Last night, the cast & crew of RED STATE came over to my house for our wrap party.
We finished shooting late Wednesday night, but I’ve been cutting the flick every free moment over the 25 days of production. So at our wrap party last night (for the flick we wrapped 2 days ago, mind you) we also watched the flick we just completed. And I’m not talking about some bullshit assembly, either: this puppy is fine-cut, complete with credits and some pre-mixing: 92 mins without credits, 98 mins with a end credit sequence that’s not to be believed.
As for having a screening of a flick of this caliber mere sun-ups since we put it to bed… well, this may be an absolute first – particularly considering the director was also the editor (I haven’t slept much).
Kicking back and taking in the very same flick we all worked so hard to get in the can with the very same cast & crew that made it a mere 48 hours back more than makes up for the low budget (4 million) and the complete lack of salary. But you do a movie like RED STATE because you love it; everyone’s there because they wanna be there; there’s not a one of those disgusting, soul-fucking paycheck players in the mix. Passion calls us all together, love of what we’re doing/saying bonds us, and the film is the result; the movie’s a love child.
And sometimes, that love-child turns out to be a fucking Jedi…
Thanks to all the cast & crew of RED STATE. Thanks to everyone who helped get us here. Thanks for a great wrap party (203 was the most people we’d ever had in the house ’til last night). And thanks, mostly, for lending me your various abilities and artistry; folks like you are why I’ll never rock that insecure “A Film By…” bullshit.
I’ve been yammering on a LOT about self-reliance lately. When I use the term, I don’t mean “Fuck off – I do all this shit by myself!” Nobody makes a film alone (unless they’re on Chatroulette). Every member of that crew is a filmmaker, each trying to tell their piece of the story with their specialty or hidden talent.
Case in point: here’s our RED STATE teaser poster…
Moody, weird, and pitch-perfect for the tone of the film. If I went out to an ad agency here in town, I’d be billed close to 20 grand for a campaign that’d maybe… maybe… include this poster. But this piece of artwork (I call it “The Holy Ghost”) didn’t come from a top-tier ad agency: Jon Gordon is my RED STATE producer, and this poster was created by his assistant, Melissa Bloom. So we’ve got a marketing image that was put together by someone who was on set every day, integral to the process that produced the film which inspired this image. This isn’t the work of some gun for hire who’s doing six other campaigns; we’re not just one of many. The marketer is actually family, RED from pre-production all the way through wrap, so she’s got an insight into the flick that no ad agency could ever boast (not even one-time Glo-Coat golden boy Don Draper over at SCDP). I’ll take passion over pedigree any day.
When we first looked at Melissa’s poster, someone said “You should give this to the ad agency as a guideline.” Guideline? Was an ad agency gonna make us any happier than Melissa’s image made us? The Holy Ghost is kinda perfect, and more importantly? It gives us a starting point from which to launch our home-grown marketing campaign. There’s an immediacy to it, but also: anybody could’ve taken the initiative and did this themselves. If folks were wondering why Melissa was skating up near the blue line, far from the corner where the puck was, it’s because she saw where the puck was gonna be, and just waited to make her rush on goal. She shoots, she scores.
So Melissa (with a Gretzky-like assist by Ming), the person on the RED STATE crew least likely to spearhead our marketing campaign, gets the collar for this arresting image – and I fucking dig that. That’s what I mean by self-reliance: why go outside the family for shit we can do ourselves? Promote from within – the way Harvey taught us.
In fact, we’re doing everything the way Harvey taught us. That’s why Jon & I decided to call the RED STATE production company The Harvey Boys – as a shout-out to an Indie Icon who once said “Fuck this traditional bullshit, I’ll do it my way…” and gave us a metric shit-ton of awesome flicks.
If you’re wondering what Jon & I are doing skating off toward that blue line, The Harvey Boys are hoping to take their shots at the top of 2011…