Skip to main content

The new "James Bonds"

Hence my decision to appeal to an Internet audience by demystifying the process of filmmaking. I decided to blog the behind-the-scenes making of the film, posting outtakes as well as on-set clips every day and discussing the progress of the film as it was being made.

I don't think I'm the first person to have done this -- at least I hope not.

[. . .]

So, I reasoned, there was little to be lost -- the clips I posted were short and mostly funny goofs. The interest that the "film diary" was provoking naturally seemed good for the movie's profile. Who could begrudge a little advance publicity?

Still, a week or so into shooting, somebody did. I got a rather stern e-mail (and a series of worried calls from my producers) saying that one of the financing entities behind the movie had stumbled upon my blog and weren't at all happy with what I was doing.

[. . .]

My reaction? Fear and shame. Suddenly I was in sixth grade again.

I felt the terror of having made the authorities angry and I quickly pleaded for forgiveness. After all, this particular authority came with money behind it.

[. . .]

On our next weekend off, I sat down and banged out a blog entry called: "Information Democracy: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love YouTube."

[. . .]

The response was instantaneous. I usually averaged anywhere from three to eight comments per post. The next day -- even before the next day -- there were 20 comments posted.

[. . .]

The company who'd objected to the clips now admitted that perhaps they'd been a little -- sudden in their opinion. Perhaps they'd simply been surprised at what they'd seen and unprepared for such a bold experiment. I could put the clips back, they said. But no edited scenes (which was fine by me -- I hadn't been posting assembled footage anyway). And keep the clips short, under 30 seconds. (No problem, said I. The Internet attention span doesn't really go beyond 30 seconds anyway). And no production stills -- they need to be approved by actors. (Yes, yes, of course.) And, by the way, Raymond ...


How many hits are you getting on that blog of yours?

Close to a thousand a day.

Good. Keep it up. (Raymond de Felitta, “Blogging "City Island": Why I did it,” Salon, 5 April 2010)

The new "James Bonds"

This account brings to mind any number of Shakespearean comedies, with adolescent presumption at the last making peace with elders' scorn. I think many might be inclined to take a piece like this as evidence that there still are avenues for discussion and mutual discovery between the brazen and the disapproving, still "allowances" in these corporation-everywhere times for lone intent to breach boardroom impress, and not to ask if peace was made here because, from the beginning, the venturesome "fool" was prepared to desist should the "court" not found peace with his "coming not to offend."

I suspect this, because I think most of us are quite ready to buckle before authority right now -- keep our hide, let someone else be the somebody who FINALLY said it!!! -- but don't want to know this about ourselves. What we want to know is that that bit of trouble we caused at our workplace, that surely-not-just-token act of our true independence, that we tell ourselves we charmed away into actually becoming an account of inspired employee contribution, is proof that the real Jerry Maguires work with finesse within, that only slow and clumsy independents -- would-be rebels -- lose their jobs in their efforts to keep some dignity.

Link: Blogging "City Island": Why I did it (Salon)


Popular posts from this blog

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …