My Crew Worked Hard, and I Love Them

Holed-Up has finished filming. Almost. There are a couple of ‘breakaway’ shots to do at a goat farm. But other than that, the film is done. It’s edited. Music is being composed. It’s looking amazing. And none of it would have been possible without the faithful work of Travis, Ben, Esteban, Jim, Tabitha, Evan, Michael, Jenae, Bob, and of course Montetré and everyone else who manned cameras, sound recorders, boom poles, lights, dollies, make-up wedges… everyone who stood out in the rain, who worked overnight, who worked for tiny little paychecks. And also the amazing cast, extras, and everyone who believed in us enough to throw us a high-five, or in some cases, 100 high-fives.

It’s one thing to be a producer, or a director or writer, it’s another thing to be part of the well-oiled machine that allows the writer or director to put together his art. Film and Theatre are almost never one-man-shows. Maybe never-never. While as a producer, I’ve been given the credit publicly for a well-received performance-piece, it’s impossible for me to not realize that my achievement is merely my ability to organize a crew of people to achieve one common goal.

So, THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of Holed-Up. There aren’t enough pints of PBR in the world to repay them, but I hope that they are as proud of the film as Montetré and me.

A few weeks ago, I saw an ad on Craigslist looking for a marketing person for a film. I checked it out, since I’m curious about other local projects. I showed this to Montetré, and he told me that he had done some crew work for the film. Now I’m not one to shit-talk other people’s projects. At least not publicly, and since I have not seen anything more than the trailer, it would be unfair to give it a review. But what I saw today quite shocked me.

I was forwarded an email from Montetré from the filmmaker who made “The Cube”.

“I just wanted to give you heads up that I’m finishing up the movie, “The Cube” and I need to   market it as: “Portland filmmaker makes $500 feature film with no crew”. Obviously, I had the support of your talents for a few days, but in order to generalize and bring attention to it, I’ll be going with this sales line.”

…What? You need to market it as “filmmaker makes $500 feature film with no crew“? Ok. I’ll bring attention to it. First, good job for making a movie for nothing. I’m well aware of how expensive making even a no-budget film can be. Second, I know you worked with a crew. Maybe a small crew, but you weren’t the only person doing lights, makeup, sound, cameras, directing, casting, or whatever. I know people who were on the crew.. Even though I wasn’t involved in any way with the film, I find it personally insulting that a filmmaker would a) lie, and b) throw his crew under the bus like this. Since his budget was $500, I’m assuming he didn’t pay anyone… and what’s his thanks, pretend like no one donated hours of their time to help him realize his personal dream and ambitions? I don’t care if your gimmick is “no budget no crew”, it’s completely unethical to USE people and then deny them of any recognition. If your film is good enough, it will be recognized on the merits of its storytelling, and not from some fucked-up gimmick.

That’s my rant. I don’t like to pick fights. I’m not a confrontational person, so please excuse my passive agression by posting my feelings here, but this is a blog. It just sickens me that someone’s sales pitch is more important to them then thanking people who worked hard for them for no pay.

So, to my cast and crew, who worked incredibly hard for …some pay… YOU GUYS ROCK!

The second poster for Holed-Up.

The second poster for Holed-Up.

 

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