THE "CITY OF SIN" FILMS
What kind of films will I be making? Violent exploitation flicks?, soft porn? No! That's lazy filmmaking! There's a new type of filmmaking I want to do. I'm going to make films that reflect the real world, and in a way that we don't usually see because of rating systems, advertisers, brand partnerships. Exploitation films were made with the promise of a bare ass, sex, or a bloody scene every few pages. That alone won't work in our world today.
The web gives us the freedom to legally break away from rules, but the only filmmakers that take FULL advantage of that freedom is the porn industry. They are the real outsiders, and most of them should be, because they make crap. Crap that has the biggest market in the world. Ironically, they can't advertise like us conventional filmmakers. However, they are better at promoting themselves, simply because they are forced to innovate, and even more so than ever because their business model has collapsed.
Until a few years ago, I wanted exposure to Hollywood, Festivals, TV, itunes, Netflix, stores, you name it. Just like every other filmmaker. Who wouldn't! But as the web has evolved, I see the new exciting opportunities that are becoming available to us. However, you can't really be a disruptive rule breaker if you still want to gain acceptance and approval by the industry.
You can't carve out your own niche if you are waiting for that permission. You can juggle both for sure, but if you decide to take a fresh path, that should take most of your time. This new path I want to take is a little scary, and it's even more scary when people don't see your vision for it at the start-up seed level. However, what's REALLY scary to me is the thought of getting lost in a mass global sea of sameness, and everybody is screaming for attention. Because the less your work is different, the louder you are going to have to scream! That's terrifying and certain death for me! I want to evolve into another type of filmmaking. Free from the rule makers.
City of Sin is about something different. I want those same freedoms the porn industry has, but not to make porn, but to make the type of work we never really see. Sex and violence is part of our everyday world. All the vices that people fall for will never go away. It's obviously the reality of life, so in order to the reflect the world in an honest way, I also want to work outside the restrictions.
The industry usually does a good job of filtering, because they have advertisers to think about, ratings systems. There's a lot more freedom when you are writing a novel. 50 Shades of Grey didn't do too badly. You see nothing, but readers obviously saw everything! (Which is always the best in my opinion, when it comes to sex, violence, and horror in filmed or text stories. Suggest things, let the mind take over! Let me back-track though, I don't endorse that Fifty Shades of Grey shit! I don't want make that sort of crap.
My point is, with regards to "sex", our online world is saturated with soft and hardcore obscene sick porn. The demand for light and hardcore exploitive content will be around as long as human beings are on the planet. However, some areas of the porn industry have been reversing and making softcore work. They know there's a market for consumers that don't want to filter through sick and illegal degrading muck online. Even when it's for free. When you have pushed it to 11, the only way forward is back!
Hollywood is so busy pretending to protect us with their fake moral bullshit stance. They get behind the PG13 ratings, but not out of any moral angle. They don't give a damm about protecting the youth. They know our children have access to anything online at home. They only give a damm about making sure they cater for the youth, because that is where they get their money from! They are the biggest exploiters of the youth market.
Hey, that's fine, they are not selling drugs, but it is a big deal to me when interesting work does not get made like in the 70's. No studio or top indie would fund or distribute a "Taxi Driver" today, that's why Paul Schrader is also crowd funding. With a long term audience building plan, WE can carry that torch on and make bold interesting work.
To build some clout, we might have to do more sensational work to get through the noise, but that's the way it was for the greats too. Coppola, De Niro, Nicholson, Scorsese, John Sayles, Ron Howard, and many other all came out of the Corman school of filmmaking.
Hollywood sells the youth a ton of shit outside the movies, from toys to sugar. That's why Hollywood makes me feel older than I am, as it mainly caters for the infantile or the teen youth market. That's not me being cynical, that's me just stating hard facts about how corporate business functions.
Anyway, I'm not on a crusade here, haha, I'm just a filmmaker that wants to make FRESH work. I sometimes feel that's frowned upon, especially when I see people plugging the hell out of Hollywood corporate crap. I see clearly now that a REAL indie spirit is the niche. But the niche can be huge for me.
My point? I hear it all the time from some stars. They talk about the fact that Hollywood is obsessed about the youth market. It's clear to see why. This world is all about the money. Well, I see a HUGE global market for the older generation that is being ignored. The 21 and up market. I want to cater for them with City Of Sin. Not because I want to make films for markets, but because I don't see the films I want to see out there.
SEX, VIOLENCE, BLOOD!
I won't be making wildly violent films, or films that have graphic sex scenes. That's not what I am about, and that alone will not make your work sell. That's very easy and very lazy. As for sex, we can see anything online, so that's not a draw anymore on it's own. You still need intelligent and well made stories as part of the cocktail. Stories that really reflect the times. I am inspired everyday by the times we live in, but most of my ideas would never be made because they would have to be toned down.
The best violent films for me are the ones where you think you saw bad shit. Emotionally and psychologically violent! The same with the horror, the stuff that screws with your head. The same goes for sex. The more you suggest, tease the audience, pull back, the more the head takes over and fills in the gaps you don't blatantly show.
If it's done right, the violence, horror, sex, suspense, will leave a bigger impact on people than the artless stuff that is full on in your face. Thats what the content of City Of Sin is all about. The films will be a cocktail of extreme stories that reflect the real world, but not dumb exploitation films that are just purely sold on the sensation. If that kind of sensation is your main selling point today, you're dead as a filmmaker.
When you can see anything online, It takes skill to make the audience do the work in their head. These will be smart character driven films, laced with a modern day approach. Sure their will be sex and violence, but only because the very extreme stories have situations that reflect the real world. I hate some of todays filmmakers that go, "Look, I have two stars fucking for real in this movie!" Do they think anybody gives a shit! That's lazy and exploitive to get attention. That's not my approach.
On a whole, I am not even out to make sensational films just so they get attention. It's just the way I see the world anyway. Our world is pretty insane. The world is still obsessesd about all the old vices of sex, money, power, fame, stuff. It's the human condition and it will always be that way. So my very high drama stories will reflect that. But in a way that is not hitting you over the head with a moral message.
They will be contemporary stories, but they will have a 50's-60's pulp attitude about them. Made fast, cheap, strong character concepts, but original from the mainstream. Shows like Breaking Bad don't preach to you, they just show you the world and let you decide for yourself. It's what I loved about Kubrick's movies too.
Many brit personal movies are so obsessed about hitting you over the head with a patronising message. That's bad filmmaking. With City of Sin, I let you decide about these characters. And characters that you will probably feel guilty for liking, because, you might see yourself in there in a fantasy life! If you can't humanize your characters, despite all their flaws, that's bad filmmaking.
In order to do this, I need to pull away from the conventional channels. I might start off with less extreme stories so I can show them on channels like youtube, just to get a foothold, but my goal is to get my own video platform for City Of Sin. Which I have already looked into, and its possible. They can still be watched on computers, and all the mainstream mobile devices. Paying adults that are 21 upwards.
My goal is to bring something fresh to the industry. If the devil offered me a deal tomorrow that I could not refuse. You will be a Hollywood star filmmaker, you will win oscars, you will have fame, money beyond your dreams. "You're kickstarter will hit $100m! However, you must agree not to do fresh work, just be a player. I would honestly would have to reject it.
Hey, if I build City Of Sin and I get offers for other more mainstream work too, I would jump at that on a freelance basis with filmmaking and acting. It highlights my profile and helps fund my main work, just like my heroes like John Cassavetes done well. But my main focus is about building my creative company.
I want to leave the planet doing something different in my profession. I want to influence others that it's not just about explosions and CGI, or indie indie naval gazing angst. That's why I also have to take the crowd funding route too, as this is too risky for investors in their eyes. I got some investors interested but they just wanted to start monetizing right away. They have no real vision about community building with the work first. So it has to start grass roots style.
I want to use the full power and freedom that the internet has given me. If you like the sound of what I plan to make, please make a pledge to City of Sin below. I promise to do my best to do something different.
PS. My simple point is, films like Taxi Driver, Trainspotting, and many more, would NOT be made today. That's an industry I don't want to be part of. The real world is ugly, and if our filmmaking does not reflect that because of advertisers, corporate agendas, then we don't have a real film culture.