Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Average Joe Media

A comment made by Ghost Hunters' own Kris Williams brought to the forefront this thought I had in my head... a secret, disturbing thought I have carried for a long time.
She made a comment via twitter that someone informed her she was far too old at 28 to break in the show business. She followed this up with the comment that they didn't want to see you unless you were a size 0 and under 25.
And this is all too true. I've heard many a report stating that if a woman is larger than a size 2 she need not apply for anything in Hollywood. Which is ridiculous, as most women really AREN'T that size. That's why you always see only those sizes left on the clothing rack when you need that size 8, or 12.
This isn't going to be a launch in to sexism or misogyny. Not at all. This is going to be about missing the boat on talent and the inbreeding of perception. Because, you see, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there that are not that thin or that young who are wonderful, beautiful and talented, and not in either the "traditional" or "marketable" sense. I use these facetiously, as I think America would adjust quite fine to seeing them introduced.
When I win the lottery I am going to take a large portion of the money and create Average Joe Studios. The entire point is to not give a shit what the person looks like. If they can act and they're within the reach of the character's appearance, then they're in. None of this size 0 bullshit. None of this needing a guy with a cleft chin and a 6 pack that can't deliver lines but sells posters. It would be purely about the story and the talent creating it ,and it would reject all the shallowness and falacy that Hollywood wraps itself in. I would probably put the studio in Vermont somewhere to be as far from Hollywood as possible. And from there we would churn out some of the best Indie films ever seen, with good quality actors and amazing stories that Hollywood wouldn't touch because it isn't the half-assed masturbatory remake of a 30 year old film or a TV show from our youth.
Sorry, needed to clear my throat.
It would lose money. It would lose a LOT of money. It would only be popular with people that had parties for the sheer purpose of viewing Indie films and drinking wine, or the people who go to Sundance for the scene primarily and the actual films secondarily. Eventually people would do retrospectives on its golden years from 2012 to 2015 when it went up in a mysterious fire the insurance company never paid out on due to suspected insurance fraud, but it would be awesome.
And maybe, just maybe, it would be the chink in the armor of stupidity and monopoly that Hollywood holds on film in this country. Hell, maybe we would branch out in the music and tell the RIAA to go fuck itself. That would be a fantastic day.
I think the major hook would be novelty, that would get most people to watch a few films from AJ Studios. Then after they realized the stories were good even if the actors didn't drip so much sexuality you needed to be careful where you walked at the end of the show, they would stick around, recommend it to friends. Then we would turn on the marketing campaign that we WEREN'T Hollywood. We weren't status quo, and we aren't going to take it anymore!
Punk cinema, y'all. I would put an Asian and an African American in the leading roles and not even flinch. Screw the need for American audiences to "identify". That is OLD thinking. That is the cowardly, undying idea that an America couldn't comprehend a story if a white person wasn't telling it. It isn't the America now that is far more colorblind than even when I was a young girl. And it isn't an America that needs a faked an ethnic minority to sell it to a mainstream crowd.
Damned tickle in my throat. So sorry.
I want to see a size 14 girl talking to an 80 year old woman bedecked in wrinkles and crows-feet because she's looking for guidance. I want to see people who can't get their hair to style properly deliver lines that take a shot at the heart of what we worry about or love. I know they're out there, I see these beautiful, wonderful people constantly. I think they should be given a chance to talk with us in a forum where we can let go of disbelief and let them in without being distracted by over-sexualized phrasing and clothing, or product placement. I think the public wants to just enjoy the damned story and not be sold something every time they sit down, be it an idea or a Nokia phone.
Anyway... this is my idea. If anybody's up for it now I'd be willing to try it even without the benefit of the lottery, or really any knowledge of how the film industry works. Sometimes self-taught is the greatest way to do things because you aren't shown the box first and then figure out how to work within it. Drop me a line if you think we could roll with this.

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