12 April 2010

The Creative Statement of Now

by Tyler Weaver.  Follow me on Twitter.

Things change in a nanosecond in today's world. Traditional business models are out the door. A trip to the cinema is more akin to an amusement park ride, both in terms of bigger spectacle and louder audiences.  Each film released has to have its own marketing. Its own fanbase. Every filmmaker is a businessperson. The old ways are gone. In with the new. DIY. Digital. DIWO. Crowdfunding. Cell phones. Mobile content. Stream. Disc. Blu-Ray. Extra. Kickstart. GoGo. Mag. Blog. Tweet. Creep. Page. Guru. SEO.

It's a brave, brave new world out there, but allow me to interject one thought that is often glossed over as we seek to become networked with our audience and ourselves.

There's a lot of shit out there. 

A lot.  Of.  Shit.

All this talk of marketing, manifestos, DIY, crowdsourcing is all well and dandy.  Gotta get your stuff out there.  It's essential.  But it doesn't change one major thing.

There's a lot of shit out there.

And there will continue to be a lot of shit out there until every single creative from Hollywood to Flip camera with the temerity to release a project into the wilds of the audience's eye takes one essential vow:

I vow to be responsible for the quality of my (insert creative end product here).

Seriously.  I started making movies for a couple of reasons (and those reasons are being washed away under a sea of unrelenting shit).

1.) I was inspired by the medium of visual storytelling.
2.) I ran out of movies I wanted to watch.

I take the idea of an artistic mission statement extremely seriously.  Not because I require definition, but I need something that is both set in stone and able to be a modified real-time document (the Google Wave of the Ten Commandments, modifiable only be me).

Want to know my Creative Statement, the only one I live by?

I will create a body of well-crafted, profitable works that inspire, intrigue, and engage an audience to the point that their bladders, though full of overpriced sodas or other beverages, are relegated to second place.

All this talk of manifestos, sides, and labels is of no interest to me.  I love my audience, and all I owe them is the above.

Though I LOATHE the back and forth of "right method, wrong method" and the current collective failure of most in the creative world to "agree to disagree," I will boldly propose three methods - not only of story, but of how the hell to get people to see your non-shit.

1.) We must take responsibility for the quality of our works and be honest with ourselves regarding their quality.  
2.) There is no one way to do things anymore, and that's what's got people so freaked.  Without structure, people can't function.  They either have nothing to follow or nothing to rail against. 
3.) We have to do better.  Now is the time to innovate, not jam old story models into new business models.

Or the short form:

Don't make shit.

Tyler Weaver is a filmmaker, writer, contributor to the pulptone.com website, and is the founder and EIC of Multi-Hyphenate... which you're reading right now.  He's currently making new things and yaks about that and more on Twitter under the creative guise of @tylerweaver.


Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear! Ownership. Courage. Truth.
But no one really sets out to make shit, do they?

Tyler Weaver said...

Cheers for reading!

I agree, no one sets out to make shit - it's just that along the way, things are mucked up. It's about responsibility throughout the entire process.

The best intentions...

Gabriel Novo said...

Even though people don't necessarily aim to make shit, they also don't put in the effort required to prevent it. They assume that their story or hook or special effects will draw people in enough to forgive the glaring flaws elsewhere.

You should put that phrase on t-shirts and hand it out to first year film students. Hell, there's certain Hollywood producers & directors that need to be reminded not to make shit.

I applaud you for sticking to an artistic mission statement. Having a clear cut goal to guide you through the chaos of modern film making will help you succeed a million time more than just running with a vague "I wanna make stuff".

Tyler Weaver said...

Cheers for commenting Gabriel. T-Shirts... hmmm...

Sheri C said...

I'd wear one. Going Europe soon, very high profile film places, think about it...

Anyway, I like your rules Tyler especially starting with the cardinal Don't Make Shit
I like the no rules, no model to follow part myself. Where there's chaos, there's opportunity. Seize it now.

david baker said...

Great post Tyler!

I am sick of all the rights, wrongs, manifestos, do this, do that too. Heres how you shoot, write, market!

I mean who is it coming from? All the great filmmakers from the 20th century? Nope! And even if it was, would I listen to it all? Probably not, as a lot of my past heroes make a lot of stinkers.

Fine, ok,we have all been learning to adapt to he new changes. I have learned a lot from my mistakes, others, and a lot of case studies have been very helpful.

But I think we all know now
what we all need to do to make this work for us on the big picture. Kinda simple once we get past all the complexities. Grow a community with great work, and monetize from that community in many ways to continue to create.

As you say, it now comes down to the nitty gritty. Who can make great content. Whether art, pop, or both.

Once the dust settles, it will be interesting to see how many people with all the answers will make work that will be interesting. "Interesting" is probably the wrong word, because that can also be polite for "This is shit!" But you know what I mean.

Personally, I am a part of that steaming pile shit at the moment. I am only out to show my "potential" with the resources I had access to. I have ZERO desire for the biz if I cant make good content.

If I think I am great, I am fucked! Dont get me wrong, I dont down myself, but damm, I see a lot of self praise on the web from people, then I look at the work, and its like Get a fucking reality check!

My goal is to not only do work that takes a fresh angle to established genres, but to also start using the web and the tools to present a different kind of story telling in the next projects.

Anyway, 100% agree! Lotta shit! Don't get me wrong, I dont mind shit! But I like "Good shit!" I mean I can do shit! But boy oh boy, theres shit, and theres SHIT! And most of the shit I see at the moment is SHIT SHIT!

I like to think I know my shit! Time will tell if I am part of that shit too! Sayig that, theres a lot of people with shit taste, so if I get enough of them, now I know how to feed them shit!

Love your posts


Tyler Weaver said...


You have an incredible and rare ability to leave me at a loss for words. Always love a David Elvis Baker comment/post. You rock!

I will say two words:

Sock Puppets.

Thanks for commenting, my friend!


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