Robert Downey Jr. Hates Independent Film

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Tony Stark’s newest car, the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio

Yes, you read that correctly. And to be fair, this was back in 2015 when Avengers: Age of Ultron had just dropped and Downey Jr.was asked how would he like to make a $500k Independent Film: “No,” said Downey Jr. “Because they’re exhausting and sometimes they suck and then you just go, ‘What was I thinking?’

He continues, “But I’m interested in doing all different kinds of movies. Sometimes the little movies are the ones that wind up taking the most out of you because they’re like, ‘Hey, man, we’re just running a couple of days behind. Do you think you can stay through your birthday and then come back on the fourth of July? And, by the way, like the crew — can you pay for the craft services?’”

Craft services are snacks provided on film or TV sets between main meals. Warming to his theme, Downey added:

“‘And, oh, by the way, man, when we go to Sundance, it’s like, can we just sit you in a chair and you can sell this for six days in a row so that we’ll make 180 bucks when it opens in one theater? God, this is so powerful what we’re doing. What do you think of the movie? You saw it last night?’”

“I thought it’s mediocre.”

“‘Yeah, isn’t it the greatest? Man, everyone’s an artist here.’”

“Actually, most of you are kind of inexperienced and lame.” (snip- from an article in Entertainment Weekly)

And there’s actual Audio of this too for you non-believers. So here’s my question to Bob, what did you do before you became Tony Stark aka Iron Man aka Sherlock Holmes aka Dr. Dolittle (yes, he’s going to be playing that iconic role too) etc. ad nauseam? Ever make any Indy Films? Or small budget films like “Less Than Zero” or “The Pickup Artist” or the many other indies that you worked on?

I guess when you become a mega-star you don’t have to take a little risk for a bigger paycheck, right? This really irks me that he would say that because those of us who are trying to make it big would more than likely not forget our struggles to make it big. I mean that you have to bleed for your Art, am I right? If you’re not then either you’re not doing it right or maybe you need to find a new career.

But getting back to my point, what if you’re making it in the big time and you get approached by a small group of independent filmmakers who would like you to be in their film. Would you feel that it’s beneath you because you’re a big time star? Can you forget your roots and perhaps where you came from? Can you empathize with others who might have been in your shoes?

What if you had the time and the wherewithal to make an indie even though you’re working for Marvel Studios? Or Disney? Or some other big Studio? Would you not show some loyalty to your fellow filmmaker? Do you not have at least a bit of integrity since getting to the majors and giving back a little bit?

If it’s a matter of compensation (or a lack thereof) then I have no problems doing it. If the script is well-written and you have assembled a great Cast and Crew. And the potential to have a great film that you’re a part of go out into the world and hit the Film Festival circuit. Then there’s no reason not to be a part of something that could be really special. Doing what you love is it’s own reward.

You might have to drive your Lamborghini to and from the Set. You may have shell out some greenbacks for having the Food Truck deliver on Set. And yes, you might have to work on your birthday too…

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(Movies of) 1982

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1982

Something that I just read online reminded me of the cultural movements over the past 50 years or so. We had one in the 60’s and again in the 80’s. It was during those times that we had some presidents who weren’t exactly the most popular, Nixon and Reagan. It seems that when we have times like these, there are some cultural shifts. I believe that there is another one coming. What was a part of it was the Music. The Music was incredible and mind-blowing during those times (not so much under Obama for the most) and it captured our hearts and minds. Who among us doesn’t love themselves some Beatles? Or what about the Sex Pistols? No one saw that one coming did they? Punk Rock was a part of the 80’s and it turned the world upside down…

For what it’s worth, there are some pretty remarkable and wonderful films that came out during the 80’s as well, specifically 1982.  Coincidentally, that’s the year I graduated HS, left Detroit and headed to California as I had joined the Marines. Oh to be young and full of hope and glory again. But I digress. Arguably, the movies that came out over that year were some of the greatest and influential films ever made. They were inspirational and made their way into the American lexicon for generations to come.

Here is a list (by no means complete but nevertheless a marvelous collection) of the films that I’ve seen and really enjoyed, in alphabetical order:

48 Hours (Directed by Walter Hill) Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy (This is the one that put Murphy on the map. It was fast, gritty, humorous and it fell into the action comedy genre. Or the Cop/Buddy Film genre. This led to others such as Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour)

Airplane 2: The Sequel (Ken Finkleman) Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, William Shatner (Ok, so this one isn’t as good as the first one but it did have its moments. It was the whole theatre of the absurd film that was a fun time and had sight gags, one-liners, puns etc. It led to others films such as the Police Academy films and The Naked Gun which have several sequels too.)

The Beastmaster (Don Coscarelli) Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, John Amos, Rip Torn (This had a few things going for it. Two words, Tanya Roberts. In loincloth. Ok, so it’s 4 words, sue me. It had Swords and Sorcery which is a very popular genre. Think Game of Thrones, only there’s hardly any heads getting lopped off; But it did have animals that communicated telepathically with Singer. While it didn’t clean up at the box office, it did spawn two sequels and a syndicated TV series both on TBS and HBO.)

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott) Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah, Joanna Cassidy (Where do I start? There’s so much to draw upon; from the script based on the short story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Phillip K. Dick to the actor’s performances to the astonishing visual effects. In my Top 5 fav movies of all time. Without Blade Runner, there would have been no “cyberpunk” and all the movies that came after it. Hence “Total Recall” “Minority Report” “A Scanner Darkly” which were all based on Phillip K. Dick adaptations too. Films like “The Matrix” trilogy “Brazil” “Strange Days” “The Fifth Element” “Twelve Monkeys” “Dark City” as well as Japanese Anime all were influenced by BR.)

Conan the Barbarian (John Milius) Arnold Schwarzeneggar, James Earl Jones (The one that put Ah-nold on the map and it was just 2 years before The Terminator. Oh yeah, James Earl Jones was coming into his own as well.)

Creepshow (George A. Romero) Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Ted Danson, Leslie Neilsen (Another list of stellar actors who made this a classic or perhaps a cult film. And who better to direct than the one man who started the who cult craze of zombies than Romero?)

The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson, Frank Oz) While this is considered a children’s film, it’s still one of the more beloved films from Henson and company. It inspired others and created a whole new industry in Hollywood.

E.T. the Extraterrestrial (Steven Spielberg) Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore (Again, while it’s considered a children’s film, it also was nominated for NINE Oscars. And it packed the theatres across the world as well as becoming part of pop culture.)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling) Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh (Yet another film featuring a great cast and written by Cameron Crowe whose other films include “Jerry McGuire” and “Almost Famous.” This was a coming of age comedy that had a huge impact on later films.)

First Blood (Ted Kotcheff) Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso (The franchise that made Stallone an even bigger star in Hollywood but was also a bellwether for the 80’s as it helped define the decade of ultra Americanism and machismo that helped drive the Reagan years.)

Megaforce (Hal Needham) Barry Bostwick, Persis Khambatt, Michael Beck (This was undoubtedly not a huge film nor that influential but it didn’t take itself so seriously. Besides, it has one of the greatest if not wackiest moments in film history… I kid you not, a FLYING FUCKING MOTORCYCLE

Night Shift (Ron Howard) Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, Shelley Long (One of Ron Howard’s first films that has some funny moments. Not the most endearing of comedies but the guy’s a legend. Besides, he did so many other great films it gets a pass in my book.)

An Officer and a Gentleman (Taylor Hackford) Rochard Gere, Louis Gosset Jr. Debra Winger (When my Mom told me that I had to see this film, I had to go and I’m glad I did. It’s a Drama which is unusual for this list, although there were a LOT of drama’s in 1982 that had an impact. And Gossett picked up the Oscar for his portrayal of the hard-nosed Marine DI who made Gere into a Naval Officer. Several critics said it was the best film of ’82. And it made $130 Million on a $6 Million budget.)

Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper) Craig T. Nelson, Jo Beth Williams (Hooper made another film before this “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” so this film came out of nowhere to become a standard bearer for the horror genre. It’s about an all American family who were sold a piece of the American Dream (nightmare would be a better word.) It also spawned several sequels but nothing topped the first. And did I mention it sacred the bejesus out of everyone?)

Porky’s (Bob Clark) Kim Cattrall, Mark Herrier, Wyatt Knight (Long before American Pie and other teen film genre movies, this was a trend setter. A raunchy and “seminal” comedy about HS kids trying to get laid. Yes, it was sophomoric and juvenile. But that’s what makes it so great because we can all lighten up, act like we’re back in High School again and forget that the Moral Majority was taking such a regressive view of sexuality during the 80’s. It was also the fifth highest grossing film in 1982.

Rocky III (Sylvester Stallone) Carl Weathers, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith (The franchise formula at its best? Not sure if that’s the best way to describe it. It was all downhill after the first one and I’ve heard there’s rumors of yet another sequel. Ugh! Yeah, so much for creativity being king in Hollywood. But hey, Hulk Hogan AND Mr. T in the same film? That’s totally worth it.)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Nicholas Meyer) William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo Montalban (This has probably the greatest space battle scene of all time with the two starships playing cat and mouse in a Nebula. And it gave us all some great movies lines to repeat: “…from Hell’s heart I spit at thee” which is originally from Melville’s “Moby Dick.” And of course, Captain Kirk’s immmortal…”KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!”

Swamp Thing (Wes Craven) Adrienne Barbeau, Louis Jourdan (This was the pre-cursor to the whole Super Hero genre that we’re currently experiencing based on the comic book in the DC universe. And it was before Craven hit gold with “Nightmare on Elm Street” and almost a decade before his other huge franchise “Scream.” It was campy and had some funny lines. I’d still love to get the rights and do a remake. Make it much darker and shoot the whole thing at night. “Saga of the Swamp Thing.” Who’s with me?

The Thing (John Carpenter) Kurt Russell, Keith David, WIlford Brimley (Based on the novel “Who Goes There?” and loosely adapted from the original “The Thing from Another World” made back in the 50’s starring James Arness as some kind of alien super carrot that crashed landed on Earth and was super pissed off. I happened to be stationed in Alaska when I saw this for the very time on VHS so it kinda freaked me out a bit.  Geez, VHS? I’m really showing my age now. So this was a pretty intense and powerful film and it is now considered to be one of the *greatest* horror films ever made.)

Tron (Steven Lisberger) Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Bruce Boxleitner (Greetings Programs! The story arc was totally implausible but hey, if you’re going to get blasted into a Computer, why not have a cool suit to wear and ride motorcycle powered by light. Wait, wasn’t that the Sequel? Actually the sequel was a really fun film too; but I fell in love with both Tron and Tron: Legacy because they have such amazing visual effects. Back then the VFX were pretty cutting edge as is the sequel. With both Bridges and Boxlietner in the original and sequel, it was a Disney film and made bank.

Vice Squad (Gary Sherman) Season Hubly, Wings Hauser, Fred Berry (This was a gritty, low budget, thriller about Hollywood and the vice squad who was tasked with dealing with the dregs of society on a nightly basis. But it had a compelling storyline and really made you feel like you were there on the streets with them. Plus, Wings Hauser sings the theme song “Neon Slime” so there’s that…

Again, I’m sure that this isn’t a comprehensive list by a long shot. However, it’s a highly influential and dramatic list that showcases the artistic endeavor, energy and enthusiasm that the 1980’s are so renowned for…

(sources: Wikipedia, IMDB)

Winner! Winner!

It’s been so long since we updated the blog here because of our work on “Time Free Dentistry” so we apologize profusely for the delay! That being said, it’s with great pleasure and pride to announce the Award of Merit from the WSTL Film Competition! Huzzah! It was announced this past Sunday that our Producer Matt Morgan and Director Alex Robles were given this accolade. Congratulations guys and well done!

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As mentioned, we have been very busy on our latest and greatest Production from late last year “Time Free Dentistry.” Please bear with us as we are working diligently on the VFX, the Sound, Color and soon we’ll be sending it off to our composer for the Soundtrack. It’s been a very painstaking process as both the Director Alex and the VFX Coordinator Matt have made a lot of headway. This is an Special Effects laden Sci-Fi/Comedy with almost 50 different visual effects (in 20 minutes no less so if this were a feature then it would equal out to over THREE HUNDRED Special Visual Effects.) Also, please keep in mind  that we had anticipated releasing it this Summer; however, with all of the work involved and our busy schedules (life happens) there was just no way we would let it out when it’s not up to par. Nevertheless, we are hoping to have it completed late this year for a release in early 2017…

And, just a bit of teaser here, we have a rough print copy for the One-Sheet on TFD that we’re sharing here. It’s not telling you a whole lot nor does it give anything away. But it’s really fun to look at though! Enjoy!tfd_onesheet

2015 SDFC Fall Film Festival

We had a wonderful experience on the Red Carpet this past Weekend at the SDFC 2015 Fall Film Festival. Reconnecting with all the Cast & Crew who showed up was a blast, it was so fun to see everyone and catching up with what they’ve been doing. For the World Premier of “The Brazilian Affair” we couldn’t have asked for a better night. We are very grateful to the SDFC President and High Priestess of Film Jodi Cilley and her crack staff of volunteers. Thanks Jodi, you guys Rock!

The night was even more special with the guest appearance of our Executive Producer Sue Vicory who was in town for a few days doing some promotions. Got the chance to chat and discuss her new project My Power of One. Of course, she met all of the Cast & Crew who were delighted to see her…

So, it’s readily apparent that there are quite a few Filmmakers in San Diego who are making some outstanding films. We went Friday and Saturday and watched some wonderful films. On Friday, my girlfriend and I loved the short “Star Wars: A Toy Story” It was very humorous and the voice-over actor did some nice work as well as being well shot. On Sunday, I was flying solo and got to see some more great work by some very talented Productions.

Really enjoyed watching “Acacia” and “Delivery” on Friday; on Sunday,  “Right Hand Men” along with “The Checkout Club” and “Wingin’ It” were all hilarious with great cinematography and screenplays. And I thought that “Crowdsorcery” which won for Best Comedy in the Audience Choice and Jury Awards was very funny, very original and the Cast and Crew did outstanding work through and through. I also took the time to congratulate Stephen Mickelsen, Tony CoxRaymond Montemayor, Gwen Barriac, Kelly Parks and others on the job well done.

A few photos from the Red Carpet for your viewing pleasure:

Casualty Films Begins Pre-Production on Latest Film “Time Free Dentistry”

NEWS RELEASE Friday, August 07, 2015
San Diego, CA

Casualty Films today announced that Pre-Production for their newest Film “Time Free Dentistry” has begun. All of the Principal Photography is being shot in San Diego. Returning to work together again as a Team is screenwriter Joseph Luna, Director of Photography is Terry Adams, Director Alex Robles and Producer Matt Morgan.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to make another Film. We’re back!” said Producer Matt Morgan. “As usual, we have another outstanding group of Actors and more than half the Crew from our previous Film “The Brazilian Affair” has signed on again. You know, I think that says a lot about a Production Company when many of the same Crew Members return to work alongside you.”

Morgan also went on to say, “With our team in place, we’re starting Rehearsals in 2 weeks along with several pre-production meetings so it’s all systems go.” The film “Time Free Dentistry” is a Sci-Fi Comedy about a Dentist who experiences a horrible first day at work. He quickly learns how a small, dentist office may change the future of dentistry but unknowingly creates havoc in the office. With the use of proprietary technology, Time Free Dentistry has a device that will change the industry if not the world.

Casualty Films also has the aforementioned film “The Brazilian Affair” due for its World Premiere here in San Diego, the Venue will be forthcoming in several weeks.

Look for more updates coming in the near future.

Need a Talented Individual to assist with Social Media for Crowdfunding Campaign

So, as we begin our latest short, Casualty Films is looking for a PA to assist us with the promotion of the film with Social Media in support of the Crowdfunding Campaign (bonus if you’ve done an Indiegogo or Kickstarter!) We are looking for someone who has time to work with us as this is a micro budget film. However, we can give you a stipend which we will be happy to discuss when we met. So, if you have some Mad Skillz with FB, Twitter, Vines, Google+, Foursquare, etc. please reach out to us as we’d love to chat with you about your abilities and any ideas that you might have.

We are a small production company with a core group made up of a Director, Writer, DP and Editor who has successfully funded 2 previous projects with Crowdfunding (Traveling Through Life & The Brazilian Affair) which are now in Post and scheduled for World Premier’s this Summer.

Looking forward to talking soon.

Cheers!

Why Are Hollywood Films So Bad?

I’m sure that I’ll get bad-mouthed for posting this, why bother, right? Well, there is a very telling indicator why Hollywood Films are so bad. There’s absolutely no originality in Tinsel Town. For instance, let’s take One-Sheets (Movie Posters.) Now, I *love* One-Sheets and have some from the 50’s. They’re awesome. But now days, not so much. So, it’s time for show and tell! The following is just how little creativity there really is at the Studios. For your approval, I give you the 15 Over-Used Movie Poster Clichés. http://www.dailyinspiration.nl/has-hollywood-lost-its-creativity/

Do you ever feel like you’re seeing the same movie poster again and again? You probably are. They just recycle these designs:

If your film is a “big independent film” then go with that really loud yellow. This shows you’re a true maverick!z2011111301

 

A romantic comedy? Heck, have the Woman wear a red dress!z2011111302

 

For the ultra-dramatic back-shot, how about the tried and true lonely hero/vigilante silhouette? Bonus points for bad-assery if he’s wearing a hat!z2011111303

Got a horror flick that you want to scare the bejesus out of audience with? Then use the huge, looming eye as the go-to movie poster. Ooooooh, scary!!!z2011111304

Animals movie posters always use dark blue and have some thin, white text in capital letter. They’re typically seen in a profile shot or from the back. Don’t forget to put in a huge white moon too!z2011111305

What if your Film is about Justice and Law? Use the blindfold dude!z2011111306

It’s a Tom Cruise picture? No problem. A side shot of him. He’s got a great profile!z2011111307

A simple one, if your actors are brave and heroic then super impose text.z2011111308

Okay, what about a tough-love relationship? Piece of cake, just have them standing back to back!z2011111309

If your movie is really poignant and touching then just use the silhouette in front of the ocean while faces float in the clouds. Make sure to invoke those pastels too.z2011111310

If you see a black and white poster with a flaming red blasting out then you can bet it’s an action flick. Expect at the very least…5 explosions.z2011111311

But if it’s comic book-like, then use a high style with a weaponry focus combining black and white with red block text. Much more effective!z2011111312

The standard person running down the middle of a street should more than likely be blue. And it’s a safe bet that it’s a a thriller type of movie as well.z2011111313

Now don’t be hating on me because I’m a bit partial to this one. The poster is dominated by faces created out of elements of the film.z2011111314

And last but not least, SEX!!! Put some shapely, female legs spread in an upside down V and put your protagonist standing under them. Or staring at them. Point your guns at the bad guys through them. A myriad of gorgeous gams, just look at the endless possibilities!z2011111315

So, why are Hollywood films are so bad?