Monday 11 April 2011

Longevity and Perseverance

I was clearing out my inbox yesterday. I saw a lot of old emails from actors who'd applied to be in my films in years gone by. I emailed some of them, just out of curiosity. What are you doing now? How are things going? Can I see your work? A lot of the email addresses didn't work. But of those that did, most of the actors aren't acting anymore. And this was only from two years ago.

Come to think of it; most of the actors who started out when I started out are now at home full time with their kids, or have settled into a banking job.

How much do you want it? This business is mostly just about sticking around long enough for people to take you seriously. At some point; everyone says they want to write, or act. And most of them give it a go. But 'give it a go' means nothing. If there's one thing I talk about here on Kid In The Front Row it's that this shit takes a long long time. 

But not as long as you think. Maybe the difference starts to show after two years. 

I am ALWAYS reading a book that's either about this industry, or I'm reading something that'll inspire me. Right now I'm reading Roald Dahl's "Going Solo" - for fun? Partly. But mostly because: he means a lot to me. I am trying to rediscover what I love about him, and what made him special. I'd say about 40% of what 'Kid In The Front Row' is and means, comes from my love for Roald Dahl. 

And after that I'm re-reading Eric Lax's Woody Allen biography. 

And tomorrow I've got to wait in all day for a package, so I'm working on a new spec screenplay. 

And I'm loading my phone up with film podcasts. 

And I am always reading quotes by people I admire, and I am always watching films, and I am always shooting something. 

How many people do that? Are you doing it enough? 

My strength as a blogger, is that I inspire people for about thirty seconds. They read my manifesto and they feel all jolly, but it lasts for thirty seconds. But we've gotta make it last longer. It has to last for years. You need to be dedicated beyond belief to make it in this industry. 

You're going to have the financing pulled out of your movie a day before shooting, you're going to sign your screenplay over to idiotic producers, you're going to get cast in a  film that is so bad that you literally want to vomit as soon as they yell 'action!'. And you're going to have no money and no money and no money. 

And then you decide whether to show up tomorrow and start a new script, apply for a new audition, or direct that new project. Or you're going to get a job in an office and hang out with your high school buddies. And that's fine and that's sensible and sometimes, you don't even have a choice. 

But the dedication is everything. And if you hold on, and keep going, and keep working, and keep meeting people, and keep encouraging people, and keep trying, and keep creating, and keep smiling. Who knows where this journey ends up. 

After all, what else are we supposed to do?

"I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented, where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. While the other guy is sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy is eating, I’m working."
-Will Smith

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Midnight In Paris Trailer - New Woody Allen Film

As a proof, this post was the post I made to verify my blog on Technorati.
My Technorati Claim Token : 5TGWQRX3PNUJ

I'm excited. There is nothing more wonderful than a new Woody Allen film. 

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Sunday 10 April 2011

The Wrestler

Life changes. Before you know it you're all alone, you live for a day that's gone, you listen for a song that no-one listens to anymore, and one wrinkle turns into twenty and one day of not seeing your daughter turns into two-thousand.

And that thing you do best is not what people want anymore. Your body isn't what it was. You cling onto it because it's everything you know.

You want the roar of the crowd, but instead you have the squeal of your hearing aid. And you want to love a woman and you want to love your daughter, but how can you make it better than before? With relationships, you never know where you'll land, you can never handle the pain.

But with wrestling you know the score before you start. You'll take a beating for a while but you'll come out winning in the end. In a pretend world the people will always chant your name, you'll always be their hero. But in the real world, there's no guarantees.

People leave, and people change, and before long you're the only one left holding on.

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Saturday 9 April 2011

Cinema Memories

I was in Florida, and the weather sucked, so we went to see a movie. We loved it. We were both blown away by the brilliance of 'Spanglish' (We must've been high or something).

My friend Kev had never been abroad before. We took a trip to Denmark. We spent all our money on day one; by eating steak that was more expensive than our flights. Then I got ill. And Denmark is cold. So we stayed indoors... in the cinema. Kev didn't get to see much of Copenhagen but I got to see a lot of movies.

A girl who had the misfortune of being my girlfriend back in the day was treated by me to a romantic first kiss.. during a Michael Moore documentary. Isn't that what every woman dreams of? Looking back, it was probably the highlight of our relationship.

I saw 'This Is It' in New York with a woman I'd met only days before. We got pretty close, as humans often do, but now we're an ocean apart and Facebook is all we have.

I found a cinema in 'Sicily' which was just like Cinema Paradiso. It was magical, at least until the movie started, because watching 'Bridge To Terabithia' dubbed in Italian sucks.

And years ago it was just me, Abdul and Trev in the cinema. We sat in the front row, in fact, we sat on the floor, leaning back on our chairs, and we stared up at the screen and thought 'Spun' was the craziest film we'd seen in years.

And I walked out of 'Gothika' because it was awful. And 'Love In The Afternoon' was ruined a few months ago because I was stuck sitting next to the heaviest breather of all time. And I saw 'Juno' five times and I saw 'Lost In Translation' seven times.

And Jodie was the prettiest girl of my teenage years and we went to a movie but I didn't share my popcorn and I ate all of her big-bag-of-maltesers and after that she preferred James, which sucked because all he had going for him was everything.

And I remember seeing 'Elizabethtown' and thinking it was the best film ever, which it isn't; and i remember thinking 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang' was the most hilarious thing of all time, which it probably is.

And those are the ones that come to mind now, but there'll be others.

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Allure is a blog dedicated to the unexplainable allure of the screen stars of the 1920's and 1930's. I love it when bloggers dedicate their entire site to some small niche thing that they're passionate about. But then you read someone like FlixChatter, who covers a wider range of things, and you like it because you see how much care and energy goes into the posts.

What I like about Babs & Midge is that they find things on YouTube that you've never seen, or that you forget you remembered. But there are too many review blogs. Millions of people reviewing everything they come across. Who cares? Not me. But occasionally someone does it good, like Inspired Ground.

I like Happy Frog and I: Tales From The Lilypad, because you see a writer blossoming. Some posts are wonderful, some you struggle through; but each one is different. And you recognise a singular voice, that's how you know you're in the presence of a real writer.

Adventures In Nerdliness is a blogger I always read, and enjoy, even though I never know the films he talks about. I have no interest in them. But he loves what he loves. I love people who love what they love, who dare enough to be passionate about things that aren't what's sitting at the top of the charts. And Mix Tape is just plain cool.

And Masala Moodswings just commented on my blog, and I'm fascinated: "a fat Indian girl's take on (the lack of) sex and life". Masala Moodswings makes uncool cool, and HipsterCrite makes the uncool-cool somehow cool again, she just writes so darn good.

Clint is an interesting guy. Phoenix is a fantastic actress. Obsessed and Bored is a young actress who's taking us on her journey, sharing her audition videos, her ups and downs, and giving us an insight into being an actor. I like what she does.

And I'll finish on Talking Movies, because this is a guy who asks interesting questions and posts thoughtful blogs, but it does it in such a simple, down to earth manner. He doesn't ramble forever; he gets the job done in three paragraphs. If only we could all be so succinct.

Care to share?