FOURPLAY: Four transgressions, four transmissions, four true tales of sexual intimacy.
O.K., so starting for the first time a blog and asking myself: What useful information can I convey that I would want to read in anyone's blog to make it worthwhile reading? Well, here's my mission statement:
1) To provide as much information as possible about all the stages of production, post-production, distribution for FOURPLAY, a series of short films that highlights sexual transgressions:
In AUSTIN, a young couple debates baby making;
in TAMPA, a man finds nirvana in a public restroom;
in SKOKIE, a woman falls for her pastor’s dog;
and in SAN FRANCISCO, a cross-dressing prostitute faces a challenging assignment.
Hopefully we'll all learn something along the way and I look forward to your comments. These are emotionally high stakes stories that require bravura performances and we are doing all this on a very small budget. Hope we are up the task! Also, by making a series of shorts, we don't know what the final form will be, or if there will be a final form versus a series of forms (e.g. stand alone shorts serially released on VOD, a narrative feature packaged for festival/theatrical/cable/DVD distribution, or an add on for free to a progressive sex-ed websites like Nightcharm or Jane's Guide or Butt Magazine). Who knows?
2) To try to be as honest with myself as possible about WHY this film (films?) is a necessary addition to a public conversation on the way we as Americans image and imagine sex vs the reality of our lived experience. Sex scenes, particularly in American Indie films, have driven me figuratively up the wall during the last twenty years. Mostly the fantasies of white straight men, they have been for me a horrific cultural/political/social regression from the high points of difficult/painful/heart-breaking honesty conveyed through some of my favorite works from the 1960s-70s, including: MIDNIGHT COWBOY, SUNDAY BLOOD SUNDAY, RENDEZVOUS WITH ANNA, PERFORMANCE, BAD TIMING, AN UNMARRIED WOMAN, FIVE EASY PIECES, HAROLD AND MAUDE, A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, BLOOM IN LOVE, A SIMPLE STORY, A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG, IF..., WOMEN IN LOVE, et al. We are interested in telling stories where sex functions as it does in our real lives: as potentially major/minor turning point/s in not only the relationships we create through the acts themselves but also in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us through committing these acts. The bandwidth is so narrow right now in how sex acts function in film narratives that I really believe the above mentioned works would be impossible to produce on the scale they were made in their time, which were pretty damn small scale mostly to begin with. And that is a VERY SAD commentary on us and our country and the dominant popular culture. We hope to arrogantly re-start, re-invigorate, revive that conversation not only as a cultural product, but as a personal growth experience. I hope making these films change me and community of people I work with in some small way for the better. We'll see.
3) As a way for the entire cast/crew to comment on their FOURPLAY experiences and why they are committing themselves, for very little monetary gain, to this mission. I'll start off with asking the amazing writers Carlos Treviño and Jessica Hedrick to explain their personal relationship to their "true tales of sexual intimacy", but hopefully will have all the key participants contribute at some point along the way.
4) Bizarre, funny, interesting photos/production stills from our shoots; advance previews of shorts through rough-cut clips, and all the normal detritus that never finds a proper resting place other than my computer and a shoe box in my closet after a film wraps. I guess this will be a virtual shoe-box, then, so at least if my house is engulfed in flames like Aldous Huxley's home in California was in 1961, I won't lose most of my archives like he did.
O.K., that's enough to chew on for now. Next post will be about production high-points from SAN FRANCISCO, which we shot in January of 2009. To wet your appetite, a behind the scenes photo of Paul Soileau, one of the actors from the film.