stays out of the way of Bob Berney - will become crazy fucking rich. Bob gets it. I have no business with him, but I've followed his career over the years and he picks up gems, finances great films, presides over a smart team that he's assembled at multiple locations - but we need him with crazy backing.
This industry needs its madmen. People that want to give the public that which they've never seen before. They need to find people of vision that they can not understand, then stand out of the way. Great projects like WALLY & PEPPER or CRUSADE or THE DEFECTIVE DETECTIVE or TO THE WHITE SEA or SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH.
When Guillermo talks about filmmakers like the directors of MONSTERS and BURIED... he's simply remembering where he came from... with CRONOS... or Spielberg with DUEL and SUGARLAND EXPRESS... or Cameron with the original TERMINATOR. or Peter Jackson with BAD TASTE and BRAIN DEAD and MEET THE FEEBLES. or Sam Raimi with EVIL DEAD. Nolan with MEMENTO. Darren Aronofsky with PI.
There's a small army of folks every bit as talented as those guys, all they need is faith in their madness and support in getting it made. Folks like: Nash Edgerton (THE SQUARE), Kerry Conran (SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW), Wilson Yip (IP MAN), Park Dae-Min (PRIVATE EYE), Lucky McKee (MAY), Ji-Woon Kim (THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD), Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES), Vincenzo Natali (SPLICE, CUBE), Rian Johnson (BRICK, BROTHERS BLOOM) - and I'm sure you good folks have some of your own, these were just off the top of my head.
These filmmakers will do it, with or without studio support. Filmmaking is what they do and they'll find their way, but the studios are missing out. Watching the market up at Toronto is pretty sickening. Almost nothing getting picked up, but a great deal of positive reactions and excitable work. Films that we want to see, and we will eventually.
It has gotten so bad, that I've had 3 different filmmakers suggest to me in the last 4 hours that I should begin discussions about turning Ain't It Cool into a distribution company. And I'm actually giving it thought. Mainly because, I do care. But realistically, my plate is pretty damn full.
If you've been waiting to get into this business - the opportunities favor the brave & the bold. The chickenshits are getting thinned out.
You look at the