Joe LaRocca: The Month Movie Man

Joe LaRocca, BC ‘05, is one man, a man who’s made a lot of little movies: 275 to be exact. Once a year, for one month, Larocca—a film professor at Boston College—wakes up and makes a movie everyday. As the month wains on, LaRocca threads all the days together for one ‘month movie.’ He’s been at the project since 2007. It’s part video-diary, part autobiography, an examination of everyday life. But it’s also just about getting better, honing your craft, whatever that may be.

Arts editor Ryan Dowd sat down with Larocca to talk about the August 2015 month movie, Jurassic World, comic books, his career so far, hard-boiled eggs, dogs, Mad Max, and much, much more.

https://soundcloud.com/heightsarts/scene-and-heard-joe-larocca


 

Ryan Dowd: Yeah, so I guess I’ll start with what movies you saw this summer and what you thought, good and bad?

Joe LaRocca: It’s kind of been in my opinion a really bad summer. It’s been a good summer for the industry in terms of having Jurassic World make 500 gillion dollars. So that’s good for the industry, because every year you hear ‘oh when are all these other markets like the Internet, TV, different things gonna start pulling away from theaters and kill the movie industry’. But that doesn’t seem to be happening. Especially when a movie gets 2 billion internationally.

But it’s a bad thing for people interested in the more artistic, more broad films because this [summer] confirms now another decade of reboots/remakes, because the formula works.

Yeah, we’ll take a John Carter every once in awhile for every three Avengers or Spider-Man movies.

RD: Yeah, Jurassic World just throws in like Chris Pratt-kids-divorce-dinosaurs equals movie! It was like this weird mish-mash

JL: And yeah, I love the first one so much for so many reasons. It was one of the first cinematic experiences for me … but the ad campaign for [Jurassic Park] was very ‘Spielbergian.’ You know like very nice and kid friendly, and in the end of the trailer a dinosaur paw print hits the mud.

RD: Like this is an adventure but not an adventure where “oh shit a raptors gonna eat me.”

JL: Yeah, we didn’t know that things were gonna derail as much as it does. So I remember, and I’m sure I would have picked up on that now, but as a kid you’re like ‘oh cool an adventure movie.’ And I just remember being blown away away by it. Then, in the future, watching it in college and stuff, that it keeps the audience engaged no matter what age because of the pacing. So even if the content is stupid, Spielberg is such a capable director that it just flows so nicely and once the rollercoaster starts it pretty much keeps going. There’s a few downtimes but even those are great, even those are tension builders.

And I just didn’t feel that with the new one. And I don’t get it. Chris Pratt has no character. The only thing he seems to be passion about is animal rights. He has a PETA-esque speech about how ‘these raptors aren’t weapons..’ whatever. Then in the very next scene he kills a fly, that’s flying around Bryce Dallas Howard’s head. And I know that’s a little thing, but if he’s that big of an animal rights guy he wouldn’t just kill a fly. You know? Maybe I’m looking too deeply into it, but you know how we talk in class, every detail matters. You’re spending all this time and money. You can’t have a character be like ‘every animal is precious.’ And then in the next scene he’s like [slap] Mr. Miyagi.

RD: But it’s weird how in that movie you feel so much more safe when he’s on screen than when he’s not.

JL: [laughs] Yeah because you know nothing bad is gonna happen.

RD: [laughs]

JL: I didn’t feel safe when Sam Neal was on screen. He might know what to do, but he could still be totally overpowered. I don’t know … The fact that the special effects are “better” in the original, and I say that in the sense that they work better. You can tell obviously sometimes when it’s a robot … You can tell sometimes when things are green screened in. But all of them are pretty damn good. And in some of the scenes it makes them pretty damn effective. The raptors in the kitchen scene is so memorable to me and that feels totally real. And there was nothing even close to that in the new one. There were no sequences … like, oh, let’s put them in a giant ball. That ball is insane. That ball would cost like a billion dollars.

RD: And they have a range of them.

JL: Yeah, let’s just give them to kids to just drive around with these prehistoric beasts. We wouldn’t even have those to look around at cows or extremely passive. Because … like how do you breathe? … There are so many questions I have about that ball that upset me more than basically anything in the whole movie.


 

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RD: You saw Mad Max though?

JL: Yes.

RD: Well that’s an example of a movie that made … a lot of money.

JL: Yes. And a lot of it comes down to the special effects were all practical. It’s basically cirque sole on the back of a giant war trailer. But yeah, I think that movie is very confident in the world it creates.

RD: The war boys … I could do … I don’t want a whole lot of sequels …  but I could do a war boy trilogy … just all war boys.

JL: Yeah, like the idea of these guys, it all makes sense without explaining too much. They’re in this like irradiated world and they have a half-life and they’re only gonna live to like 35 or something, so why not capitalize on the idea of them as crazy suicide bombers. And all the weird spray/drug … just visually, it’s genius.

RD: Yeah, like you don’t really get but [the movie] doesn’t give you time to think about it, because you’re on the road.

JL: Yeah, because as we talk about in class, the movie’s about chaos and continuing to move, being the “Fury Road,” if you will. And everything has to be like that. You can’t all of a sudden have like a sweet, passive character. Everything: the music, the editing, the camera work—has to be following that same psychopathic …

RD: And even in the middle, in the most peaceful moment when they’re sitting in the desert … you slowly realize that ‘oh shit we have to go back’ so you gear up for [the Fury Road] again and go back.

Yeah, like there is no other place to go … spoiler alert. But yeah also some interesting women issues came up, mostly because it has Charlize Theron as like a hero.

RD: And a harem.

JL: I guess how she’s helping a harem escape. And it’s like why are they all models? Aren’t they oversexualized in that? In a sense, yes, I see that angle, but it also makes sense in the context of the story. That this warlord would take only the most prized bride, because of genetics. Genes are what’s valuable. If you don’t have irradiated genes, you can give birth to … a human.

All that stuff is so cool because none of it is talked about in the movie. And we can just pick it up. There’s no cheesy love story really. There’s like eight lines of dialogue.

RD: Max talks like 10 times. But yeah Mad Max makes me hopeful that movies can still be good. But watching like the trailer for Dawn of Justice makes me … really depressed.

JL: Yeah that doesn’t look right does it? But … we’ll see what happens.


RD: So yeah I was watching a lot of your stuff, you know, as always.

JL: Daily check-ins to my once-a-year updated website.

RD: [laughs] It seems like a lot of the time what you’re doing—with the month movies especially—is taking normal life and making it weird. I’m thinking, well, the easiest example is when you’re on the swing on the one last year and like an alien comes down …

JL:and abducts me.

RD: Yeah it’s the most normal thing and you sort of insert this crazy thing.

JL: Yeah, I definitely see how it looks like that, and maybe I need some more therapy. But to me … yeah maybe I see the world in a more ridiculous way, but that’s not necessarily true. I’m not walking down the street seeing aliens flying through the air.

But for anyone who doesn’t know about the month movie idea, I pick a month every year and then every day of that month I make a little movie. So the most recent one I did was August 2015.

RD: Which is why we’re talking.

JL: Hmm yes … the premiere. So I’ve made 275 little shorts or something, you know, like 17 of which are good. Which is fine, because most people who say they’re filmmakers don’t have 17 good shorts.

That aside, I think it just comes out of the idea of just waking up and “what can I do today that would be an interesting movie?” Maybe something simple will happen like I’ll get something in the mail. Or for there I just went to that field because I knew they had some ball courts and like a swing set set-up. Maybe something can come out of this. And I got there and thought the sky looked kind of weird. And I thought what if I was just on the swings and get abducted. So then I thought about how to shoot that. And it wasn’t me trying to be weird, it’s what can I do to make this interesting, because all I have are shots of me on a swing.

RD: Yeah I guess it’s more, what I was talking about wasn’t uhh decrying you as a weirdo.

JL: Well I took it that way.

RD: [laughs] And it’s probably true, but it’s like, in the month movies a lot of the days you’re trying to capture in some way how we warp our vision of reality to make [life] interesting, how to not be bored all the time. And I think it accomplishes that a lot of the time.

JL: You know I think that was the impetus for starting it. It was ‘I have a nice camera’ and the friend of a friend said, ‘well why aren’t you making a movie right now?’ And I was like … shut up. [laughs]

You make excuses when you’re a filmmaker, and it applies to anything. If you’re an accountant, it’s why don’t you take that test to move up to the next level. “Oh no I don’t want to that or I’m happy where I am.” You make excuses, you know? So when he said it to me I was like … duh. And then the next day, it was Feb. 1, 2007. I woke up and I was like I should make a movie every day this month to prove it to that kid—I don’t even remember his name. I finished it and …

RD: … and then you saw him.

JL: I saw him and he was like, “What have you been up to?” And I was like “made a movie every month.” And he was like “Cool. You like movies?” And I was like “Dammit.” I thought he was gonna be like “Wow dude, way to step it up!”

But that taught me a valuable lesson that you’re not making it—and I didn’t make it for him—but it was a good motivator …  and in the end, there’s a little blurb on the website above the month movies that describes it pretty well. Like it’s kind of jokey but that is probably the best description of what I’m trying to accomplish or whatever.

But speaking of this year, this is a big leap forward with this one, because I came to the realization, as you might know, on the previous ones I’ve been pretty personal. It’s been sometimes I feel overly personal.

RD: You’ve called it like a diary.

JL: And it is like a video diary, especially if you go back and look at some of the other ones. It’s like why did I make a movie about this? All the months kind of have this vibe to their own, and you know that’s just how I was feeling those days.

RD: But you started with the baby in this one which seemed like …

JL: Yeah, I was like, let’s be personal, without me directly talking about being personal or having me even be directly in the ones that I feel are personal, because at this point—this was kind of me maturing as a filmmaker, realizing that I don’t even need to be in it because people know that I’m making it. I have 100 percent control. I have 110 percent control. No one’s telling me anything. I’m shooting it. I’m editing it. Only one person held the camera for one shot in this whole movie—one other person.

And not because I don’t trust anyone, but it just becomes so much more unified and personal, like a laser beam, you know? Anytime I felt like I was doing something too personal, or thinking about psychoanalyzation, you know ways I feel about stuff, I was just like get rid of this. I made two movies that I just deleted. It was like 8 o’clock at night and I was like halfway through editing them, or I was done editing one of them, and I was like, ‘What is this?’ This is like an open wound. This is like so childish. This is so unartistic. This is like if an artist was mad about the Nazis and wrote on a piece of paper “I hate Nazis.” It was just being so direct there was no artistry behind it. Deleted it. Made another movie that day.

One is the one that makes no sense when I just blow up eggs in a microwave, and I’ve rather have that, a bad one that doesn’t make me seem like an open sore or something like that.

RD: That was pretty exciting. I didn’t know you could do that.

JL: That you can blow up eggs in a microwave? Yeah, it takes about 50 seconds. I cut ‘em down for time, but if you only do them for 10, 20 seconds you can do a soft boiled egg. Pretty nice. Maybe I should do that month movie just perfecting the soft-boiled egg.

Yeah, so I think removing myself from it actually puts me in it a bit more, because the camera is just my eye, you know it’s my interpretation, it’s my eye in the editing room.

RD: So the audience is with you behind the camera instead of with …

JL: … with me in front of the camera. And it’s really hard to make a movie, first of all, but it’s really hard to make a movie by setting up your shot, especially on a DSLR camera with a shallow depth of field a lot of the time, like if I’m using the nice lenses, set the focus, press record, run in front of the camera, do my stupid whatever stupid thing I’m doing, run back behind, pause, play it back to see if I’m in frame, and you’re looking at it in a little LCD screen, then when I go to edit it it’s slightly out of focus, and I can’t deal with that. Sometimes I have to keep those shots, and I want to get away from that so much to make it look as professional as possible.

It was a huge step forward, being I don’t need to be in these to show this is how I’m feeling. It’s analogous to like in a paper—you should never use the word “I.” You never say “I feel.” I feel like you’re going through your head right now of all the papers you’ve written going “Ohh shit.”

RD: No, like anytime I’m in an English class, which is a lot of them, and someone starts a comment with “I just feel like …” I just feel like they’re wasting my education.

JL: [laughs]

RD: I didn’t come here to figure out …

JL: … what Jim feels, but whenever you raise your hand you’re saying I think, I feel, I wonder. I was always taught to in a paper never say ‘in my opinion, Holden Caulfield represents… ”No you don’t write that. you write ‘Holden Caufield represents …” It shows a lack of confidence, and it’s just poor grammar. And I am not good at grammar. I can hardly read or write, and you know that from class. [laughs]

So when people make films in that way, which I am guilty of doing, I think it … dilutes the message. It’s a simpler road to the message, less rewarding for the audience.

RD: It’s like indulgent.

JL: Yeah, it starts feeling really indulgent and this was the first year I didn’t call someone and panic and say “God, I’m being so indulgent. Who makes 30 movies about themselves? What an asshole.”

But the truth is … isn’t that kind of the point? It’s biographical or autobiographical and like a video diary and so naturally the design of it is gonna be that it’s about you to some degree. But it doesn’t have to be that much. It can be about me in a different way, different than just showing me doing something.

RD: Yeah, one of my favorite sequences of any of the month movies is the wedding footage [from last year]. It like feels different than some of the other stuff, because it’s not about you at all, and you can sort of feel that. The footage is just incredible. There’s the one shot where you’re looking down the aisle and you have the mountains in the background.

JL: First of all, location amazing. We were in this amazing house in the White Mountains. They say location, location, location—that is true. Location really sets the scene as they say. So I had that, but you picked up something good in since I removed myself from it, I was able to focus on the cinematography, which is why the cinematography is better. I mean I can say that objectively. You can just look at it from an objective standpoint—geez, the ones you’re not acting in are shot far better, because you have much more control. I would take that nugget because that’s such a strong sequence and tried to do more of that—as much as I could—in the most recent one.

So what you’re talking about was in Sept. 2014, with this one I think the stuff with the building and the planes are similar to that in it’s much more of an observing vibe.

RD: Yeah, you feel a similar thing in the dog park, them all sniffing each other.

JL: Yeah, the first dog park movie I made in September, if you notice carefully it’s just my dog Oddie nearly getting peed on by every dog and like running away from every dog, because that was all the footage I’d decided to use. I go to the dog park twice a day it’s a big part of my life … because I work so many hours here at BC … I only work six hours a week.

And I go there and obviously there’s just amazing dogs everywhere, hanging around so this year, there’s only one shot of Oddie in there.

RD: When she looks back …

JL: … it’s non-narrative like each movie is non-narrative but I feel like as a whole, there’s kind of a narrative … an emotional narrative.

RD: Yeah and I watched the first one last night when I got home from production and each day was very clearly set off. It was very clearly like one, two, three.

JL: Yeah like intertitles, screens with a drawing and a title.

RD: And in the most recent one it doesn’t even differentiate the days, and that’s like, how you sort of go through a month. They all blur together.

JL: Exactly. Like every four years I try to make a structural change, because then it breaks down to three sets of four. It breaks down in interesting mathematical ways.

But the big change I made in this one was no titles, no day numbers. And the real reason in getting rid of titles even though I did that last year was that I thought it was indicating too much what I wanted people to think with the title. And then I went, “I specifically teach this in class … don’t have a title giving away the plot.” So there some that genuinely didn’t make sense but because I gave it a title and told you what was happening it made sense.

RD: “Ohh that’s what he’s saying …”

JL: Yeah exactly, that’s weak storytelling that’s bad art … and I’m like if I do these well you’ll probably know when [the days are] changing, and then I liked the idea of not knowing. ‘Oh was that the last shot of the last movie or the first shot … ?” I can also see why an audience member would be getting irritated, like “Uhh God we’re only in the first week?” You know how it’s annoying to look at the clock when you’re watching a movie sometimes. Even if you’re enjoying it and you look down, “God there’s an hour and 15 left?”

RD: Everytime I watch Lord of the Rings.

JL: [laughs] Yeah, “Oh God there’s nine hours left?”

RD: “It’s ended five times already!”

JL: Keep giving it me … but yeah keeping it short, no titles, just letting it go is definitely better. Now you do know the first day is Aug. 1, but the day when I see that graffiti of that dog that has a bunch of nipples on it.

RD: [laughs] Yeah.

JL: [laughs] Which is awkward, but it does strangle tie into the movie in weird ways with all the birth and dogs, for there to be graffiti of a big pregnant, lactating dog.

RD: That’s gold.

JL: It’s perfect, and I didn’t realize that ’til later. But the second building I walk across, on the garage doors, it says eight to 10. And it was … Aug. 10, and it just says that because it was number eight and then number 10 on Tyler Street. And I set up the shot and didn’t even realize it until I looked at it and holy s—t you know, so I panned it up so you can see it. And I’m sure most people don’t notice it, but that is the 10th day so it’s like accidentally hidden in there. And it’s my cousin’s baby.

RD: Easter Eggs!

JL: It’s my cousin’s baby at the end and my college roommate’s at the end. Those are two different babies.

RD: They’re not both yours?

JL: Yeah, I was thinking are people gonna think I had a baby. I can’t be in any of these shots or holding the baby.

RD: Because you’re holding the camera, is it’s own baby …

JL: … which is the real baby.


 

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RD: Did you think you’d be farther along in your film career at this point?

JL: Oh yeah, this is in no way how I pictured my life. I assumed I’d go to BC and meet a girl. And then like marry her, not at BC, but like we’d leave BC and move somewhere and we’d get married and then …

RD: Sounds familiar …

JL: [laughs] … and then I’d get a job in New York, like I didn’t have delusions of grandeur. I didn’t think I’d go right to Hollywood and be like, “Here’s my script!”

I was like I’ll probably work in New York City for like 10 to 15 years—five years as like a PA [production assistant] and maybe work my way up in editing or in the camera department. That’s what I figured. And then maybe make enough friends to direct a short and then hopefully that short gets into the Ivy League film festivals, and maybe get some attention there. Maybe you have to make a couple shots that get attention, before someone goes, “Hey, you wanna make a feature?’”

But I knew kids in high school who were like, “Yeah, I wanna direct a James Bond movie.” And I’ve never had that desire. Small movies are kind of what interest me. And I’m not like fully off of that path, and I did you know, meet a girl, move to New York City with her, did exactly what I thought I was gonna do, washed out of New York in like seven months, because it’s just so expensive and I was so ill-prepared. People were like laughing at me in interviews, because of the lack of stuff I knew. I was like 21, no experience trying to go to New York City to start up is a tough thing to do. I should have stayed in the area, done a few things around here, kept my internship when they offered me a job, worked there for a year or two and then move to New York when I have like a resume built up. Because I was like a fresh fish, ya know? One place asked me if I had any background in design and I was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah … what do you mean by design?”

I was like yeah I can use Photoshop. I know the color wheel. And this is like Manhattan dude, this is like the middle of it. But there’ve been curveballs in my life that aren’t necessarily my laziness, you know, health issues like that that’ve kept me in the area. But I’ve never thought I’d go back to school, then I got my Master’s. And even if you told me that, I would have thought I would have gone to like UCLA or NYU, which are like ‘the kings.’ Just because it makes the most. Like I don’t recommend most people go to grad school unless you can go to the most elite grad school you can, because if it’s not the most elite, then they just let you in. Like after I applied, I honestly think I got in after my check cleared.

It’s like if I made a bowl of cereal for somebody, and they were like, “You did a good milk to cereal ratio,” then maybe I should be a culinary master and sign up for Chopped and Iron Chef. It’s too big of a leap. Like I really like movies, maybe I should master in them. I’m gonna pay $80,000 because I really like The Bourne Trilogy.

Film has got this weird thing to it, because when you watch it, it’s supposed to be enjoyed and go by in a seamless amount of time. You’re just there and it flows through. You forget that a two-hour movie took someone two years to make. Not just somebody, hundreds of people two years to make. And all we get is the fun. It’s like you eat a Snickers bar and you’re like, that was good. I’m sponsored by Snickers by the way. But then if someone told you it took two years to make that. You’d go, “Holy crap!”

RD: And like two years of just staring at a computer, thinking should I cut it at this half second or cut …

JL: … cut it at this half second. Or there’s a room of people giving me money and don’t like that this character is a woman or something or, “The woman you picked isn’t pretty enough, you need to remake your movie.” That kind of thing, I don’t deal very well with people telling me what to do. Period. Like I can work in a team. But if it’s something that’s my own vision … I could never deal with those situations, though I mean obviously I could deal with them because you’re getting money… but those situations when you hear a director got the movie taken away from them because the studio …

RD: Fantastic Four.

JL: Did the most recent Fantastic Four get taken away?

 RD: Yeah, like the ending what shot without the director.

JL: [laughs] I did not know that.

RD: Did you see it?

JL: No

RD: It was the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen.

JL: No, someone did tell me it felt like two movies.

RD: Yeah, incompetent in every way.

JL: Yeah that’s weird—what a cast too, flushed them all down the drain, too. Yeah, that’s the thing if you don’t have a story it doesn’t matter how much money or talent you throw at it. It all starts with the story, and the story of Fantastic Four isn’t even that great, well I guess it’s OK. Don’t they like fly too close to the sun or something?

RD: Uhh, no.

JL: [laughs] Isn’t that what it is? They fly up into space?

RD: Well, yeah, but it changes a bit over time…it has roots in sci-fi that are interesting. I think with the superhero movies people can do interesting stuff with them

JL: Yes

RD: But they’re not, like, interesting if you just tell it straight

JL: Yeah I’m waiting for some more like avant garde, non-Marvel studio, [superhero] movies.

RD: Like Birdman?

JL: [laughs] Yeah but I guess Birdman goes too much the other way. I’m not saying I don’t like Birdman, I’m just saying it’s not really a superhero movie in the same sense. They have a problem because they can’t make them R, because they won’t make the money that they need to make, they have to walk the line of PG-13. But since they’re so more popular, maybe they’ll start getting down to the more … you know the fact that Preacher is gonna be a TV show. That’s like an interesting, very gruesome comic book. There’re ones like Planetary, Transmetropolitan, and Y: The Last Man these ones that are grittier. Y: The Last Man isn’t so much, but it’d work really well in like an AMC-, Netflix-vibe, because the episodic thing seems to work. It’s interesting that on TV you can basically be as violent as you want.

RD: Daredevil, which isn’t great, is like super-violent, like the episodic nature you’re talking about works really well with comics.

JL: It works way better than just trying to cram it all in.

RD: And it’s kind of how [comics] work, like Marvel’s trying to make episodic movies.

JL: Yeah I want to see a Swamp-Thing movie, because he’s kind of an anti-hero, you know where people see him as a monster but he’s a good guy. Something like that but where it’s more dramatic, where it’s not “uh oh aliens came through the breachy pod!”

Or like I love Paul Rudd but I walked out of Ant-Man because I was so bored.

RD: Really?

JL: Because the enemy was not scary, at all.

RD: I just had fun.

JL: I was having fun! Then I was like, “I don’t care where this is going. I’m sick of sitting here.”

RD: I think one of the most creative, fun things Marvel has ever done is when Pena’s character tells the stories and they go in and out of all the other latino stories.

JL: Yeah.

RD: That’s probably one of the top-five things Marvel has ever done.

JL: Yeah, I also liked the running and shrinking down through the key-hole and then re-bigging yourself.

RD: And I’ll see anything with Evangeline Lilly. Like … anything.

JL: Yeah … uhh … she’s an attractive lady. And she’s good for those roles, because commits and can physically … you can tell it’s not 82 percent stunt double.

I just think, maybe, don’t chuck so many stars at the movies … let’s make some stars with these movies.

RD: I’ll counter with a lot of fun in Marvel movies is like you get to see a movie star at the top of their game ..

JL: ..in the biggest budget thing … yeah. .. I think the reason The Avengers seem to work is that all those characters are kind of one dimensional, but when you put them all together it becomes multi-dimensional … and I think Joss Whedon did a good job of making them inter-play, but I think as a whole there’s just too much of that. It’s just too much. It’s all I can say. The positive to there being more is that they’re gonna go deeper and we’re gonna get to the more eccentric comic book stories.

RD: Yeah, comics are kind of about different realities and universes crossing over each other.

JL: And that’s what’s interesting on one page you could be on Earth and the next page it’s 20,000 years in the future, alternate reality kind of thing. You can’t pull that off in a book or certainly not a painting, in other art forms it’s less acceptable to do those kind of things, but in a comic book you don’t even bat an eye at something like that, but that doesn’t seem to happen in the movies though.

RD: I think in terms of the movie genre, I guess I think that this is what people might have felt when every movie was a western.

JL: Yeah … [laughs] … that’s a good point and people must have been like “OK, the Native Americans are gonna be the bad guys and …

RD: … and John Wayne’s a boss.” I get it. I get it. You sort of reach the overload before a genre becomes like … too present.

JL: Yeah, I wonder if like whoever the future Tarantino is in like 30 years they’ll be making …

RD: Yeah, because Tarantino is doing the western thing.

JL: Yeah, like they’ll be making the spaghetti Marvel movies, maybe we’ll get this super-violent, un-canon version, only problem is there’s too many IP’s [intellectual properties] owned by people.

Why I got interested in comics a couple years ago was that more interesting storytelling was happening there than what I could find in the books and movies I was seeing out there … and it is kind of like a middle-zone between movies and books.

Like I’m not gonna go to Comicon … unless somebody wants to come with me? Unless someone wants to help build my Mad Max.

RD: I’m with you, Joe. Follow you with a giant fire guitar.

JL: Yeah, well I’ll obviously have to be a war boy, because I’m so skinny. I would shave my head. I would do it all. I’d spray paint my face.


RD: You know what isn’t a month movie? I mean, you know what isn’t a superhero movie?

JL: [laughs] A month movie. In fact I never do anything heroic in them at all.

The last time I was interviewed about this, I don’t think I really said what I wanted to … and it’s that I think everyone should be doing this, in some way or another, whatever your thing is. If your thing is writing, or music, or something completely non-artistic as well. Maybe you’re in finance. But you should pick a month and every day your goal should be to better yourself in that field. So let’s say you’re in finance, find a course, or book that is painful to read, that will give you a better perspective. Not only does it keep you interested in your field and not stagnant, but you get so much out of it. You learn so much about yourself. And I feel like I’ve progressed so much as a filmmaker, especially the last few … It’s just a little microcosm of what my life was like this past month.

Featured Image by Breck Wills / Photo Illustration

Photography by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor

About Ryan Dowd 120 Articles
Ryan Dowd was the Arts & Review Editor. He's amassed 16,323 (at last count) unread emails. He'll work on it tomorrow. Follow him on Twitter @RPD_1993.