Harvey Weinstein on Promoting a Movie: Be A Performer! (Via No Film School)

So this is most likely going to be a week of link spamming and short commentary while I write new material for my standup sets. Sorry not sorry.

This article from No Film School got me thinking a little bit about how we promote ourselves. Scottish people have a tendency for being pretty much unable to sell themselves. Which is a shame cause we have a lot to offer, culturally speaking.

I’ve seen loads of comedy and music nights that fail to draw any sort of attention just on the grounds that they can’t excite their audience. I myself gave up my job in door to door sales on the grounds that I just couldn’t excite my prospective customers into buying in – not into the product, but buying into me. But how do you excite a complete stranger into buying in to your baby?

Well, if you’re Harvey Weinstein, you treat yourself like a performer:

Speak in short one sentence answers and don’t go on with all the legalese.  Talk about the movie as a movie and the effect it will have on the audience from an emotional point of view.

If you continue to be boring, I will hire an actor in New York to pretend that he’s Errol Morris.  If you have any casting suggestions, I’d appreciate that.

Keep it short and keep selling it, because that’s what’s going to work for you, your career and the film.

Lets get a discussion going. Where do your problems lie in promoting your work or yourself? Chat amongst yourselves in the comments!

The Dark Knight’s Legal Status Rises… (Via Law And The Multiverse)

I love The Dark Knight Rises.

I thought it was a great flick. Brilliantly cast, stunningly shot, with a twist that even I didn’t see coming.

But in a true example of “refrigerator logic,” Something about the end didn’t sit right with me.

Warning: Spoilers beyond the cut. Continue reading

Danny Boyle’s 15 Golden Rules of Filmmaking (Via MovieMaker Magazine)

I was recently linked to this article in MovieMaker (via the No Film School guys) about Danny Boyle’s 15 Golden Rules of Filmmaking. I’ve never been his biggest fan – Slumdog was alright, Trainspotting was terrific, don’t get me started on Sunshine – but his constant adherence to his own style and his own methods are something I can respect in a filmmaker.

This article contains some of his hard and fast rules of the trade, but one particular maxim that caught my eye was the idea of film happening “in the moment”…

What’s extraordinary about film is that you make it on the day, and then it’s like that forever more. On that day, the actor may have broken up with his wife the night before, so he’s inevitably going to read a scene differently. He’s going to be a different person.
I come from theater, which is live and changes every night. I thought film was going to be the opposite of that, but it’s not. It changes every time you watch it: Different audiences, different places, different moods that you’re in. The thing is logically fixed, but it still changes all the time. You have to get your head around that.

Any budding directors out there want to share their own rules for making movies? Leave them in the comments!

The Seven Elements of a Creative Personality (Lifehacker)

I’ve been reading an article on Lifehacker about the personality traits normally exhibited by creative people. These include hunger for originality, volatile personal relationships and “being a pain in the ass.”

In other news, bears have begun their protest at being typecast and have started shitting in car parks.

Here’s a few I’d like to add to the list: Continue reading

Why are there no right wing comedians?

Not really a post as such, but read this little article in the New Statesman and wanted to share a quote by one of my favourite comedians, Mr Stewart Lee:

The African-American stand-up Chris Rock maintained that stand-up comedy should always be punching upwards. It’s a heroic little struggle. You can’t be a right-wing clown without some character caveat, some vulnerability, some obvious flaw. You’re on the right. You’ve already won. You have no tragedy. You’re punching down. You can be a right-wing comedy columnist, away from the public eye, a disembodied, authoritarian presence that doesn’t need to show doubt. Who could be on a stage, crowing about their victory and ridiculing those less fortunate than them without any sense of irony, shame or self-knowledge? That’s not a stand-up comedian. That’s just a cunt.

For Gil

I first discovered Gil, as most people do, while serving time in a left-wing political party. Making regular appearances at parties and sound systems, Gil’s music was an ample part of my political soundtrack, right up there with Frank Turner, The Clash and Woody Guthrie.

It was only later, after being disillusioned with partisan notions of left and right, that I really appreciated Gil’s gift with words. He spoke of a “common sense party”, a politics of the people, for the people, and always chose the side of the underdog, be they an illegal immigrant from south of the border or the victim of apartheid in South Africa.

If years of shady politics haven’t killed your soul yet, listen to Sun City or Whitey on the Moon, turn up your headphones, get lost in his thick Illinois drawl, and learn to love people again.

Gil Scott-Heron. April 1st 1949 – May 27th 2011