Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Too many movies being made" says top TIFF stiff...

For some reason I've been getting a Toronto Star newspaper thrown onto my front yard for the last 3 mornings. I remember this happening about the same time last year, and when I called them up to complain that I wasn't about to start paying for their newspaper, they mentioned it was a promotion due to the Toronto International Film Festical (TIFF).

Flipping through the Star today, I come across this article, where top TIFF chief Piers Handling says that too many Canadian feature films are being made. (You could extend this sentiment easily beyond Canada, and say that too many films are being made worldwide...)

He’s particularly concerned about the rising number of Canadian feature films, which he doesn’t think our domestic industry or audience can properly support.

One thing you can certainly count on is for lack of support from the TIFF Film Festicle for independent artists. The TIFF festicle has come under increasing criticism by production blogs, and from people I've met and talked with at other festivals, of becoming an elitist red carpet affair, catering to the big studios and pandering to the celebrities. Kind of a Sundance North. Archon Defender got rejected from the fest this year, and I even sent them the copy with the new voiceovers.

They still took my entrance fee for TIFF though. This is where Mr. Handling becomes a bit of a hypocrite. He should relish the thought of more filmmakers making more films, and being idealistic, fatalistic, or outright foolish enough to submit their films to TIFF. That $50 entry fee can add up pretty quick. Granted, when I talked with the good folks down at the Dragon Con Film Fest, they said that they're not exactly getting rich off the entry fees. But I suspect that Mr. Handling has been handling more than one Starbucks Latte care of my entry fee 'donation'.

“We shouldn’t be making 250 feature films in this country. I don’t think it can sustain. Where are those films going? I mean, are they just home movie productions done on credit cards? For what audience?"

To paraphrase Lloyd Kaufman in his bestselling book "Make Your Own Damn Movie"; The filmmaking buisness is a terrible way to make money, you're better off working as a janitor or in a garbage dump, and your motivation to make a film had better be for the drive and desire to see your cinematic vision come alive on the screen for yourself foremost and to entertain your audience. Lloyd, and Troma entertainment, embody the true sense of independent filmmaking and artistic expression. Which is why Lloyd and Troma are persona non grata in the film "industry" The title of Lloyd's book sums up the message concisely: Make your own damn movie, whatever it takes, and no matter how terrible it turns out.

Archon Defender has 287,000 views on Youtube as of right now as I type this. I've won 4 awards for it, plus my latest film Tales from the Afternow which screened at Dragon Con... and won for best animated Sci Fi at Dragon Con. Guess what, I'm still not rich and famous from it, but that wasn't the point of making either films... And I'm in pre-production for the follow-up to Archon... Why? Because I want to make the films, for myself first of all, and for all of you to watch and be inspired. And hopefully some of you will also be inspired to make your own films (so I'll finally have some cool shit to watch besides the crap that the turkey farm churns out)

So to Mr Piers Handling, in response to your questions:
  1. The films are going to the internet.
  2. Yes. Home productions. Everyone can make a film. And you don't need to use your credit card either.
  3. For what audience? Everyone except you.

1 comment:

Drainage64 said...

Mr. Piers doesn't seem to know much..but I guess it's all new to that old guy XD

He hasn't made a film so he can be quite and go in the corner with the rest of yesterday.

I saw the teaser for Tales of The Afternow and it looks awesome!