Monday, February 27, 2006

Tweek City Press Kit: Filmmaker Comments

Okay, I've clearly failed at my goal of the daily blog so my new goal is to simply come here when I have time and/or feel inspired. Right now I have not time so I'm going to make the first of several posts from my Press Kit...

Filmmaker Comments

Bill Jensen personifies the dark side of the American melting pot. In an effort to assimilate, he has trained himself to hate all that he is. He’s half-Latino but defiantly speaks no Spanish. He’s homophobic but might very well be gay. He hates religion but his mother was devoutly Catholic. He feels totally alienated from mainstream society but desperately yearns to belong. Ultimately, he finds the only way to survive is to embrace himself for all that he is and live truthfully in the present.

Fifteen years ago, I graduated from a small-town college and moved to San Francisco, hoping to find some of the late-60s magic that inspired so many of my heroes. I found an apartment with a couple friends looking directly over Haight Street and like so many twenty-somethings, I started looking for inspiration in the naked city.

I was distressed to find that the sixties ideal of “peace, love and understanding” had been replaced by the new reality of aggression, nihilism and detachment. Hallucinogenics, and the spirit of self-discovery those drugs represented to me, were long gone. The new drug was crystal methamphetamine and Haight Street was littered with speed casualties.

Upon moving into our flat, my roommates and I threw a couple parties. Gradually, it became one long party and my roommates (who had already dabbled in speed) started dealing. Before I knew it, our apartment was known as the speed zone. Personally, I treated crystal like a cup of coffee – take a hit and then go have fun. But I soon saw that moderate users were few and far between. Many people never stopped – they’d go days without sleep. The speed in combination with sleep deprivation left them in varying states of psychosis.

When I came home one night to find 50 strangers in my bedroom and my stereo gone, I decided it was time to move out. Six months later, the apartment had become a squatters den. A couple months after that, everyone was evicted. My friends began couch surfing on a wave of crystal meth.

I found new friends. A couple months would go by and then one of my old roommates would seek refuge in my flat. After convincing them it was safe to talk, I’d listen to their stories and then they’d crash on my couch, sometimes they wouldn’t stir for several days. On the surface, their stories seemed totally delusional but then I’d go out with them for a night and it would become clear that there were plenty of reasons to be paranoid when you’re moving in speed circles at 4am.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The poster Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

An attempt at daily blogging.

I've been thinking, and it seems to me that the best way to convey what it takes to make a film is to share with you what I do each day. Adding this blog to the list of things might not be the best idea but I'll just look at it as public journal. Strike that, actually a private journal seeing as no one even knows this blog exists.

First off, I have a day job. I'll leave it at that since it seems every jackass with a blog is getting fired these days. In any case, the job is not overly taxing except for the fact that I have to be there every day, five days a week. Now when I made this film, I managed to save enough money so that I could work exclusively on Tweek City. In a perfect world I would have taken a year to make the film, premiered it at Sundance and then wallowed in my glory.

Well, the world isn't perfect.

Pre-production grew from three months, to six, to nine. The shoot itself was over before I knew it, but then post-production proceeded to bitch slap me for over TWO YEARS. Needless to say, about a year into post-production, I had to get a job.

Two years later, the film has premiered (not at Sundance, more on that in a later blog entry), garnered some good press, but it has yet to find distribution. Now it is up to me to do whatever it takes, during my lunch hour, after work and on weekends to get this film out to an audience. The other balls I juggle include a laughably large debt (actually I just dropped that ball), the development of my "next project" and all the other various sundry things that come up in the course of a week.

Hopefully this isn't reading like a woe-is-me kinda thing, I really don't give a shit about credit card companies, particularly since they've taken the opportunity that deregulation has given them to blatantly screw the consumer at every turn. Fuck'm. And promoting the film as well as working on my next project are both fun (not raging-at-an-X-show-fun, but fun). My job is even pretty cool. What I'm trying to illustrate however, is that if you feel like making a movie on your own, you better be a tenacious and hardworking motherfucker. And you better not be concerned about cashing in your trust fund, your IRAs, your 401ks or whatever else you cling to for security. The fact is, it will all be gone.

That said, on this particular night, I stayed at work and started figuring out the labarynth they call MySpace. The first thing you notice on MySpace is that everyone else has a cooler profile than you do. I am not a computer guy so this bummed me out. I don't know if I've told you this but I don't have any money, so hiring someone to fix up a community website is out of the question. So tonight I rolled up my sleeves and learned a little something about MySpace. I found a free background and learned a couple of basic html tags so that "my interests" didn't read like the first chapter of The Sound and the Fury. Next, I started trolling for friends of mine that were already on MySpace and started inviting them to my site. I randomly found a couple people who had Giuseppe in their profiles and invited them to be my friends. By the end of the night I had 15 friends! Only 10,000 more to go...

By the way, you can find my handiwork HERE at