I was listening to Howard Stern this morning (as per usual), and he had Sylvester Stallone on. I found the most interesting parts of the interview were the times that Sly talked about how his movies are made. Most of his films were all him - directing, writing, acting, etc. He wrote all of the Rocky movies, all of the Rambo movies, Over The Top, Cliffhanger, The Expendables (his new movie), and a bunch of others. He said that he didn't even make any money with the last Rocky movie, and he doesn't expect to make any money with The Expendables. Here's a guy who makes movies just because he wants to create. He gets an idea, he writes the script, and he does what is necessary to get the movie made, even if none of his movies quite match up to Citizen Kane. Was there a market for Rocky 4? I don't know, but the scene with Rocky training in Siberia while Drago getting juiced up in his state-of-the-art gym is cinematic gold. I feel like if Stallone didn't push so hard to get his movies made, they never would've seen the light of day.
Before today, I was thinking about this while watching Hunting Yeti, the Nimbus film series done for the Ski Channel. These guys don't really have much in the way of film equipment. In fact, I read a profile in some ski magazine (I forget which and I can't find it online), that showed pretty much their entire operation: A really nice digital video camera, 7 One Terabyte Hard Drives (two of which he travels with), A really nice Mac, and a couple of still cameras. Toss in a guy that they got to do all of their music (no licensing fees = key), and all of a sudden, they had a film company. In fact, it was even easier than that. According to this article:
At the top of one of these runs, holding the camera in my hands and planning a shot with Eric Pollard, i had an epiphany. i realized i had total control of what we were doing. Nobody was telling us what we should do or how we should do it, and we were having tons of fun. I told Pollard, “This is what I want to be doing,” and he instantly agreed.
And their film company was born. Keep in mind, I don't even like some of the stuff they do in their films. They do a lot of stuff without their poles (which always looked weird to me), and I will never understand skiing powder backwards (I thought that one of the best things about powder was the face shot). But I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't like Rocky 4 too.
Either way, like Hansel, you've got to respect that they're out there making it happen. To create something that lasts forever - that's like a Jay Z song. I love making ski movies, I love the editing, I love fitting stuff to music, and I love the skiing. I love sitting around my house in September or October rewatching all of the movies that I made in previous years. I've been getting some hints that there's a call for me to do it again.
I'm definitely in, but when I made the previous films, I was usually the one behind the camera (I never got good results when other people tried to shoot). This time, though, I want to be like Sly. I want to be the Talent too.