So this guy I know, an Actor turned Director, let’s call him Antonio (it’s a fictional name). I met Antonio last spring when he asked me to edit and finish one of his films, on a pro-bono basis. Up to this point he has made two shorts. One starring him and one not starring him. The second one that didn’t star him was the one I was hired to edit. I whipped out the first pass assembly within days and finished the final cut in a couple of weeks. Then, Antonio asked me to fix the ending of his previous short film, the one that starred him. I was not the original editor of that film and I did not elect to take any editorial credit, although I do credit myself with the strength of the ending as it’s a million times stronger than it was before. In fact, aside from one festival, after I made the cut with the new ending, several other festivals jumped onto the bandwagon and agreed to screen it. I stayed in touch with Antonio for many months after the films were completed to advise him on the festival process and to support him during the promotions some of his events. I also decided to help out Antonio by including his films in a series I program for, in an effort to get them screened back to back in an actual movie theater with professional grade equipment. The screening was a success. Many of his actors and actresses, their families and some press people I invited, all came out and it was a good time. But then something strange happened: even though there were pending festival submissions on the film I edited, he had it being broadcast live on IMDB. Now, while I’d like to assume ignorance is bliss, this just isn’t the case.
Antonio knows fully well that having a film “live” on the internet is a good way of ensuring it’ll get rejected from a festival. So why would he want to sabotage his own festival submissions? Why waste the money to submit and then do the one thing that would turn their programmers off to including it in their upcoming season? This is where I begin to speculate, using information from a variety of sources, but really, second hand info as told to me through people closer to Antonio than myself. I’ve come to the conclusion that this wasn’t pre-mediated, but that he was clued into making this decision by an outside party. When you have an actor turned director and that actor has one film that he’s in and another film he’s not in, he’s going to push the one he’s acting in a hell of a lot harder. That’s understandable, but I can’t get it into my head on why he would take the extra step of sabotaging the film he didn’t act in. Why make the film at all?
When I e-mailed Antonio about the live IMDB screener, he didn’t respond directly, but simply took it down. Shortly after, I found out through another source that he had put it out there deliberately. This entry is more of an observation – questions that lead to questions. Is he sabotaging his own movie because he didn’t cast himself? Why make a film and then sabotage its success?