Notes From The Back Row 

How to make your own movies

I rented Frankenfish and lost it before I got to check it out. They keep calling me, begging for it back like it’s flying off the shelves or something, a real hot commodity. So I haven’t really seen any flicks this week, and there’s not much to talk about at the cinema.

Luckily though, and thank god for this, the cat just puked all over the dining room carpet and I happened to capture it on video. Realistic puke footage is golden and this will be a real tear-jerking scene in the next movie I make.

Speaking of making movies, it’s a lot harder than you think. And for this reason alone, you should all go to the Filmmaker Showdown tonight (Thursday) and see what Whistler’s finest filmmakers can throw together in three sleepless days. And for all you aspiring filmmakers out there, here’s the Feet Banks Sleep-Deprived guide to making your own movies in five simple steps.

1. Don’t go to film school. All it does is make you think you’re an artist and provide you with nice equipment that you and your new artist buddies use to make pretentious dramas about the meaning of life and love. Chances are you and your art-fag buddies don’t know shit about shit so just save yourself the ten grand, buy a digital video camera and start experiencing real life instead of making films about how your parents never paid enough attention to you after your little sister was born.

2. Watch Robert Rodriguez DVDs with the director’s commentary on. Rodriguez is amazing, he made El Mariachi for $6,000 and all of Hollywood shit their pants. Now he’s the coolest director in America and if you don’t believe me just go watch Sin City at the Village 8 cinemas. It’s the most refreshing and well executed bit of comic book ultra violence ever and visually it’s better than a room full of strippers and cheesecake. Rodriguez puts a 10-minute film school lesson on each of his DVDs and you learn more in 10 minutes than in a whole year of gay film school.

3. Gank ideas. Don’t have an original idea? No problem. It’s perfectly acceptable in the movie industry to blatantly jack entire movies. Case in point, The Amityville Horror remake opens Friday. The classic Haunted House film Amityville is based on the "true" story of how, in 1973, Ronald Defeo murdered his entire family in their beds and blamed it on "voices" in his house. A year later, the Lutz family moved in and, gee whiz, it started to happen again. The good thing about The Amityville Horror remake is that it’s rated "R" and director Andrew Douglas doesn’t pull any punches in the gore department. If you’re gonna gank an idea for your movie you need to somehow step it up. Gore and nudity are the easiest ways. Remakes and sequels are pretty hot right now, and although most of them suck ( Miss Congeniality 2 , now playing) it’s nice to know that you can rehash crap and still make it in the world’s most lucrative film industry.

4. Get Ballsy. Supposing you do have an original idea, go with it. If you’re ever going to be a good filmmaker you’re gonna have to shock/amaze/disturb/enlighten someone eventually. Stick to your instincts and try not to give a crap what anyone else thinks of your ideas (except me, listen to me). You’ll be making the next Star Wars trilogy before you know it. And remember, shitty porn is far more entertaining than self-serving film-school drama, which is about as much fun as cleaning up cat puke. So get out there and make some movies.

AT VILLAGE 8 April 15-21: Amityville Horror; Sahara; Sin City; Fever Pitch; Guess Who; Miss Congeniality 2; Hitch; Million Dollar Baby; Beauty Shop; Robots.

AT RAINBOW THEATRE April 15-21: Be Cool.

AT TELUS CONFERENCE CENTRE April 14: Filmmaker Showdown.

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