Monday, October 31, 2011


When Melvin Van Peebles made Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song, he stuck by three principles:

  1. No cop-out. The movie can't be a cop-out at all. 
  2. For entertainment, it's gotta be a motherfucker. 
  3. It's gotta look as good as anything the Man could ever make. 
It's an independent film. Tomorrow, when we continue shooting, we have to go in and shoot fast and loose. We have limited time, limited daylight, and the weatherman is predicting rain for the next month. I think that as much as you have to go in with a clear shooting script and schedule, you have to allow for the unpredictable. For us, the rules apply as follows:

1. "No cop-out."
When we shoot, we have to go for the gusto. The honest, spontaneous moment is the one we want. And we can't pull any punches. We can't compromise, or formularize the product.
2. "It's gotta be a motherfucker."
Yes, it does. There have to be characters you care about, and stories you want to follow from one episode to the next.
3. "It's gotta look as good as anything the Man could ever make."
You have to be very brutal with yourself. Hold each shot up to the highest standard. It doesn't have to look like anything anyone's ever done before. It has to look like you want it to. 

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