Mad World

I was working on a low budget movie a few years back and I was talking with another member of the crew about plans for the weekend. He said he was going to see some schlocky movie. I think it was Freddy vs. Jason.

“Why are you going to spend twelve dollars to see that crap?” I asked him.

“You see how hard it is to make a movie.” The particular movie we were working on was run by novices who were hanging on to  their daily shot lists by their fingernails. “I’m always impressed to see someone finish a movie and release it no matter how bad it is.”

While I don’t agree with his argument with regards to studio movies such as Freddy Vs. Jason as the filmmakers have between tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to tell a fulfilling or at the very least entertaining story. But there is a kernel of truth to this theory when discussing low budget independent pictures. First you’ve got to write a script. Then you’ve got to raise some money. Then you’ve got to get equipment, a cast, and a crew and make sure they’re all working and where they’re supposed to be every day. Once you wrap photography you have to edit and get the sound presentable (which some would say is the second or third hardest feat in the whole process depending on whether you have a knack for raising money). And finally you have to find a way to distribute it so it’s more then just a vanity project to show your friends and family. You want to make sure your enemies can see it too.

And so I am glad after much time and hard work to announce my friend, Cory Cataldo, is screening his movie Mad World in Los Angeles. He wrote the script years ago and has managed to finagle enough favors to get the movie in its finished form. It will be shown this Friday, October 22 at 9:30 pm at the Laemmle Music Hall 3 as part of the Beverly Hills Film, TV, and New Media Festival.

Mad World tells the graphic story of four disgruntled teenagers who are mad as hell about society and not going to take it any more. (In spite of the misleading image of this post, the movie has nothing to do with Mad Magazine. Although the middle finger is apt and I’m quite certain Alfred E. Neuman is a major influence for Cory.) I haven’t seen the finished feature yet, but when we were film students I saw Cory direct a two minute version of Mad World that was really emotionally, heart wrenching stuff. I’ll be in the middle row at the screening hoping the full feature can live up to it.

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One thought on “Mad World

  1. I’ve got a friend in L.A., besides Nick, that attempts to do Independent Films himself. He describes a lot of the same stuff you talk about here, all the wheelin and dealin you have to do to maybe see your work appear on the big screen one day. Even then it’s usually not as big as you’d like for it to be, like along the lines of Freddy vs. Jason size, but it’s there nonetheless.

    The travesty really is that so many, because of the success of big budget pictures, believe it’s easy to go out to Hollywood and become the next big thing. Everyone has the next “original” idea that will turn them all on their sides.

    I heard a lot of the same stuff when I had my first, self-published, book published back in 2007. For some reason people think you’ll become an instant millionaire just because you write one book, or get one screenplay into film form, or get a small role on a sitcom, or a bit part in a movie or commercial. Just stop and look at the big names if you want to see how truly hard it is to become that millionaire:

    Stephen King spent years writing short stories before someone bought the rights to Carrie and then it was an utter shock to his system when he actually got paid big bucks for an idea.

    Stephen Spielberg and Georg Lucas were both looking for their pink slips after making Jaws and Star Wars, because the productions were horrendous; actors feuding, props not working, going WAY over schedule and budget (for that time anyway–chicken feed today); ILM-Lucas’ magic shack were all wondering where they would work next after Star Wars, not believing they would win Academy Awards!

    Fact is, you never know what is going to appeal to people, until you get it out there for people to see. Seeing is believing in this world, contrary to theologians worldwide. However, you gotta believe sometimes in order to see it period.

    I hope your friend’s picture gets the eyes it deserves and proud for him! When you put that much time and effort into something, it deserves some kind of acknowledgement.

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