© 2023 Kingdom of Pavement

POETRY: LISTEN TO ME, KID BY ILAN BENJAMIN




Listen to me, kid.

I’m going to ask you a couple of questions and, depending on how you answer, you’ll either be a filmmaker or a big fucking fake.

A putz with a camera and a shoestring budget, using foreign dollars to finance your so-called “vision”.

So you want to make a movie?

So the fuck what?

So does everybody.


I know your bubbe says you’re special, but what exactly do you have to say that hasn’t been said already?

We’re past post-modern at this point.

You going to out-Tarantino Tarantino?

Take the pieces of other better films and Frankenstein them together? Playfully use homage and pastiche to tell a whole new story?

Listen to me, kid.


On behalf of the whole industry—been there, done that.

Before you begin spouting off buzz-words like “splashy” or “hi-concept," why don’t you go out there, live a little, and come back with a real story? And, no, I don’t mean dropping acid in Thailand.

We’ve already seen Leo do that in The Beach.

I mean real, original, three-dimensional living!

Think of your favorite movie character...

Rocky Balboa, Ellen Ripley, E.T.

Now, think about how the creator came up with them.


You think they sweet-talked their way into a meeting with a high-level Warner Bros. executive thanks to their Milken / USC / cinematographer-father’s connections, only to waste a pitch on subverting expectations?

Or do you think they just suffered?

Listen to me, kid.

You need to bleed on the fucking page.

Project your deepest secrets onto celluloid.

Then kill every darling until only the purest illustration of your idea exists. That is what we call synthesis.

That is how you make a fucking movie.

What’s that?

You say you just want to make money?

Why didn’t you say so?

Kid.

Now, we are talking.



...


Ilan Benjamin is a former Israeli soldier, USC screenwriting alum, and digital jack-of-all-trades currently residing in Berlin, adapting dirty romance novels into a new immersive app called Galatea. He's a two-time Kickstarter-funded novelist, executive producer of the viral choose-your-own-adventure series VIRTUAL MORALITY, and an experienced creator in VR, interactive media, and transmedia projects with a focus on viral storytelling at its finest.

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