Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The kind of thing bachelors worry about

The dust on my living room ceiling fan, which I cleaned off tonight using an amazing innovation called a vacuum cleaner hose attachment, had gotten so thick it looked like it was growing hair. Should I be alarmed at this?


Chris Haviland said...

I have wondered about the state of indie filmmaking in Austin. Thanks for the article! I have considered moving there, in the past, though at this point it seems unlikely. The false-hope trap of raising private financing to produce my various screenplays, as well as circulating them in Hollywood and collecting piles of rejections on an impressive assortment of letterheads, finally lost its appeal. After the Universal Studios Florida production company that was my brain child in 1990 stumbled upon enough luck to make a fairly decent movie and sell it to HBO seven to eight years later (more to the credit of my business partner / cousin, and our industry friend who wrote the screenplay, both of whose resumes make mine look about as significant as that of a paperboy's), I was sucked helplessly out of Florida into the Sillicon Alley internet business and enjoyed a brief taste of what it's like to actually *make* a lot of money rather than *lose* a lot of money. That was right before the same industry spat me back out as a fowl-tasting post-9-11 NYC middle-manager, snatched a nice new house away from me a week before it became mine, and left me flopping in the dried up job market in an undersized $1200/month 1-bedroom rental with a new wife and a new baby and a really unfocused bio. Having now set my mental crosshairs on a novel writing career--or as the IRS calls it, "hobby," I decided to move to Western Massachusetts where the woods are lousy with such people and make a fresh start. But from time to time the ghosts of my past delusions of grandeur still haunt me, still call to me in the night... "Don't give up, you can still make it, move to [wherever] and make a small movie, you've got the script, you know how to do it, you just have to get the money, it'll turn heads, trust me..." So far I've been able to shake the voices out of my head and go back to sleep, having learned what deception sounds like, but for how long?

Martin Wagner said...

I hope that the message that was communicated by the [previous] article was not, "Give up on your dreams, filmmakers! It's all hopeless and futile!" Rather, that realistic as opposed to unrealistic expectations will do you much better in the long run. Austin needs a real industry, and to let go of this idea that the El Mariachi/Slacker model of "claw your way to fame and fortune through spare-change moviemaking" is the way to go. For one thing, the industry is a very different place than it was 12 years ago. Even if Austin didn't turn into your go-to location for $100 million event movies, just having a steady and reliably well-funded industry here with enough shoots going on so that local crews could actually work and earn a decent living wage on a regular basis would put us leagues ahead of where we are now.