Ooh-boy am I feeling better this week. If you read last week’s MØ then you’ll know I was on a bit of a downswing. I can’t tell you what caused it but I was feeling pretty stuck.
And this week?
I feel fucking great.
I watched all three of these Eddie Izzard documentaries on Youtube. They detailed how he decided to run 43 marathons in 51 days, without any prior running experience, and with only five weeks to train.
I strongly, strongly advise you to go and watch the first episode HERE.
I watched all three and figured if a 47-year-old man can run over 1000 miles on pretty much his mindset alone, I can get myself out this weird little funk.
So I made some coffee, took a few deep breaths, and got to work. I’m now 40 pages into the new draft of KEITH and I’m getting super jazzed to start filming. I ran a new 6.5miles route and got a new PB. I read some great books, watched some great movies, and I gave the house a damn good clean. You’d be surprised how much better you can feel after a thorough cleanup.
Thanks, Eddie. You're an inspiration.
LET’S TALK KEITH
So I’ve been re-reading Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without A Crew. It’s his day-to-day journal during the making of his $7k breakout movie, El Mariachi. The first time I read this book, less than two weeks later I made the KEITH short film. Although the technical information is nearly 30 years out-of-date, the little nuggets of filmmaking wisdom are gold.
Here’s something I underlined:
“If you want to learn the guitar, you don’t take a couple of guitar classes and expect to do anything innovative. You practice in your garage until your fingers bleed.”
As someone who actually did practice guitar until my fingers bled (been playing for 16 years now (16 years holy fuck!!!)), he’s completely right.
For me, most of my learning is done on the job. I struggle to learn from watching others or thinking about it too much. I need to get my fingers dirty. I need to get them bleedy.
I’m looking to make KEITH as a sort-of practice film. I want to make feature-length films and this is going to be a good incremental step for me. A giant fucking Everest of a step. But a step nonetheless.
It’s got me thinking that if/when I pull this film off, I’d like to make another couple in the coming years. Maybe three micro-budget feature films in the next ten years? I think that’s reasonable right? Maybe then I’ll have bled enough to know how it’s done.
THE WORK I DONE THIS WEEK
Like I said, I got 40 pages of the KEITH screenplay done. I’m super happy with 80% of it. If I can keep that level throughout, I’ll finish this screenplay a happy man.
Also I've been thinking about my next essay for my Patreons. There was a time, a good 8-years ago now, that I did standup comedy. I don't talk about it too much because I was very, very average. But I did learn some valuable lessons from that period of my life. One lesson being that you should never get too precious with your work.
I also got the edits back for Take The Corvus and have gone through and approved/declined the little bits and pieces. Next step is to write the foreword, give it another proofread, and then get some ARC’s out to some readers. If you fancy an advanced reader copy, let me know!
Assault on Precinct 13: Another John Carpenter film and another classic. You can almost feel John putting everything into what little budget he had for the film. It's there in every cut, every gunshot, and in the killer score.
Creep 2: It seems like low-budget filmmaking is on my mind right now because this is another small one that has a big effect. I loved the first Creep. Mark Duplass is fantastic as the guy-who-loves-you-so-much-he-wants-to-murder-you character. I'd take a new Creep movie every year for the next ten years.
El Mariachi: And to round off my low-budget triple-billing, I had to go and watch Robert Rodriguez's 1991 $7k action thriller. I mean I can't recommend this enough. I dare you to read Rebel Without A Crew and then watch El Mariachi and not be inspired to go and make a film. I dare you.
Dirk Gently Season 2: We finally finished this off and it's a little bittersweet. The show is genuinely one of the more interesting things knocking around right now and it looks like they've cancelled it. Goodbye, Bart, you holistic assassin, you.
Wizard & Glass by Stephen King: The fourth in Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
Here's my SPOILER-FILLED-THOUGHTS.
A Behanding in Spokane by Martin McDonagh: I don't read plays. Well, I mean, I've NEVER read a play before. But I mean that really has to change now because this thing is so much fun. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. If you like the vulgar back and forth dialogue in In Bruges then you will LOVE this. It's more of the same. And I fucking love it.
- Jason Blum’s Advice To Burgeoning Producers At Sundance: “Don’t Worry About Your Movie Getting A Theatrical Release”
- Larry Cohen: A Retrospective by Jim Knipfel
Onwards and upwards ladies and gentlemen. Let's get our heads out of the ground and get out there and make some cool shit.
Let's build like motherfuckers!
Luke & Family