Every once in a while you come across a piece of advice that just kicks you right in the crotch and leaves you weak and heaving in the middle of a crowded mall or desolate highway -- in a good way. This is what @MysteryExec does for filmmakers daily. If you're an avid Twitter user, you might've come across this mysterious individual who dispenses sardonic wisdom 140 very honest words at a time, but recently Tribeca gave him/her the opportunity to not only expound on his/her "kick someone in the crotch" message, but also how taking the anonymity route brings back some of what he/she thinks cinema has lost.
Be prepared -- whether you enjoy or are put off by in-your-face observations and ugly truths, @MysteryExec, as always, delivers. With over 7,000 followers and counting, @MysteryExec's message is slowly but surely reaching more and more filmmakers hungry for new, honest observations on the industry. This post on Tribeca's blog reads like a longer, more intent version of his/her at times scathing tweets, but with a focus on what's missing in movies these days and what filmmakers can do to get the good back.
Italian neorealism, French New Wave, and New Hollywood didn’t happen because people waited by idly thumb-twiddling and staring at the sky. Filmmaking fools found unconventional ways of subverting the system or inventing a brand new one to service their artistic goals.
It's that all-important filmmaking tenet: go out and make a film. "But, I can't because --" No, just go out and make a film. "But, I don't know anyone who --" Go out and make a film. When it comes to being a filmmaker, nothing is more important or integral to the very nature of the profession than making films. And that doesn't even scratch the surface on how emboldened you have to be to make something unconventional.
Perhaps, though, the issue worth focusing on isn't Hollywood, but ourselves. Hollywood can set their standards. We, too, can set ours. @MysteryExec urges filmmakers to think less about how bankable your film is and more about how passionate you are about your vision. Doing this cuts you free from the expectations and strings that come with putting money and investments at the forefront of a project.
@MysteryExec explains why he/she started this Twitter account anonymously -- "to bring something back that I missed about the movies: magic and mystery." At the root of all of the rants, that is the message. Ingenuity, authenticity, and passion is what makes movies magical, not bankability and broad strokes. And because those things have been the crux of Hollywood filmmaking for so long, we know what's coming out before anything is ever announced. Sequel after sequel, reduxes, franchise films -- they don't carry the mystery that a strange new film by some new filmmaker does.
I'm hopeful that creators, generous producers, and audiences will get together and say, “Holy shit, we need to embrace variety and find some new goddamn voices to get behind because the current batch is pretty goddamn stale.”
So, what should we do with @MysteryExec's observations? Well, we should go out, inspired and on fire, and make the films we want to make. We should take risks. We should laugh in the face of failure. We should take the filmmaking world by storm. We should boldly bring our unique projects and crazy ideas to the table, or as @MysteryExec puts it, "Kick somebody in the crotch."
For more musings about the filmmaking world, be sure to follow @MysteryExec on Twitter.
What are your reactions to @MysteryExec's thoughts on filmmaking? Let us know in the comments.