Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Death to all Tyrants!

Yesterday, I smoked cigarettes on a swingset and sold weed to some highschool kids while a very patient group of about 25 mexican men waited about 45 minutes to play soccer on the field that our film crew had cruelly overtaken. It was pretty fun, except for the smoking part. I got to do a little cursing.
Tonight I’m doing an all night shoot. This shit is crazy. The difference between making a record and making a movie is like the difference between drawing a line and constructing a cube from scratch. With recording music, you’re in a sterile environment and if you do your part right, at the right time, with the right rhythm, and the engineer isn’t asleep, you got it. With movies, you’re out in some playground, or in some junkyard or something, and even if you do your part right, with the right rhythm, if you make a funny face when you do it, don’t seem sincere, a plane flies by, the camera guy sneezes, the sound director has some problem, the boom guy gets in the frame, a dog barks, a car beeps a horn in the distance…I mean, fuck. It’s so much harder. That’s why so many nineteen year olds can make great albums but don’t often make great movies. Music is easy. Movies are hard.
Now, that being said, music is probably cooler than movies, just in that music is portable. It’s in your head all the time, it’s the facet of your life that turns your day to day drudgery into YOUR personal movie. That’s cool. And it conjures emotion pretty easily. Music is like David Blaine. Just out there, innocuously roaming around blowing people’s minds on a fairly personal scale, but movies, movies are David Copperfield; a big stupid gaudy production that culminates in the statue of Liberty vanishing for a few seconds. David Blaine, you believe in, or at least you could see yourself believing in him, whereas Copperfield, you know the whole thing’s a show, but it’s so fucking crazy that its authenticity isn’t an issue. It’s the same thing with music and movies.
With music, often we believe that the artist really means/feels/lives what’s going on in the songs. It’s a real personal connection. Never mind that music is just another art form that need not have anything to do with the artists actual personality. It’s easy to see one guy singing about being a broken hearted sap and ignore the fact that, not only did the drummer actually write the song, but the singer dude’s a handsome millionaire and the chances are very good that he’s (for example) fucking around on his wife AND his girlfriend with a dude. We choose to believe that the singer guys words are sincere. It’s just an easy emotional connection to make if a song speaks to you. Not unlike when David Blaine levitates right in front of you (if you’re an excitable black teenager) and you just lose your mind and assure us viewers at home that he’s real magic, y’all.
With movies, it’s totally different. No one even thinks about the writer of a movie. They think about the actors, if anything. Sometimes the director gets credit, but usually only if he also writes or stars, or if he’s got a serious track record (Michael Bay). There’s no sense of propriety in movies, and even in the few cases where there are, (Quentin Tarrantino seems like an obvious example) it’s never EVER assumed that he’s ever had any sort of experience like those in his movies. He’s just seen as a nerdy eccentric who’s got a lot of ideas and time on his hands.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Movies totally hit home emotionally too, but it’s different. A movie takes all your senses…well, no. A movie involves you sitting down and being static for a while to appreciate it, so you kind of necessarily leave that emotional connection at home at some point, when you go out and have to live your own life and you put on your headphones, right? That’s music, sneaking back in.
Jesus Christ man. I don’t know. This whole movie making thing is crazy. I’ll say that much. I mean, I went to school for it, and I know my way around a set a little bit, but fuck…everything is so specialized. It’s really a nerds endeavor. And really, that’s the thing. You CAN’T make a good, real movie without the input and help of nerds, while great albums can be made by a bunch of nihilistic wastoids, or morons, or uneducated criminals, and there’s something endearing about that. Something is magically awesome about people who don’t even care about doing something great kind of accidentally changing someone else’s life for the better, and that can’t happen in movies. It’s too calculated. That’s the difference. You HAVE to be sure you’re doing everything to make a movie. With music, you can show up at midnight, high on cough syrup and, while blacked out, churn out some song that ends up being everyone’s favorite jam of the summer.
That’s fucking pretty cool if you ask me.
Can’t do that with a movie though, unless you’re david Hasselhoff and his daughter, I guess…
Okay, have a good one.


drew said...

The Socks will gladly be your 'nerd input'! Just give us the deets man!

George said...

Is this movie going to be mumblecore?

kylewagoner said...

Something happened to my blogger and it isn't telling me that I'm following ANYONE. Oh well, I'll get it sorted out. I really, really like your descriptions of everything here. Very well-put. Now how about operas and plays? That kinda falls somewhere between the two and kinda combines the two minus dogs barking and boom arms. I guess that's neither here nor there. But anyway, my friends and I will do and say a lot of things and say "We should put that in a movie!" and then we look at each other and say, "...not that we have any way to make movies." Windows Movie Maker is about as far as we go with production and Youtube is as far as we go with showing.


Capt Murdock said...

I've never made a record but I have worked on a movie that required me to hold a boom mic from 6pm-8am 6 nights a week for 5 weeks and I can't imagine ever having a more rewarding experience.

Good luck sir.

Robb said...

Great points on music and filmmaking being such different beasts. NEVER has there been a (feature) film which was entirely 'off the cuff'. Even if it's some '70s Italian exploitation quickie literally made up as it was filmed, or say, an 'auteur' like John Cassavetes, who was always big into that "just roll camera and let the actors improv and let shit roar" thing...the whole affair is still only made possible by tons of people all performing specialized tasks, so that you can shoot in front of that bar for a half hour without legal action; so that Steven Seagal's herbal tea contains real Thai tranny urine. So, a long-winded way of saying you're completely right.

idontidoitsyou said...

" It’s easy to see one guy singing about being a broken hearted sap and ignore the fact that, not only did the drummer actually write the song, but the singer dude’s a handsome millionaire and the chances are very good that he’s (for example) fucking around on his wife AND his girlfriend with a dude."

this is pinhead gunpowder, isn't it!?

planespotting said...

If you built your own huge studio lot - ala the studio system in Hollywood during the 1930s and 40s - you wouldn't have to worry about airplanes flying or cars honking or dogs shitting. But, you'd have to employ hundreds of union carpenters, which is way expensive.

Secondly - that's cool that you brought up the part about music making your life your own movie.

Not a week goes by where some 80s or 90s pop jam comes on while I'm driving to work and I get that feeling like I could be trapped playing the lead dude in some lame romantic comedy that takes place in Chicago (While You Were Sleeping, My Best Friends Wedding, etc ...). Not that my life is like a romantic comedy or anything, but usually the feeling only happens if a song comes on that's got that Huey Lewis and the News kind of pop vibe to it.

Scott said...

why is it the people that hate "mumblecore" seem to be the target audience? Its just a bunch of hipsters hanging around and talking like they do anyway. Go to just about any bar in wickerpark...there you go. These people that classify everything are also the ones that will tell you your music choices suck, your clothes are too fashionable or trendy and that they have their own style when in actuality it is the other way around. Shit man, just listen to and watch what you want. I think i am going to start calling art shows that are full of hipsters "pretentious-self important-pricks-with-no-substance-core"

Candice said...

These opening lines keep getting better and better. I can't wait to see this movie.

Banana@1000MPH said...

You clearly want to be mysterious and shit Brendan, but just tell us when we can have this movie.

myassisapipebomb said...

lil wayne not only drink cough syrup, but puts codeine in (insert color) drink. also called syrup. then you do coke...serious.

Robb said...

Yeah the codeine thing is "Purple Drank", popularized in the southern hip hop community. Basically prescription cough syrup + soda. I hear they sometimes throw candy like skittles and shit in there, too (?). I first learned about it from that Three 6 Mafia song 'Sippin on Some Syrup'. A fascinating thing, that purple drank.

Owner Operator said...

"Can’t do that with a movie though, unless you’re david Hasselhoff and his daughter, I guess…"


word verification: bewail
can someone tell me what that is?


Louis said...

So, you're drinking apple juice, riding a little girl's bike, smoking on a swing set, and selling drugs to highschoolers.

Is this a movie about a pedophile?

David said...

New favorite post!