Saturday, January 08, 2005

Today's quote: "I don't want the world. I just want your half." -- "Ana Ng," They Might Be Giants.

***

I got the DVD of From Dusk to Dawn for Christmas, and last night I managed to sit through a making-of docu on the extra disc called Full Tilt Boogie. About what you'd expect, though maybe a little more coherent and meaty than the usual video diaries. It went week by week, gave Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney lots of opportunities to strut and mug, and did a fairly good job at catching all the craziness, fun, hard work, exhaustion and frustration that goes into making a movie, and squandered a lot of time asking people that old Studs Terkel chestnut: Why do you do what you do? Not everyone has an interesting answer, I'm afraid. On the up side, it also took up an issue you rarely see addressed: union problems on "independent" films. It's always been rather ironic that film-makers who (in theory anyway) are raw and original and go against the grain and try to beat the organization find themselves in the position of screwing the little guy as well. This one managed to avoid any problems in the end -- but hell, it costs well over $10 million and it was released by Miramax, who came through at the 11th hour with health benefits. Think of the problems if you have, like, a $1 million budget, or half that, or no budget? Todd Haynes wrote this manual one time about movie-making on the cheap, and he pointed out all that stuff, how unions go to film supply houses and see what equipment has been rented and by who, and they can cause trouble. You wonder how good small movies get made at all.

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