The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Anybody Want to Make Another Frogtown Movie?

You know, having been in this film game for a long-long time now, I have encountered and experienced so many things. I’ve met and worked with some really great people and I’ve met and worked with some real assholes. The thing about Hollywood, and I’m putting, “Hollywood,” in Air Quotations is that here, the people are after something; they want to achieve something. Many/most hope to be stars in however they envision that delineation. The one thing for sure is, they definitely want something and they are willing to work for it and work towards it.

Then, there is the everyone else. The everyone out there who simply wants to throw stones but creates no true film projects of their own. I mean, you don’t have to be in Hollywood to create great cinema. You can do great cinema anywhere. There have been so many great projects that came from the Out There. The Any Where.

I think that’s why critics should really prove their worth, in the realms of cinema, before they step up to the pulpit and criticize others. ‘Cause if you ain’t made a movie, you ain’t made a movie. And, if the filmmaker you are critiquing can’t return the favor, that’s pretty disingenuous don’t you think?

All this being said, I make movies all the time. In these later years I’ve focused much more on visual cinema and have left the story telling behind. That just seemed like a natural progression for me. This is not to say that I don’t miss the camaraderie and the human interaction that comes from creating story-driven cinema.

Sadly, times have changed in the world of Indie Cinema. Once upon a time everyone was happy to jump in and help. Give them an acting role and they were happy to show up. Give them the crew position they wanted and desired to build their resume upon and they were there. It wasn’t always perfect. But, most people were true and honest about their desires and motivations and they were willing to give and to help. Then it became hard to trust anyone. Even on the No Budget Indie level you had to get things like production insurance and all that as you never knew what snake may be hiding in the bush that would come out and sue you. I don’t know… Things just changed…

Certainly, in my years of creating cinema, I have had some great people who stepped up to the plate to help. Aside from Don Jackson, there were friends like Julie Strain, Kevin Eastman, Kenneth H. Kim, Rich Magram, and Kevin Thompson. Each provided a great service to a finished film or films.

As a filmmaker, I have experienced, and as I just alluded to a moment ago, there are those out there who do nothing but criticize. I always found that very shallow as we all have our options but to try to frame a person’s creative project defined by your own mindset and your own predetermined expectations seems fairly shallow, don’t you think?

One of my films which has experienced a lot of critique, both in terms of the negative and the positive is, Max Hell Frog Warrior. The responses have always amused me as people have tried to find some deep meaning and/or simply a reason to find fault where there really is none. It’s a Zen Film people! It’s Zen Filmmaking! There is no story! There is no point or purpose! Like Zen, it just is! Plus, it only cost like a hundred dollars to make. Yet, this has never stopped the naysayers. And, that’s okay. If talking negatively about a film or a filmmaker makes you feel some kind of way, that’s your business. But, you should really think about the karma in all that.

Several years back now, this film school student hit me up and did an extensive interview with me on the film. Max Hell Frog Warrior: The Facts and the Fiction was the title of the piece. You can find a copy of it on this website if you look and in a few other places. Good piece! The guy really thought out his questions. And, the fact is, twenty years deep into the release of that film, that guy was the first journalist to actually interview me about that movie. Pretty crazy; right? All those reviewers talk about it, but nobody asked me (or Don) until that point in time.

I started to do a sequel a number of years ago. I was planning to title it: Max Hell Verses the Lizard People. But, some crazy shit was going and I never finished it. Time has gone by and I just think I’m going to let that footage go. Maybe after I’m dead, someone will put it together. Happy

All this being said, like I said, once upon a time people who wanted to be an actor, an actress, or participate in the creation of a film, brought something to the table. More than just themselves and the promise that they (someday) were going to be a star, they provided locations, equipment, make-up services, other actors, other crew members, something… They didn’t just show up full of ego, expecting to be paid handsomely and to be treated like a star.

This morning, I was digging for something in the back of my closet and I found a couple of age-old frog masks I have. You know, one of those things you forget about until it is in front of your face. It made me think maybe I should do another Frogtown movie. I mean, people are always contacting me about the film, asking about the Rights because they want to do a comic book but pay me nothing. No!

I don’t know, it may be fun…

And, Max Hell is just an idea based on rediscovering those frog masks. It could be RB7 based. Samurai Vampire based. Or, something entirely new. I’ve got tons and tons of ideas. But, I think outside participation would be the key for me to get back into the story-driven game. So, I don’t know??? Maybe??? What do you think? Anybody want to make another Frogtown movie?