Sunday, March 21, 2010

What He Said...

We think so much alike that sometimes I feel fellow Regina raised filmmaker Trevor Cunningham is my illegitimate offspring. If that's somehow actually the case, he luckily got his looks from his mother...

I first found Trevor a little over a year ago when his original blog SECRET LAB X began trending in the same subject loops as my own. Reading him for the first time was one of those rare moments in life where you realize you're neither crazy nor as out there as you thought you might be.

Like that other Regina creative icon, Will Dixon, Trevor brings a regional perspective to the discussion of all things Canadian TV and film that is a breath of clean prairie air carrying the kind of hard nosed realism that wouldn't be out of place in a Hollywood studio, but sadly is within the corridors of Canadian media power.

Trevor is a guy that everybody who actually wants to make a film or TV show in this country should be reading. He has a new self titled site up and running now that you can find here or over to the right on my sidebar.

Hopefully, he'll soon archive the fine things he concocted back in the Secret Lab. But for now you can read his take on the collapse of the Saskatchewan film industry and what it portends for the rest of the country if we don't --- well --- wake the fuck up.

Sometime Monday (or today since that's when most of you will be reading this) the CRTC will release its far too long awaited report on Canadian Television, including its decision on "fee for carriage" or "value for service" or whatever other bureaucratese is chosen to least offend those with their hands out.

Whatever that decision is, it will signal a major change in the way media business is done in this country. That might be good for some of us. And it just as easily might be very bad.

Days after the CRTC decision, the Canadian Media Fund will drop the other shoe. We already have a good idea what sound that one's going to make when it hits. So it might well be time for each of us Creatives to do some of the soul searching Trevor is suggesting.

In anticipation of all this, I've spent the weekend examining some of those new options myself. For starters, I want to recommend two that you all should take into consideration.

First, there is this interview with Jeff Lipsky, co-founder of October Films and independent film pioneer and icon on what he sees coming down the road.

And all of you thinking of escaping into cyberspace with your pencils and moleskin might want to pick up a copy of Internet Guru Jaron Lanier's YOU ARE NOT A GADGET.

By reading a guy who's correctly predicted the online future (pretty much since its invention) you'll discover that those wise bureaucrats at the CMF who have designed what will be our Canadian web tomorrow are so wrong it's almost criminal.

But those in Ottawa who would govern our lives have been wrong before, haven't they?

So start by reading Trevor and maybe thinking about finally letting go of daddy's hand and taking a couple of baby steps on your own for a change.


Cunningham said...

In the grand family tree then, that makes you "Unca Jim."

I'm finding more and more as I get older that the people in your life who mean anything are they guys and gals who get shit done. Which is why I don't cotton much to politicians, lawyers or critics (though believe me I can be critical) whose job it seems to be is to try and keep us from getting shit done.

Cousin Trev, Unca Jim - keep on, keeping on... I'll be reading. See at the next family reunion. I think you're hosting this next one.

Trevor B. Cunningham said...

Thank you for the link and the kind words. It will be an interesting few weeks to be sure. I think it's past due as an industry that we become local business owners again. Supporting fly-by-night operations that blow through town, get handsome tax credits sporting an attitude that they are 'allowing' you to work on their show, has to...and will stop. Fighting policy, regulators, civil service leaders and politicians who see themselves as followers and holders of wealth will be a longer battle.

But there is hope and new approaches. I'll post some of those later.

Thanks again.