something new from the art predator, and more…

Lunch-break. The show is winding down and I’m working myself out of a job. That’s the way it works and we are usually ready to be done with the movie at this point, anyway. It never was a calling, just a way to make it easier to follow a calling. But the work is seductive for a number of reasons. The money, the esteem, the company of peers, the learning and teaching environment, the spirit, creativity and comraderie, the intensity, the built-in ending. It is the only work environment where I have ever felt I fit in. Probably the carnival or the circus would work almost as well.

I used to think I worked in a clean industry and environmentally speaking that is basically true. Now I am more aware of the fact that we bring ideas to a kind of life and we export them to the world. So no, I don’t work in a machine gun factory but I do work in a field that speaks to the lowest common denominators, promotes outrageous values, sensational ideas and leaves behind truly awful mental images. I’ve read that the second use of every new communications technology from Gutenberg forward (and maybe back) is for pornography. I think the third use is for the production of garbage for public consumption.

Is it really any harder to make a good movie than it is to make a bad one? The work of the various departments is the same. Film people tend to have a great work ethic, taking pride in their abilities and their individual and departmental production.

But the final product is generally built around a hollow core, that being the writing. The writing generally sucks, and if the writing doesn’t suck, the themes and ideas generally do. Are good scripts harder to find or to write than bad ones? There are a zillion good writers out there. Just look around here, in bloggerland.

Speaking of great writing of another sort, I am way behind on posting the image prompt responses. I’m running out of time now but I’ll make a start now and steal some time later to finish. I am also going to be spending some time on the road these next few months and it might be harder to post the prompts. I am thinking of asking some artist friends to guest produce, using their own images. It might be a nice break anyway and would open up the blog to other kinds of collaborative efforts, too. Ideas, anyone?

My, what a wordy lunch.

This entry was posted in 'tis a gift to be simple, art, callings, collaboration, collaborative storybook, ekphrasis, film making, film work, image prompts, maria fernanda sosa, nanda, painting, pepektheassassin, picture prompts, poetry, scenic artist, script writing, stories, works in progress, you can't say you can't play. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to something new from the art predator, and more…

  1. marlowe44 says:

    As a teacher, former professional actor, lifetime movie buff, pretend poet, baffling blogger, struggling artist, and wage slave–I loved your lunch break.

    When I would get a day or two’s work as an actor on a film back in the 70’s, I was always fascinated by the crew, and a bit envious; for they had jobs that lasted much longer than the actors–even the extras did. For those who have never spent any time on a film set, I assure you it is great machination, made up of thousands of hours of technical wizardry, and divers kinds of artistry. Even the best of movies were not perceived as such by the film makers. Rick is spot on there. Making a bad movie takes the same amount of energy as producing a classic. But there is some kind of magic and mystery when all the millions of puzzle pieces come together; directing, acting, film score, cinematography, and of course the script, the writing. Every time it is the writing that puts the sparkle in the project. When the writing is good, and not too pendantic, I go away pumped up, stoked, ready to write something myself. A film is the apex in modern art, for it is the novel, the painting, dance, photography, and our modern equivilance to classical music; all mixed together like a scrumptious gumbo. And when the movie “works”, there is no other artistic experience that can touch it. I worked in theater a lot, and a stunning play performance is great too, but it lacks the variety and depth of a great film. I have always wanted to create a theater company that presents a play where the interiors are live,on stage, and the exterior scenes are done masterfully on film. Now that would be something!



  2. bonnieluria says:

    Rick- so true about making a good one as easily as a lousy one. Like so many themed, formula films and commercials as well, I ask how it is that a corporate table of execs signed off on something so awful ( fill in the blanks—– )
    We know, from reading the better blogs out here that there are some great ideas being seeded by so many clever, talented, funny, original people that inevitably, these becomes the places I visit. It’s like having a mall of blog stores in your home, and you can tailor your entertainment on what appeals to you.

    Great post, much needed.
    Also liked Glenns’ comment above too.

    Belated congratulations on Ada’s happy arrival into your family.


  3. nande says:

    Hey there Rick,
    thanks for the glimpses into your movie world. During the early 90’s – it now seems so long ago – I worked as an extra on various forgotten films and tv shows here in SoCal. The things I loved the most were the camaraderie on the set and the collaborative effort. Everyone knew what to do and things magically happened because everyone worked together. For me, watching from the sidelines, it was a happy environment.
    I could not deal with the unpredictability of the work though. You never knew when you’d get called, when the next little job would come along and that part wasn’t for me.
    Even now when I watch a film I always sit for the credits and smile because it makes me happy that so many people were hired and involved to mount someone’s vision – or even the shadow of someone’s vision for a short time…

    I wish you and the family very well, enjoy the work while it lasts and thanks for posting whatever images you can in between. Having guest artists sounds like a good idea – for a time.



  4. johemmant says:

    I’m back, missed you, I’ll e you. You’re picking up the ILs, right? How are Naomi, B and A?


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