The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Interpretations Based on Lies

Whenever I am referenced in regard to my films, it is virtually inevitable that people speak about The Roller Blade Seven and Max Hell Frog Warrior. I guess, over time, those films have proven to be the most rememberable. But, I have made a lot more films and documentaries than simply those two.

Whenever I am referenced in regard to my films, it is virtually inevitable that people attempt to speculate what my mindset was and/or is in regard to filmmaking and why I did what I did. But, they are virtually always wrong.

Whenever I am referenced in regard to my films, it is virtually inevitable that people attempt to cast their judgment onto those films, speak their mind about how I did what I did, why I did what I did, how what I did was wrong, and how by doing what I did equaled a bad film. Though opinions are one of the greatest gifts to modern man (and woman) kind, they are not based in fact. They are guesswork at best. Thus, in all I have heard or read, no-one even comes close to understanding the truth about what actually took place or why it equaled the outcome that it did.

Whenever I am references in regard to my films, it is virtually inevitable that the person doing the speaking (or the writing) has never spoken to me. This has always perplexed me immensely. Why does no one ask me? Don’t you think if you want the truth of the truth you go to the source? Yet, all of this proclaiming goes on but not one of the people doing the proclaiming has ever interacted with me on a personal level. Don’t you see the problem in that?

I forever wonder, “Don’t people feel bad when they are saying something that is not true?” If I can answer my own question, I guess the answer to that question is, “No.” But, why is what they are stating wrong? Answer: Because they never really take the time to truly research and learn the facts and they certainly never go back and retract any statement they make once that statement has proven to be incorrect.

The reason I go into all this today, (and there is nothing new in any of this), is the fact that everyone who writes or talks about my films or myself presume that they know something; some secret and unknown thing that should be revealed to the masses. But, they are wrong in virtually all that they proclaim. Again, don’t you see the problem in that?

I came to the film game relatively late in life. I was in my early thirties. But, when I did, I dove straight in. Like many who get into acting, I initially had dreams of red carpets and stardom. This, even though I grew up in Hollywood, California and had, up until that point in time, completely rebuked the industry. But, after numerous offers, my curiosity got peaked and I tried to grab the golden ring. I had some small success. But, it seem my destiny called me into another direction.

Here’s the thing, if you wish to, “Make it,” in Hollywood, and I used that term, “Hollywood,” as a greater whole, you must constantly rely on someone else’s judgment of you. “Are you right for the role?” “Do you have the right look?” “Will your name mean anything to the sales of the production?” “Will you give the producer sex?” A question I said, “No,” to more than once. #metoo.

All this being said, what I found was that if you produced your own films, you could constantly work. You could make cinematic art. But, back then, when I first entered the filmmaking game, and even today, making that cinematic art was and is not cheap. But, if you could get some money for some equipment, production and post production costs then, “Yes,” you could make a movie. Which is what I did.

Somebody asked me about one of Donald G. Jackson’s films, Roller Blade Warriors this morning, which set me to thinking about all of this… As I have stated in the past, when Don asked me to work with him, I had never seen any of his films. I was into a completely different style of filmmaking. One day, when we had just begun doing Roller Blade Seven, we were at an actress’s house in West Hollywood, and Don pops in a copy of Roller Blade Warrior into the video deck. I was shocked at its horribleness. Though it did cost upwards of a million dollars to make. My first thought was to leave and never look back but I made the choice, perhaps the wrong choice, not to leave. Thus, my work with him has come to be, at least part, of my filmmaking legacy. We made a lot of film together. Some people like them, some do not. But, what actually is like and dislike? Isn’t it only a person placing their own predetermined definitions onto what they believe is good or what they think is bad?

As thirty years or so have progressed since that fateful day when Don and I began creating our first film together; me, personally, I have made a lot of films. In fact, I had made a few films before that point in time when I met DGJ. But, what any filmmaker is define by, whether rightly or wrongly, is the interpretation of the viewer. If a filmmaker allows that to define their pathway, however, then all that is created is done so simply as a means of appeasement to the viewer and is never a true representation of what the filmmaker has envisioned in their mind. Me, I have always believed that art is art and art can only be defined in the mind of the artist. Yes, some art comes to be liked or loved more than other art but that does not take its essence away. In fact, think about it, more art is never seen than is seen. How many artists have created art, through the history of humanity, that was lost to the eyes of the viewer and was never seen at all?

As art is art and as art is all about the artist creating the art and the viewer viewing the art, then all art, by its very definition, is a process of personal interpretation. And, personal interpretation, by its very nature, is based upon bias. This being said, and perhaps one of the keys to living a life of understanding instead of a life defined by prejudice, is to understand that your interpretation is only your interpretation—your appraisal is only your appraisal. If you attempt to spout your appraisal to the world than what you have done is to cause others to either believe your words or disbelieve what you are saying. But, by behaving in this fashion, what you have done is to remove personal exploration; not only of any artwork but of the depth of an individual’s own personality, as well. You have halted their developing understanding of what they truly do or do not believe because you have interceded with your thoughts which are not necessarily their thoughts.

In life—in all life, everything is defined by individual interpretation. But, if you cast your interpretation into the mind’s of others, you have taken away their ability to form their own understanding. If, when you do this, you do so by presenting falsehood as your premise, then you have created a world based upon the lies that you have told. What do you think is the ultimate ramifications of that?

In closing, think what you want to think and be who you want to be. But remember, if you feel your interpretation of art, or any other realm of life science, is worthy of being listening to by the masses, at least be right in your dissemination. If not, all you have done is to help create a world based upon lies.