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Notes from Overboard: Surviving the Game

Notes from Overboard: Surviving the Game

Blog - Notes from Overboard

In 2007, a friend suggested I start a blog. I resisted for quite a while. Take away the ‘g’ and a blog is pretty much just blah blah blah.

But my film Delirious was about to be released and my friend felt the blog could help supplement the film’s promotional campaign. The financiers had allocated $350,000 for the film’s entire U.S. release. This figure included the cost of prints, all advertising, the distributor’s fee and the salary and all expenses of the publicist.

Let’s just say it: This isn’t even chicken feed. It’s not even enough money to buy chicken feed. As a result, my blog became the sole instrument of information about the film. But, as agonizing as it was at times detailing the train wreck, the writing was helpful. Especially when I attempted it with honesty and a sense of humor.

Everything I wrote was true; except for the stuff I made up. And even that was true.

I invented a fictitious friend named Jimmy. You can read about him. He accompanied me into the fictitious offices of the fictitious company that made Delirious and called the two semi-fictitious execs “taco farts.”

I appreciated that. But when Jimmy got a job writing and directing the next Batman, I felt it was time to beat the shit out him.

A few months ago I finished writing and directing When You’re Strange, the first feature documentary about The Doors. And so, as Delirious faded into oblivion, I began chronicling the progress of the new film. A recent post describes the film’s premiere in competition at Berlin and Sundance, where Sting helped prevent me from punching a nazi Park City bouncer.

It may sound like there is a lot of punching going on. There isn’t. There should be, but there isn’t.

Recently, MovieMaker Magazine invited me to continue my blog as a feature of their online magazine. I will focus on all aspects of independent moviemaking, with an eye on helping the filmmaker survive with artistic integrity intact. The game is survival; everybody knows that. But still, when I see the continued morph of independent film into something Jimmy once called Indiewood or Hollydent, I do indeed get a little “postal.”

So, we’ll start with fragMENTAL, the Sundance/Berlin post. New entries will appear with sufficient inspiration. In the meantime a wander through one or two of the previous posts could be informative. Some of the subjects:

WRITING: posts 30, 31, 33, 34.?DISTRIBUTORS: posts 23, 24, 25, 29, 35, 36.?JIMMY: posts 29, 49, 50, 51.?FESTIVALS: posts 54, 55, 56.?PUBLICITY: post 18.

Tom DiCillo made his debut as a writer-director with 1991’s Johnny Suede, starring Brad Pitt. Living in Oblivion, Box of Moonlight, The Real Blonde, Double Whammy and Delirious followed. When You’re Strange, his documentary on The Doors, premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. For more information on DiCillo and his work, visit www.tomdicillo.com.

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