The great director Frank Capra (MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE) made personal movies within the Hollywood system, touting a philosophy he called “one man, one movie.”
The idea that a feature length movie could be a personal work of art was a radical one in 1930s America. However, Capra had the industry clout to do and be that after his IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT surprised the industry by winning the Oscar for best picture. But it was a rich man’s game.
Now, it’s pretty much the go-to attitude of micro-budget movie makers. Only you don’t have to be famous to practice the One Man (or Woman) One Movie philosophy anymore. Now we have the Internet: a world-wide forum to get our stuff seen.- How cool and convenient and amazing is that?
This blog began as a celebration of the earlier, more naive, less skilled and less jaded movies of the early days of digital filmmaking. They were creative days, when backyard auteurs could walk into their local Blockbuster or Hollywood Video store and see their completely personal micro-budget, backyard opus on the shelves, to be rented by movie-lovers looking for something new. What a thrill that was.
That little tickle to the ego is gone now. But the spirit of what those filmmaker did is alive and thriving. Consider them – people like Kevin Lindenmuth, Jeff Leroy, Ted Newsom, Ron Bonk, The Polonia Brothers, and, er, myself – as pioneers, paving the way for the auteurs making feature movies with whatever means they have today. – And getting them seen online.
Consider a couple examples that I know of just in my local area (Spokane, WA). Jesse James Hennessy, a director who specializes in gory horror, but often with a playful twist, is making a web series called MR. DARK. It is a dark drama about a detective with second sight. It is designed to be cut into a feature film when all is done. James Allen Teague is another filmmaker in the local area. He is making a feature-length thriller called MAGDALENE BLUE in fits and starts as locations are secured and cast and crew are reorganized every month or two. He will get it done. I know him.
The same thing is happening all over the country. And around the globe.
This blog is here to celebrate micro-budget filmmaking and filmmakers, be they from the VHS days, or doing it right now. Let’s keep the One Man (or Woman) One Movie spirit going. Let’s give Hollywood a reason to be scared.
If you make feature length movies without major sponsorship and with budgets under $50,000, I want to hear from you. I want to know what you’re working on. You can comment here or contact me at my retro-nineties VHS email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT: SELLING POSTERS: THE MOVIE IS A BONUS