NOTE: Recently I was invited back to my alma mater to talk about working in the Entertainment Industry.
This is the speech I was too chicken to give.
Please enjoy and share with young people or anyone interested in learning more about film.
Good afternoon, Film Students.
You know, if I had to choose between making an independent feature or killing a man, I would choose murder. Because the killing wouldn’t take 9 years of my life. Or a Kickstarter campaign. (Doing another Kickstarter campaign would kill me.)
Seriously though, my message to new college graduates is: if you have to choose between becoming a filmmaker or becoming a murderer, go with murder. Your parents will be relieved that you’re not making a movie. Hate-based murder is something everyone understands. Especially married people.
If you want to become a murderer, you can just do it. From day one, you’re the boss. You don’t have to spend the first few years paying your dues, fetching coffee for more successful murderers who you don’t even like. You’re not required to stand on a corner asking people, “Could you walk on the other side of the street? We’re about to start murdering.”
Here’s another reason being a murderer is better than being a filmmaker: If you work hard planning and pulling off a really difficult murder, your friends won’t say “Hmm, it was just okay.” Your best friend would never tell you, “It was good, but… I would’ve have murdered that woman differently…”
When a murderer goes to a cocktail party people might treat him like a filmmaker, at first. They’ll ask “But how do you make a living?”
Or they’ll just assume you’re a lousy murderer. “Well, I’ve never heard of any of your murders…”
And the real assholes will give you advice about how to make it as a Murderer. “You should move to Detroit. That’s a big murder city.” Oh, apparently there was a story on CBS Sunday Morning and now you’re an expert on my craft?!
But those people are being defensive. One, because they fear they are going to be murdered by you. And two, because you make them realize what a boring life they live.
Before the night is over, at least one drunk party-guest will pull you aside and admit, “You know I’ve always wanted to feel the rush that comes with committing a murder. But I’ve been so intimidated by the social norms and legal ramifications.” In other words: everyone wishes they could be you.
Films schools say they encourage people to think outside the box. “Ohh this independent drama really says a lot about gender.”
Hey, serial killer Ed Gein murdered people while dressed up like a woman. How’s that for subverting gender roles?
Aspiring movie-makers act like their job is something special. “Oh I’m following that new screenwriter on twitter, he’s really killing it.”
No, murderers – THEY are really killing it.
Indie filmmakers brag that they made a movie on a “shoe-string” budget. But creative murderers have killed people with nothing more than a shoestring.
Filmmakers are always giving each other some bullshit awards. If there were a red carpet gala for murder, all the guests would be like, “Man, this carpet would be great for disposing of a murdered body.”
Thankfully, the mainstream media still treats murderers with respect. When someone in New York City is murdered, the newspapers describe it with fear and terror. You never get into the back of a taxi and hear Sandy Kenyon say, “Here’s a murder that was uninspired and condescending.”
Because if he said that, Sandy Kenyon knows he’d get murdered.
I guess at the end of the day, some people just don’t have what it takes to be murderers, so they settle for filmmaking instead.
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(Save time for Q&A. Answer several questions about living in New York vs. L.A.)
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