What Was, What Is and What Will Be.

I go through these cycles of
focus. I’m not really sure which one came first but it is a focus on the past
films, or present films, or future films that feature a character who is
paralyzed. And this happens for both my creative moments and planning as well
as the business side. But I am very tired of focusing on what was and what is
and want to be more positive because I like that energy a more and so want to
focus most of the time on what can be.
 

What Was and Currently Is

I thought how tired I was of
harping on what was and even as in the recent case with “The Diving Bell and
the Butterfly” – on what is – those films are what they are – and I’m sure they
are done by well meaning able bodied individuals and I suspect that most do not
know and probably do not want to know what the real results are with the
producing and distributing stereotypical films. Just as I am sure those
filmmakers prior to the 1960’s and Sidney Poitier that films that featured
stereotypical black characters and were done by well intentioned white
individuals and had no idea what the real affect their films had on the black
community and society as a whole. And as much as I would like to just focus on
what can be, I am often swayed back into this arena in attempts to gain awareness
in Hollywood – since showing what I have as a solution – they must need to be
shown what it is they are doing and the real affects it has on the disAbled
community and society as a whole! I do not have any control over it.

 

Besides this seemingly endless
cycle I am also considering all of this for both the creative works and the
business side. I wish I could focus more on the creative side as there is so
much I want to write and then direct but because of my need of getting my
creative work seen, gain awareness and raise support it means I have to spend
all of my time with the business side of this cause! Especially since this has
become my only means for personal support – I need the job. I need one that
pays and I cannot let this cause or mission or business wait any longer. Damn
catch 22 that not many within my circle understand!

 

I am so tired. And I could help
but relate so much to a quote I found from the great screenwriter and fantastic
director, Robert Towne who is the Academy Award winning screenwriter of “Chinatown” and many other wonderful films. He also wrote
and directed one of my all time favorite movies, “Tequila Sunrise” starring Mel
Gibson, Kurt Russell and Michelle Pfeiffer. Anyway Mr. Towne said:

 

“The amount of ancillary effort unrelated to
what goes up on-screen by filmmakers, all of us, having to beg, borrow, and
steal to finance, to go out there with hat in hand, the struggle we have to do
in preparation just for the movies to happen, is a drain. It’s like I was
saying to George Clooney at a film festival recently, it’s a drain on you, it’s
time-consuming, it’s energy-consuming. You get to the point where you’re so
fucking tired you feel like you’ve already done the movie, just trying to get
enough money to make it. In the old days, the amount of time it took to make
Ask The Dust, I could have made three movies and not been so tired and thought,
“God, I never want to do this again.”” [On today’s Hollywood (March 2006)]”

 

I feel that too. 12+ years trying to get the finance to do one of my screenplays and I
am also am dealing with the huge barriers of Hollywood
attitudes, stereotypes and discrimination. I am “so fucking tired” that it is
unreal. Yet I have to go on!

 

“Luke, use the Force”

 

Still I want to focus on the
future and what can be – what I want to be. Like the famous quote from George
Lucas when asked about making “Star Wars” he said that he “wanted to make
movies that he wanted to see.” That’s exactly what I want to do – see movies
that are non-stereotypical and authentically represented. That is not about
pity, oh my poor life – yes it sucks and yes it is very difficult but I look
past that as much as I can in my own life. I want to see fun, dramas, comedies,
action adventure, romantic dramedies that feature a character who happens to be
a paraplegic and shows some of that perspective, the point of view as a person
with a disAbility but without that being the focus or in a poor me setting.
 

This is where I lose some people
when I say I do not focus nor ignore the disAbility of my characters and their
stories. The best way to describe it is that I want to create films that will
have an impact for the good. An impact on the disAbled community and on society
– their images and treatment of those living with a disAbility. So I do create
characters and stories that are like myself in some ways and certainly in
attitude! I do not want to be “normal” I have to have certain accommodations to
function and participate in my own existence and in society. I have to respect
my disability and that should be recognized. This is where there is confusion
among the public and even some within the disAbled community, especially the
newly injured or afflicted. “Oh they just want to be treated normally.” Some
think that also means that to treat someone normally means they do not need or
want to have any consideration but I do not want to be “normal.” Normal is too difficult
to define as it means different things to different people and as I mention the
disAbility must be respected and there are some considerations that must be
made. I just want to be seen and treated as an equal person, human being of our
culture and society and not as one who is normal. After all I never wanted to
be normal anyway even before my accident! 

 

What Can Be

This is the attitude and the affect
that I want my films to have. That is what I have written in my feature scripts
and my short scripts and stories I will adapt into screenplays! This has been a
life long dream – even before I realized that filmmaking was my destiny – I
always loved movies. See my bio! So even though my life hasn’t turned out like
I have wanted – the dream is still alive and I am still frantically trying to
gain support for this vision that will affect millions and millions of lives.
 

On that note I want to add this.
Many have seen it but for those who haven’t and even as a reminder for those
who have watch this 11 minute video that he reprised and abridged for the Oprah Show!

I am not dying – although they say that my life expectancy is a few years less then if I were able bodied, but I identified with him so much – especially early on in the lecture saying he “chooses not to be an object of pity” and about being physically strong despite his infirmity! There are a couple quotes I love. “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.” How true is that? And the one he had listed “Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.” After 12+ years of brick walls I have proven it to myself – so my question is, now how much more proving before I prove it to Hollywood? Well, since it is Hollywood putting up the brick walls, who knows? So what was and what is are important but I really want to focus on what can be! And that about wraps it up!
Until next time – “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?”

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