#TheEndOfTheMovie: The C word

#TheEndOfTheMovie: The C word

We live in truly amazing times. Every day I am in complete and total awe at the evolution of the human race. We have made fantastic social and technologic strides as a species and I welcome our further advancements. I do not long for simpler times. I keep my headphones on when I Uber, I prefer my phone conversation through text, and know to differentiate the frequent activity of my social media presences under a banner user name. I get the point of branding. I say this so you understand that I am by no means one of these first generation millennials that feels the need to separate themselves from that dreaded classification by openly pontificating on the failing state of society visive the internet because of a some ridiculous nostalgic memory of how cool Gen X’ers seemed to us as kids. I tell you this so you know that my gripe (and don’t worry, I’m getting to it) is coming from objective place. The grievance I’m going to speak of is the use of the C word.

Content. Now I know that to you that word just slides out of your mouth like cum dribbling out of a first time blow job giver that doesn’t know that it’s rude to not swallow. To me the mere idea of the word makes me feel as gross as the second half of that last sentence made YOU feel when you read it. Seriously, it makes my skin crawl, but then again I’m the guy that audibly gagged in La La Land when a character said the words “They say I have a knack for world building”. Don’t believe me? Tweet @MyXXfly because she was next to me in the theater and couldn’t help but laugh at my involuntary display of disgust. Look, I’m not saying all of you should have the same visceral reaction to the word Content but you should at least care.

The problem with Content is that there’s no differentiating when it comes to it. It’s this umbrella label for any and EVERYTHING now. Movies and music? That’s Content. Social media posts? That’s Content too. A detailed article by a reputable news organization about a tragic world changing event…… somehow also Content. See, Content is part of the corporate lexicon. A language spoken by business men AND WOMEN whose sole purpose is to quantify objects, people, places, and things into easily predictable summations of monetary gains and that’s fine if it’s your job. Hell, someone has to make sure the lights stay on and the people get paid but now WE’RE all saying it. Listen, when you’re the head of company your brain is preconditioned to see things in dollar and cents I’ll give you a pass but you’re not. You’re an internet information junkie looking to binge watch, listen to, and read all the flashing pretty colors coming off one of your MANY screens like Neo in The Matrix and you NEED to understand that there is difference between all of it. If EVERYTHING is Content then everything is automatically given the same numerical number in the silly little value charts in your mind and NOTHING could be further from the truth. A movie is more important than a vlog. A Facebook post has WAY less value than a news article. A Buzzfeed quiz is… well, anything Buzzfeed does is essentially useless. Now I know that you’ve all been accustomed to think it’s all the same thing so I’ve worked up this nifty little pie chart to help you gauge the pecking order on the totem pole of importance as it were.

Lumping us all together by content is diminishing ALL our value. Someone went to school for six years to be journalist and now he’s on the same level as a blogger. Another guy spent all his life learning the intricacies of music and he’s lumped in by a guy on YouTube with a ukulele that only does covers of Duran Duran songs, it’s fucked in the head! But you know what’s even more fucked? This normalization of the word Content is bleeding into the people ACTUALLY MAKING it. Shit, if you thought I was being hard on you poor bastards just wait till I draw my attention to this piss poor excuse of journalists and artists, AND YES I SAID ARTISTS, that’s what you are. You’re artists, not CREATIVES which is another C word that’s pissing me off while we’re at it. Have we become so complacent with the social standing of the arts and journalism that we’re adopting corporate descriptors to sell something that at its core is an expression of thought and emotion? To describe OURSELVES?!? Are we so broken that we can’t muster up the nerve to call it art? And it’s not like we’re just saying it publicly to shill our work because I have been in rooms filled with nothing but people involved with the arts and they’re saying it amongst THEMSELVES. You hear that thumping? It’s the sound of Fellini and Hunter S. Thompson rolling in their graves and if I had my way I’d let their reanimated zombie bodies out to gnaw on your skulls till the creative bits are all gone because you’re embarrassing. Shame. SHAAAAAME!

I wish I could say sorry for being so aggressive but I’m not; I’m really not. When I was growing up being a journalist was some noble shit. Being an artist was the most punk rock thing you could decide to do. We were rebels and outliers, gypsies and thieves. We were a motley crew of off-kilter counterculture lunatics saying fuck you to the establishment and now we’re just willingly handing over the keys to the nut house to the guards. We’re surrendering our way of life for the sake of views and likes. That’s just sad. And before you call me hypocrite, I’m aware you’re reading this on a site where I advertise and sell my shit, the irony isn’t lost on me but you can click on every link and look through every page and I promise you that you will NEVER read or hear me call anything I make “Content”. I’ll call it a movie, a song, a vlog, an essay, a show… I call it ART because Content is a word used by cowards and con artists and maybe that’s the REAL problem here.

Look, you don’t have to agree with me and if you made it through this little rant of mine you deserve a fucking medal but you should at least LISTEN to what I’m saying because one day you’re gonna be at a party and you’ll hear on person ask another what they do for a living and instead hearing musician, writer, or filmmaker, you’re gonna hear that second person take a breath and say, “Content provider” and THAT is the day you’ll realize that art has died.

But hey, at the end of the day that’s just MY view on the matter and that’s probably not worth much anyone but what I DO know holds some serious value is that I made it through an entire rant called The C Word without ever saying Cunt.

….Well almost.

 

written by Victor Moran

edited by Danielle Ruiz

#TheEndOfTheMovie

#TheEndOfTheMovie

I have spent my entire life wanting to make movies and arguing with those who said I couldn’t. I even made a couple along the way. But recently I found myself engulfed in a situation that made me not wanna make movies anymore. Which is an amazing feat considering my parents couldn’t accomplish that in 30 years and they’re Cuban. Who knew that two years of hapless preproduction and the tectonic shift of an entire industry was all it would take.

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Making movies was always my lighthouse. No matter what horrible things were going on in my life, no matter relationship status or living situation, the desire to make movies was there. It was my rock, my sanity and suddenly five months ago my sanity was gone. After making a feature length film three years before, spending a year writing a new script and another year in preproduction of that script the project was suddenly at an uncomfortable standstill and the only words of solace that I was being told by production was, “This is the way it works.” As time moved on and the project kept getting pushed back and pushed back, I found myself swimming in a stew of “presale distribution” discussions and being swayed towards holding off for hopes of smaller but still “name actors” in particular roles for the sole purpose of getting said distribution and the budget had increased to the point of unrealistic. Especially considering the project was basically meant to be an R rated, super punk-rock, fuck off finger in the air to the romantic comedy genre. That was the spirit it was written in and this business vibe was starting water down the core. So needless to say I inevitably became ok with the project getting pushed back YET AGAIN to the point of being postponed indefinitely.

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Now as all this crap was going on with me, the “movie business” was going off the rails. Every day the industry feeds were mind boggling. Disney was buying everything, every other studio was desperately trying to get in the shared universe game, Warner Brothers even announced that they weren’t going to make any original movies for the next five years before shutting down their independent branch. What’s known as the “middle budget drama” was slowly not being made anymore. The easy way to bitch about this is to say that Hollywood is ruining movies and blah blah blah but as I sat there licking my fresh wounds I realized that it’s not their fault. The “Hollywood machine” is a business, what matters to them is asses in seats and the reality is that the general audience isn’t interested in watching those movies in a theater. More and more people are actually watching small independent movies and thanks to the internet and Netflix they’re easier to find and because of that fact the audience has grown accustom to watching these movies at home. On their iPads, computers and phones, the independent film viewing experience has become this insanely intimate thing to the audience and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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Now I’m not gonna lie, as someone who grew up wanting to make movies in the DIY Sundance glory days of El Mariachi the realization that the kind of movie that I’m interested in making is not the one that gets a theatrical release anymore kind of killed me a little. I mean this was like watching the end of the movie as I knew it and it wasn’t even a profound mercy killing, it was more a shotgun blast to the face. For Christ sake Martin Scorsese can’t get more than a limited release and that’s the fucking guy that made Goodfellas. If he could barely get The Wolf of Wall Street made (and yes, that actually took years of begging for money and is now in a scandal over where the money actually came from) what were the odds that good ole Mr. Hollywood was gonna answer the phone for me. So why bother to try and make movies at all? I know this sounds grim but I promise it ends happy and it’s about to get there, I swear.

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After looking at all the data and taking my latest “filmmaking experience” into account, I decided that I didn’t want any part of it. I still wanted to create but I didn’t want to play a game where I kill myself making a small personal movie to then be offered to make Jurassic World or Black Panther. I know that sounds like an insane jump but that’s literally what’s happening to writers and directors at festivals now. So I decided that I would make a site. It would be my way to reject the system while simultaneously welcoming an audience and by being my own distributor I could make whatever I want without it being corrupted by the worry of trying to sell it before it’s even made. The “way it works” wouldn’t apply to me anymore and why stop at movies? Why not a comic strip? I could make a TV show and do live events. Books, music, I could just rant like a lunatic and post it up. Kind of like I’m doing now.

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When all was said and done, the end of the movie (as I knew it) killed a very specific childhood dream of mine but it gave birth to a much greater reality where I can speak directly to you, the audience, without any interference and promise that my blood, sweat and tears will be in everything on this site. That commerce will only come into play LONG after creation and if all this sounds like your particular cup of tea then you will be met here with open arms……

…Welcome to VictorMoranLive.com.