Imagine walking down a sidewalk full of attractive people and while browsing around you see a visually attractive person that catches your eye. You go on a few dates with them (yes dates), you fall in love having never seen them naked. Then when you do, you realize that tan was from a bottle, that cushion was literally just a cushion, that flawless skin was faux, those curves were coerced into the right places, and those emerald green eyes don’t look as alluring floating in those white caps. But who cares, because you’ve fallen in love with what you saw and you keep that image in you head even when you see them in their uncensored state.
Now imagine walking down that same sidewalk and seeing a different person; someone who wears average clothes, doesn’t wear cover ups, maybe they’re having a bad hair day. They catch your eye because the patently stand out from the visual beauties around them. Though, it is the same person from before. Same personality, same smile, same everything, they just decided to live publicly uncensored. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to give them as good a chance as someone who can reel you in with their explosive looks, shiny animations, and high-end ambience.
That is a comparable scenario between Hollywood and true independent films. Hollywood films are going to glam it up for you. They will round the edges, dump millions of dollars into it to try and grab your attention. It doesn’t really matter if the story has been told or if the story is even really that good. It was written by this name and stars this face so doggy I’m going to need for you to notice this squirrel over here!! As for independent films, they will give it to you straight….or gay, or transgender, or raw, and definitely uncensored.
This occurred to me when I was talking about my latest project to a friend and said “Yeah people are going to cringe when they see that but I’m independent I don’t have a reason to censor my creativity. It will be seen as intended.” That’s when a reoccurring question popped in my head: Do filmmakers/script writers now-a-days do it strictly for money or do they do so because it is something they have a passion for. And if it is the latter and they have an idea/concept, but it would be seen as too graphic or too much for a theater bound rating, how washed out and watered down would they be willing to make their creation just to get it seen by a certain number of people to make money?
Would Scream have been a successful if those 7 seconds of gore were left in and it kept it’s NC-17 rating? Or the first Saw with it’s extra 8 seconds, that would have prevented major theaters from playing it? Would people have wanted to see The Wolf of Wall Street as bad, had it not been edited ans censored to appease the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)?
You may be thinking, ‘well, people don’t actively go looking for indie films, they want to see what is conveniently in a multiplex, waiting to be watched, so why would they would they release a film that wouldn’t be seen in theaters?’. Well, THAT’S MY POINT! Why the hell would I want to waste my time with this sticking out from the crowd, showing their flaws, and clearly not trying to hide anything when I can get this dolled up version that I’m not 100% sure what it’ll be when I get it undressed but look how pretty it is now.
Imagine being a filmmaker in that sense. You have your script, you love it, you make the film and it’s exactly what you dreamed of. It’s perfect, your vision, your creation, your baby and you want to share it with the world! How do you do it? Theaters! To get it in theaters, you have to have a rating, so off to the MPAA. You get word back: ‘Sorry, your baby is too much.” So you clip a scene here, you cut a scene there, you re-write and re-shoot that scene altogether and bam! Your movie is laced up, tan-lotioned, faux-faced and looking nice and pretty ready for acceptance. It doesn’t look like your wanted it to, like you envisioned it, but it’ll get played in theaters right? That’s what this art is all about though, isn’t it? Making things that are acceptable to other people, twisting your vision to fit someone else’s rules. I don’t know about others, but I know I do what I do for me. The things I create are visual notes of my mind, my soul, and my inspirations that I express through moving pictures. Some are lessons I want to teach, messages I want heard, or even laughs I want enjoyed, but never will I adhere to stifling my creativity or deforming my vision to fit what someone else sees as acceptable. I want you to fall in love with me as my true uniquely uncensored form, not a false persona I made up in hopes that you may love what’s underneath. When you write, do it for you, not for what you think people want to see or read.