AFI: To Preserve, To Honor, To Educate

Today’s post is going to be quite personal because I do not only think it appropriate this way if not because on my path I have crossed with so many filmmakers whom are a bit confused in certain business issues, until the point some of them almost made me confuse myself and to make me think everything I was doing it was wrong.

There are certain averaged kids that when they have 8 years old start to ask their parents for an agent. No one listens to them – neither if they are a bit more old- and it happens all sort of adventures like years after they become Jodi Foster, Natalie Portman… However, a lot of people is confused on this point. Those kids do not become important or known because they are looking for to be worldwide famous. They feel their job is acting and they work extremely hard giving their best to show their talent, for that, everybody talks about them. It is like The Beatles, they were just a bunch of lads but they had the ability of to compose songs extremely fast. And they did not only made that, they could made them so good that they kept for weeks on the number 1. Still, they were making it because they were having fun.

Filmmaking is exactly the same. If you are not having fun having to shoot at 3 am, ask yourself if it is really what you wanted in live or not. Because the ones whom really loves filmmaking, storytelling… do not care if they have to work more than one day at 3 am to make their jobs. Indeed, most of the real filmmakers totally dislike red carpets. They are making films to be on red carpets which is the common mistake which I keep finding. Also, that what it is needed is to make independent films so one can get the magic supercontract that will save your lives; or that one must keep independent all his/her life because the big studios and institutions want to control your work and your personas. If people do not go against them they will summon us on their own will and it will not be space for the “free art”. Yes, I agree these past sentences sound like a bad plot but it is what a bunch of symbotellers, aka people whom creates metaphors like that is a story, really believe.

One of the first things I learnt on my artistic education was the respect, the second to work hard and finally that if one wants to get something must to be cheeky. I had certain problem with the last one and despite I have never had the opportunity to study at American Film Institute (AFI), if not at New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA), I have always given my best to help them. Because to help institutions like this is to help your own films despite so many new order filmmakers do not see it this way.

Honestly, AFI and I keep having a problem since long ago. For certain reason there is always some sort of unexpected incident which does not allow me to attend but they neither answer in some cases. Lawrence Kasdan can testify that. The poor man is more than 40 years waiting for to receive an answer about his job application. Too bad…

Well, the first time they invited me to an event it was like two days after I had arrived to LA to study. I did not know how the things worked on those times. The filmmaking that I had studied was very different than the one at USA. And they invited me to a dinner and the premier of Invictus with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. I said no. No because I did not had the money for to pay for the dinner. If not because it was an invitation for two and I was one. I asked to some NYFA recent met folks and they looked at me like: “What? Are you insane? How are we going to attend to that? They are like the scientology. Sure they want to brainwash us or something…” I was confused then. I just have met those fellows. Now, I know I had to have asked my professor instead of the alumni fellows but… Things which happen. So, I am so sorry Matt. Since then we are actually having all sort of problems with to arrange any sort of party but I have faith. We all know Morgan’s secret identity is indeed God and he will help us with all of this, no worries. Hey, if you have not get the joke you are too independent come back to the real filmmaking world.

After that, it came an invitation to assist to other premier. On this case it was with John Williams about War Horse… Etc, etc, etc… And it is shocking because it arrived a moment in which some of those invitations were for free so I decided that like I was not in LA anymore, to send on my behalf some of my partners whom had worked with me at NYFA. Do you want to know the most shocking? I told them about the events, all the information they needed, about internships at Universals, Paramount… Which I could not accept for bureaucracy issues… And they did not take none of those opportunities. In most cases, because they came from studios, from AFI… And somehow they had the idea on their minds that going that way is not how filmmaking works that if one wants to really be a filmmaker/actor should not go with Matt Damon and to make contacts there. All of this fellows which I have crossed on my path believed firmly the only way of success is to win Sundance. Hold on, because it is not about to go to Sundance for to make contacts neither. It is about to win it and there are not more options. I could have NEVER understand this sort of fever about to win awards, it does not matter if folks consider them independent or not. And this is the problem: people is confused. They do not want to make films, educate new filmmakers or to preserve old ones, they are only thinking in to win. To make everything individual, not team work… Technical screenplays and storyboards are a myth and more rare to find than unicorns… Everything is so confused and the way of working is not the appropriate at all. So the only which is left is to give the best for to teach which are the right options and which are not.

It was on those Invictus times when some of those folks traveled to San Francisco and the crossed their path with Francis Ford Coppola. They took pictures with him and that was all; because like he did not saved them on that moment, they gave for granted it was not a good way to ask him for some contact information to make business on the future. They believed it was a better work, like a filmmaker, to own softwares without license and to can work on discos covering the raves because that was better paid. It is then, when one asks oneself why this sort of people pays for this type of expensive filmmaking education if the problem is they are not interested in to write or to create films. On the contrary, the interest has always been to doubt about the other fellow for to know if s/he had more success or less than them. Is that we could not work all together? Assist to parties with Matt all together? Make films and to create projects all together? I know I repeat myself like a Beatle with the “all together now…” But it is because individualism is not the way and if one does not support institutions which are going to support you now, help you and to preserve your work in the future. One cannot expect miracles just crossing their paths on a studio or the street with this or other fellow.

Not sure if it was for so many things that Coppola has done, but last year they decided to give to him an award here at Spain. He came and what he said was: “the problem of the actual filmmaking is certain filmmakers do not let to access to others.” He was right, but despite what the independent world believes, admiring Coppola like a God, it is not that some greedy folks at the studios do not let new people to have access. What happens, it is for the way of acting of certain people whom reclaims themselves independent, they cannot archive their purposes but neither they let other of their fellows to archive them. Because all this energy they invest, not in support the other if not about to gossip, and to pry and to know what is doing to see if their work can be better than the one the other is creating… All of that, it is what creates all the mess.

Since now, Worldless is going to share more posts about education, culture or filmmaking if you prefer to call them. This is the introduction to all of that. If you really want to improve yourselves and your careers do not forget to support institutions like AFI instead of to leave them aside.

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