The Colour Line in Hollywood.

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

With the announcement of the 2016 Oscar nominations, it is painfully obvious that there was a lack of colour in the films and performances. There has been the thinking for sometime that Hollywood honours its own and by that I mean the white executives honouring their fellow white creatives in film.
I think it goes deeper than the Oscars, it really shows the barriers in Hollywood itself in general when auditioning or getting films produced if you’re black. Some have asked for host Chris Rock to boycott the Academy Awards. Personally, I think this is the time where you need a comedian like Rock to deliver some social commentary on that “Oscars so white” mentality to both alleviate and poke fun at the tension.
As for that idea that Hollywood is just a bunch of racists white folk. Well that may be true, but at the day’s end the colour that matters most in Tinseltown in green, lots of green. Money is really the only thing the bigwigs respect and if the audience sees that diversity is something that they want in their movies, Hollywood will be quick to catch on. With the Fast and Furious franchise, there is a strong case to be made with its diverse cast and billion dollar films that the audience is willing. The question is ‘Is it happening quick enough?’.
The obvious question would appear to be how can Hollywood diversify its movies then. How can actors and actresses of colour be able to looked to be an even playing field? I think that it would have to examined on a corporate level where the decision making trickles down. I think the hack into Sony emails in 2014 shows an insight into how thinks regarding race in movies, an email between Joel Silver and Sony head really showed thinking that there is itself a segregated cinema experience.

Update on the blog I posted this week, a recent article has mentioned steps the academy is taking.While it doesn’t solve the problem, it is a positive step forward for equality

Creativity

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

The thing about creativity is that in order to become really become fulfilled in doing it is you need inspiration for it other wise it becomes a vapid exercise in banality.

I find myself in working on my scripts having the time where an idea that seemed good in my head upon writing it out turned into a teeming pile of shit.

It is something I struggle with in my writing career, finding inspiration that fuels my writing projects and thus keeping me in engaged in seeing something from its beginning as an idea through to its ending in the editing and mixing stages.

Living in your own reality

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

I’ve never been good at living in other people’s realities, my brother would always be talking to his friends about what rapper he liked and I could really never insert myself into the conversation because the rappers were so obscure I don’t think their own mothers even knew they rap.

One of the great things about social media as far I’m concerned is that it allows you to live in your own reality and not be forced to accept someone else’s. No one is better being you than you are and people bear witness to that and can either choose to ignore it or live in your reality with you. I’ve never been the type to laugh at a boss making an unfunny joke or routinely engage in a conversation with a coworker about topic a) don’t care anything about or b) don’t have insight into.

With social media, there is a chance to be me an display my personality, my interests and inspirations without having to compromise. I didn’t get that initially at first but I think I understand it now and the channels for displaying it are seemingly endless.

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The Caribbean Trip

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

It was a cold January day in I believe 1996. I was in the ninth grade not terribly academically inclined, sure I had just come back not to long ago from a month long trip in the Caribbean with my mom visiting her family and old friends. I enjoyed the time down there as I had never been to tropical location before and vacations were always extra special during the school year as I had something to brag about with my classmates and to feel important about sharing what I had experienced. But it was during that trip that I realized that I seemed to really have a gift putting pen to paper and telling an engaging story.

It almost seemed like something I was born to do, writing came so naturally to me. In addition to my experiences on my vacation, I was able to write a compelling short story assignment for my language arts class. My teacher not only gave me a perfect mark for the assignment, I got an school achievement award for it. Excellence in short fiction I think I remember the award saying, it made me so proud cause I never got top marks, I made the honour roll maybe once while I went to school and frequently my mom displayed a dour expression on her face after visiting my teachers during parent/teacher interviews. But here was something I was good at doing, to be imaginative and come up with interesting ideas and adding tension and humour and stuff and I really spent the next fifteen years of my life ignoring it.

I tried to become an electrician, a delivery driver, a cell phone sales specialist, a cleaner, a bartender, a paralegal, a cook, a security guard, a gas attendant, a grocery clerk, a warehouse employee and I came around to the fact that nothing out of there was as enjoyable, as natural for me to do as me having a pen and writing (though the pen has been replaced by typing on my iPad.) I am so attached to the notion of being a writer that I wonder why I spent so long not being one. I have written two feature film screenplays, one that I directed and won some awards and starting on my third film. It has been along time apart.

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Ultra Franchise

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

With today’s announcement of not one but TWELVE writers to helm the development of the Transformers movies into a vast cinematic universe, I think now is as good a time as any to address my thoughts and mild concerns about this new trend in movies. These past few years have seen tremendous change in the film industry and its business model has changed significantly. I know change must come but some things that have happened have been alarming to me. The success of the Marvel comics characters on the cinematic screen has made the industry think twice about what kind of movie it makes and not in any way we have seen before.

The age of the ultra franchise is upon us, we no longer go to see one story on the big screen the studios think has now gone from sequels and remakes of known commodities with their built in audiences to ‘ lets get the audiences looking at how this ties into a spinoff character’s line of movies.’ Speaking as an independent filmmaker, this cross pollination of movies doesn’t feel threating so much as I think it homogenizes it and affects what are looking to see at the local theatre.

If things are tied together and the characters are based on reality, then where do the whimsical, goofy things fit in? If the beautiful computer generated, green screen fuels our imagination then where will the ugly, grittiness come from? My beef is that while they can be quite entertaining, these pictures make Hollywood think THIS is all people want to see. What happened to variety? There has been speculation about other popular movie franchises being spunoff to develop cinematic universes (DC Comics, Star Wars, Ghostbusters etc,.) I don’t know if they will work, Disney/Marvel seems to have cornered the market on this trend but that won’t stop the studios from trying its damnedest to duplicate it.

Personally, I could never see how Grand Budapest Hotel or Dallas Buyers Club could fit into any cinematic universe. That’s probably why I like them so much.

Comment on the blog or give your own thoughts on anything.

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The devil, does he exist?

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

For a long time, I didn’t believe there was a devil. That horrible boogeyman with pointy horns on his head plotting evil that had the power to crush a person….but the more I live and the more I realize that “the devil” exists! I realize that “the devil” doesn’t appear in an alien concept of red being with a tail living in hell but it can be in the form of people that have the most control over your life, where you live, where you work.

They can be in the forms of people who can destroy not just your career but your self esteem as well. They can come with a smile and an open handshake. They can try to destroy your hope and dreams and crush it to bits. I will never, ever let them destroy my dreams.

Comment on the blog or give your own thoughts on anything.

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Just Sayin…

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

I think the day was a cold January day in I believe 1996. I was in the ninth grade not terribly academically inclined, sure I had just come back not to long ago from a month long trip in the Caribbean with my mom visiting her family and old friends. I enjoyed the time down there as I had never been to tropical location before and vacations were always extra special during the school year as I had something to brag about with my classmates and to feel important about sharing what I had experienced. But it was during that trip that I realized that I seemed to really have a gift putting pen to paper and telling an engaging story. It almost seemed like something I was born to do, writing came so naturally to me. In addition to my experiences on my vacation, I was able to write a compelling short story assignment for my language arts class.

My teacher not only gave me a perfect mark for the assignment, I got an school achievement award for it. ‘Excellence In Short Fiction’ I think I remember the award saying. It made me so proud cause I never got top marks, I made the honour roll maybe once while I went to school and frequently my mom displayed a dour expression on her face after visiting my teachers during parent/teacher interviews.

But here was something I was good at doing, to be imaginative and come up with interesting ideas and adding tension and humour and stuff and I really spent the next fifteen years of my life ignoring it. I tried to become an electrician, a delivery driver, a cell phone sales specialist, a cleaner, a bartender, a paralegal, a cook, a security guard, a gas attendant, a grocery clerk, a warehouse employee and I came around to the fact that nothing out of there was as enjoyable, as natural for me to do as me having a pen and writing (though the pen has been replaced by typing on my iPad.)

I am so attached to the notion of being a writer that I wonder why I spent so long not being one. I have written two feature film screenplays, one that I directed and won some awards and starting on my third film. It has been a long time apart.

Comment on the blog or give your own thoughts on anything.

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Can you find love in lust?!

 

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

Is it possible to find a partner, a life mate in the form a person who is a great looking person but not really knowing anything else about them? At some point the beauty fades and it is that person who decides what is the foundation of the relationship.

Fantasy is more alluring than the reality, more seductive. But it’s the connection, the willingness to become one with another despite their character flaws ( and yours) and be together. I’m not saying it’s not impossible to find an absolutely gorgeous person and find yourself compatible subsequently. I’m just saying it’s very hard to separate love and lust.

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Life as an indie filmmaker

Kevin Bradshaw - Director, Profile Productions
Kevin Bradshaw – Director, Profile Productions

I am sitting at home right now watching a movie that came out about ten years ago, Good Cop, Bon Cop. It was a Canadian film that at the time of its release was I believe the most expensive Canadian production ever made. I love the movie and it also gives me inspiration as a Canadian filmmaker that we can make an action thriller as good as anything made in Hollywood.

In Calgary, it has been a challenge getting feature films made. The fact that French Canadian films are made more frequently than films in Western Canada has not been lost on me. I know funding is hard to come by here, so much so that I had make my first feature film My Unknown on a micro budget out of my own pocket because I couldn’t secure funding for the project. When I watch Good Cop, Bon Cop, I know there is hope there for a filmmaker like me that even though I don’t live in Hollywood, I am still capable of being here and directing a kickass movie regardless.

I am proud to live in a country that has produced some great filmmakers David Cronenberg, Xavier Dolan, Jean Vallee etc,. But it would take an effort not just Canadian filmmakers but governments at the civic, provincial and federal to get funding agencies in line and really get behind Canadian productions and their diversity. With our newly elected Prime Minister , Justin Trudeau pledging to commit significant dollars of the federal budget towards the arts, I am hoping this dream of mine is becoming more of a reality.

Comment on the blog or give your own thoughts on anything.

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