Last week felt unproductive. There was little movement on casting and none with any of the management/production companies I've been talking with. All of that made me forget about the work that did get done. Mike and I shot some behind the scenes footage about the inspiration of the film in Compton and I also worked on PR.
I started with a PR plan that in the end was totally off base. A good friend who does PR rewrote it for me. And although I've read many things on branding for filmmakers it was always something I avoided. Perhaps it was my arrogance or naivety but for the longest I just thought people would just figure it out.
But that's just flat out wrong. No one has time to figure you out... especially when we (as artists) are struggling to figure out ourselves. The solution is a strong stance!
So I thought about the type of films I'll be doing in the future... what's important to me and how I want people to think about me etc. The truth is I've been running from the personal branding thing for a long time.... running from who I am... which is just a mashup of a lot of disparate things that only I can make sense of. So taking what I've been learning from this process.... getting the word about "Compton: The Antwon Ross Story" and why I'm making it. I'm finally ready to make a public stand about who I am and the type of films I will make for the rest of my career.
"I make authentic, scientific cinema!"
Boom. There I said it. It's taking me years to figure that out. That's the stance I never wanted to admit because I don't want people to think I only do scifi. But the reality is that I've spent most of my life studying and practicing rocket science so it's just a part of who I am.
I love science so I make films that involve and celebrate science. Even this one has a lot of science in it that you wouldn't have guessed.... flight equations and mentions of the physicists responsible for the theory of flight etc... This would've never been there had I given the idea to a writer. I see the science in everything and it makes its way into my work. Even the doc I'm doing about Sarah Obama celebrates the science she used to create a new way to farm.
So last week turned out to be a very successful week. I've made the brand clearer and given everyone a glimpse into what to expect in the future... Authentic, scientific cinema that may not appear as such at face value. Including more science just makes life more interesting. Let's go!