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Fantasists and Bull Artists



Hi, this is Phil Jeng Kane,
I asked Mr Trivia (now M. Le Trivia for some reason) for a bit of space on this blog to provide a lightning sketch of Edwin Lynch.

Yes, true to his last posting, Edwin is indeed a jock-wearing, shut-in weirdo who constantly peers through peepholes looking for a Godot-like postie. But he’s also a writer-director who studies performance and screenwriting; he networks with actors and filmmakers and has always kept up with filmmaking technology; he has a strong grasp on filmmaking skills, like how to break down and choreograph a scene.

Why the resume? Because it occurred to me that his self-portrait was an ATOMISED version of Edwin Lynch the writer and director. I probably wouldn’t work with Underpants Man and yet, in reality, I have worked with Ed for more than a decade.

Filmmakers are great storytellers. I realised recently that I’ve learnt to take most of what film people say, with a grain of salt. Not because they have lax moral or ethical standards, but because they see reality through an imaginative lens. They’re fantasists, embroiderers, hyperbolists, analysers, searchers-for-truth, attention-seekers, spin-doctors, entertainers and sometimes complete bull artists.

Filmmakers spend their lives looking to create a world, through writing, performance, directing, editing and post-production. After this process is complete, they might have a behind-the-scenes story to tell and this becomes part of the creation myth that they then use to publicise the film.

So there’s before-the-film, behind-the-film, during-the-film and after-the-film. Filmmakers will use all of it to persuade you to see that film and this will help them to make their next one. They love to tell a story.

There’s a line in the 1987 movie OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE (not to be confused with the very funny New Zealand soap on Network Nine that SPAA protested against.) The 1987 film is an odd-couple pairing between Bette Midler and Shelly Long. Long plays a pretentious actor and to get under her skin, Midler’s character says “Actors are just bullshitters who get paid.”

All filmmakers need a bit of the bullshitter in them. And with any luck one will get paid. It's not considered an adult occupation because it calls on all the skills and imagination you used in order to play when you were a child. And therefore its not fully respectable until you get paid. But who wants to be respectable anyway?

Phil Jeng Kane
C/- Mr Trivia

P.S. Of course, I’m an unreliable narrator, myself. I often use a pseudonym and don’t even reveal as much in print about myself as Edwin does. But one day I just might.

Until then I have ventriloquism and my addiction to prescription painkillers to sustain me.

Comments

You're right. I was mostly hyperbolating about the underpant career. Blogging is a fine balance between self-promotion and information. The original title for that post was "International Filmmaking Without Leaving The House", but it sounded a bit too trumpet-blowish, so I was trying to make myself seem more human. Having said that - I am in my underpants right now. Which I believe makes me seem human. Whatever that is when you consider that only 2.7% of the universe is made up of known elements thanks to a photgraph recently taken by the WMAP satellite.

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