I wish I could put into practice more of my recommendations and all the good ideas others have bought me. I wish I could raise money for the marketing as well as the production of my films. I wish I could plot out a six to nine month marketing & publicity campaign for my films, particularly when I don't have a distributor to collaborate with. I wish I could slow down and take it one film at a time. I wish that I could engage in more experimental innovations that could pave the way to the future. I believe in strategy. I am all about planning. Yet this world we are currently living in, just like the world I got my start in, requires action above anything else. We need to make this happen. We need to bring ideas into reality.
To large degree, I am a facilitator first and foremost. Sure, I am pleased when I contribute creatively to a project, but I don't always, and I certainly don't have to. Sometimes I am a second set of eyes; sometimes I am a sounding board. Sometimes I am the strategist, and sometimes I am the instigator. The list can go on, but the key thing is I am generative. I get things done. I make them happen. I bring it forward.
Yes, I love discussion, but it is not worth much unless you also create, or aid in the creation. Discussion leads to innovation. Discussion leads to strategy. Yet, a Plato-ian ideal is always out of reach, but that does not mean it should be ignored. We look towards our destination and from where we stand to start a path. Hopefully that path does not become a rut. Instead of standing still and looking at what direction we should head, I like to put one foot in front of the other and get moving.
Knowing "Best Practices" is a huge benefit, but I must confess I probably won't follow them -- or at least not all of them. I would always rather raise all the money before I shoot, but I am not going to sit around and wait for the golden apple to fall -- I will grab a smaller one if it is in reach. If we have enough money to make a movie, then I am going to want to make the movie, even if it is not the same movie that we initially set out to do. I am going to get it done.
Back when James Schamus and I licensed Ang Lee's THE WEDDING BANQUET to Samuel Goldwyn, Sam Jr. posed a question to us, one that still lurks behind most of my actions and to me still serves as the litmus test between whether something is corporate Indiewood or Truly Free Film. Sam asked us "Are you businessmen or filmmakers?" . I foolishly thought at the time that we could be both. Both sides certainly have a lot to gain by working together. But both can not drive the same being. It comes down to doing things that are best for the business of film or doing things that truly facilitate the work getting made.
The filmmaker is the artist. The filmmaker will embrace action, over strategy and discussion. The filmmaker knows they have to get it done, despite the circumstances. Most movies don't get done because they were a great idea, a work of art, or a sound business plan. Most movies get made out of sheer bullheaded arrogance.
I mourn that I can not do more. I muorn that I can not chase both rabbits. I know that by looking out fully for the business of my films, it will only serve them better in the long run. But I know that many of them wouldn't get made if I didn't compromise and just get it done when it can get done. Sometimes we just have to take action. Action is always the best alternative. Action is the solution. Damn the torpedos! Full steam ahead!