A couple of weeks ago, the L.A. Weekly ran an article [“Heir of the Dogma,” August 9–15] about one of these groovy new film collectives where bohemian-looking digital filmmakers shoot their bowel movements and foist it on the public in their hip little screenings. This really got my Irish up. (Actually, it got my Jewish up.) I know this is the unpopular view in our digital age, and I’m probably showing my age (I’m a grizzled 36), but a movie shot on video is not a movie! It’s just video footage.

Does this digital moviemaking thing bother anybody except me? Look at some of these studio-backed digital pictures like Full Frontal and Tadpole. What do they cost — $1 million, $2 million each? Well, as long as they are going to put up $2 million, why can’t they raise an extra few thousand dollars and buy some fucking film? I don’t want to pay nine bucks to go to a movie theater and watch something that looks like my uncle’s shaky, grainy home videos of his fishing trip. Doesn’t anybody else miss the lush look that only properly projected 35mm film can provide?

Related Stories

  • Old-School Mexican Restaurants 36

    Old-school Mexican is a state of mind. Far, far away from farm-to-table, diet fads or the latest trends, this style of cuisine celebrates comfort, plenty and lots of lard. These retro-minded dishes wouldn't be caught dead featuring chia seeds or kale - although it's amusing to remember that the avocado...
  • Movin' Out

    @ Milken Institute
  • Maron on Highland Park 6

    Marc Maron is a well-known comic, author and host of the popular twice-weekly podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. He's also the creator, executive producer, writer and star of the weekly TV show Maron on IFC, which counts Denis Leary among its executive producers as well as Maron's fellow comic Bobcat Goldthwait as one of the series directors. IFC is...
  • Mr. T's Makeover 5

    It's official: The 1933 Group, who "design and build fancy drinkeries" in L.A., will soon be remodeling Mr. T's Bowl in Highland Park into the new and more glamorous "Highland Park Bowl."  "At Highland Park Bowl, we plan on continuing the legacy of live music when it was Mr. T's," said...
  • Best Guitar Repair Shops 4

    Not so careful with that ax, Eugene? In a city that probably has more total guitarists than anywhere else on Earth, a good, reputable guitar shop is a major necessity, and not always easy to find. Here's an overview of some of the better guitar techs, luthiers, and repair shops...

My sincere wish is that DV — just like VD before it — will go away before it gets worse.

—Charles Zigman
Los Angeles


Re: Bobbi Murray’s “Canadian Bacon” [August 9–15]. What if they considered themselves economic actors first and Americans second? After all, when none of the apparent alternatives are acceptable, you have to start looking at the assumptions about what is off the table for a place to find your solution. This idea is actually more common around the world than we may think. People from every country come to the United States every day looking for a life, work and a chance for their families. Why should an American who loses his livelihood not do the same? Is there some inherent advantage to living in the U.S. that trumps food on the table? We are not talking about Timbuktu here; it’s Canada for God’s sake. Go there; be Canadian; be employed.

—David Stead
Seattle, Washington


Regarding Bobbi Murray’s article on runaway production remedies for the U.S. film and television industry, as a crew technician who works on various films, series and commercials, I’ve experienced the loss of entertainment-industry jobs in the U.S. as a result of "runaway" productions shooting in Canada — and, to a lesser degree, in places such as Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

The Canadian government has misused a provision of NAFTA regarding protecting their "culture" in order to justify many of its subsidies. What kind of Canadian culture is Chicago, Texas Rangers, Pasadena, American Psycho or Detroit Rock City? (As for Dudley Do-Right — another one shot in Canada — even though it was made by and starred Americans, I suppose one might call it an expression of Canadian culture. And since The Shipping News takes place in Nova Scotia, it gets a pass, too.)

I can think of very few household-name actors (or directors) who are willing to speak out on this matter. Ironically, many of them are more than willing to publicly decry the myriad injustices they see and hear in the largely cruel world in which we all share space, yet virtually none of them will do something to help the very people who make them look and sound like the stars they are. If Robin Williams had demanded it, Insomnia might have been completely shot in the U.S. — not in Canada (except for some aerial shots in Alaska); if Robert De Niro had demanded it, The Score might have been shot in the U.S., not in Montreal; if Arnold Schwarzenegger had demanded it, The Sixth Day might have been shot in the U.S., not in Vancouver. (This also applies to the upcoming Terminator III — for which Arnie is getting a record salary, and which was scheduled to shoot partially in Canada. It is now shooting entirely in the U.S., although this is apparently due to Arnie’s political aspirations, and to his fear of losing votes in retaliation for causing his fellow American film workers to lose jobs.)

On the other hand, I know of some actors who said "no" to Canada. Thanks to them, I got to work on some of their shows in the U.S. — and they’re not even big names. If they can do it, what excuses do the members of the multimillionaire club have?

Many of the jobs which do remain here often do so as a result of wage and benefit concessions, resulting in a lower standard of living for those of us trying to maintain a moderate lifestyle in the relatively expensive region in which we live. If you don’t already know it, most of the behind-the-scenes crew and office personnel working on these productions — and most of the supporting and bit actors you see and hear onscreen — are far from wealthy. When our income drops, so does our cash output, thereby negatively impacting the local economy. On top of that, with fewer productions shooting here, there are fewer permit and other fees going into the public coffers, along with fewer food, gas, laundry, hardware, etc., purchases made by said productions, thus further reducing the revenues circulating in the region.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Foster the People's Downtown L.A. Mural Is Coming Down

    The controversial Foster the People mural downtown is coming down, the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. Despite claims by the pop band that it had necessary permits and that the artwork was legitimately produced, the mayor's office states what we reported previously: The piece is on a...
  • U.S. Reps Call For Federal Intervention in Dodger TV Blackout

    A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers. Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten...
  • Dodgers Keep the Kids, Come Up Empty at Trade Deadline

    Twenty-six years is a long time between pennants. Unacceptably long; the longest period without a World Series appearance in Dodgers franchise history. That’s L.A. and Brooklyn. Of course, 1988 was glorious, but there is a large and growing continent of L.A. fans who just cannot look at the brake lights...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.