Filmmaking is a team sport. Even beyond the fact that hundreds of craftsmen and technicians are required to pull it off successfully there’s a reason that in today’s business the auteur theory is mostly more of a theory than anything in actual practice. I’ll go as far as to say that most people considered auteurs… aren’t. Or rather they shouldn’t be.
Even folks like Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson, phenomenally talented filmmakers whose misfires are better than 90% of most people’s successes, would best served by having someone at their side saying “no” a little more often. People that would say “Paul, maybe you should trim an hour from this amazing idea” or “Quentin, how’s about you keep your movie one movie long, buddy?”.
These guys have earned the right to overindulge because they’re brilliant.
Sandy Collora is not. He’s made a “feature” [article], and I am blown away by how gently the online world is treating the trailer and what it represents. It may be feature length but it’s still idol worship and lowest common denominator filmmaking. Uwe Boll, despite his nightmarish execution, at least has the good sense to creatively fuck his audience with concussively diverse bad filmmaking. I think people who make really polished fan films are infinitely worse than folks like Boll. They take actual skill and waste it on the dumbest shit imaginable. That someone would eschew an original, fresh idea for something with existing comic book characters and film franchise characters is like a “fuck you” to the writers out there with real ideas that simply need to be paired with a new filmmaker with the ability to execute those ideas.
Instead, Grayson happens. That should be a new profanity.
Lately I’ve begun to notice that with the increased toolboxes available to amateur filmmakers and film school students, the product looks better and better while the ideas behind them stay deeply embedded in a world with a wisp-thin creative vision. If the goal is to create viral videos, then mission accomplished. If the goal is to actually become a filmmaker and not a ROM emulator of older ones, then it’s time to return your Final Cut Pro and Photoshop programs to the store, filmmakers. You should be running the A/V section of Verizon’s team building department, not gallavanting conventions as the flavor of the millisecond.
Sandy Collora’s “feature” is just another fan film, except instead of THE Predator we get a Predator wannabe. Instead of STORMTROOPERS we get… well we get Stormtroopers. The only difference between playing with action figures in our parent’s back yard pretending the Wampa is a beast trying to kill Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow and his Split Second on roofies film is that we occasionally backed into some original ideas.
My personal skills do not include the ability to create polished looking final product. They also do not include the desire to have my friends dress up like characters from other people’s projects to attract attention to myself. Sandy Collora can run circles around me in the world of shooting footage, a fact which for once makes me delightfully complacent. I see a lot of folks like this who would make for delicious collaborators if they realized that they are best served being the person NEXT to the man, not the man themselves. What a D.P. a guy like Sandy would make. As a filmmaker, all I see is a fanboy with an unfortunate skill set.
I’m picking on Collora because there’s a sense of legitimacy to his work but I see it all the time. I’ll watch a short film from someone or be force-fed some genius indie concept that seemingly always ends up being shit polished up really shiny.
And shit is most beautiful in its original brown wrapper.