Let me state, once again, for the record that I am no longer working with or associated with the Asylum. We parted ways more than a year ago. That doesn't mean that those guys don't have my utmost respect and admiration. I think back on my time with them and remember it fondly.
This week yahoo news splashed a story about how Fox was actually suing the Asylum over the upcoming mockbuster, THE DAY THE EARTH STOPPED. Of course, this was meant to cash in on the upcoming Keanu Reeves snoozefest THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.
I've talked at length about how and why the Asylum makes mockbusters. I've defended the practice from a business perspective while I have expressed my disdain for the practice from a creative perspective. That's why I left. It makes sense to me for them to do and I don't find it reprehensible the way that some filmmakers and fans do.
I do, however, find Fox's lawsuit to be reprenhensible for so many reasons. First of all this is just another example of the big guys picking on the little guys. Independent film in general has suffered as a result of the studios making independent films big business through companies like Miramax and rigged film festivals like the deplorable Sundance. As we move into the digital world, the opportunities for small film makers is shrinking everyday as the big studios and media companies angle to take up the virtual real estate of the internet. The hope that one day people would have tons of options as to what they wanted to buy and watch is dissappearing. Instead, we will get the same old crap in a shiny new format. Just as people are stupid enough to pick up TRANSMORPEHRS thinking its TRANSFORMERS, they are not saavy enough to realize that the featured band on myspace isn't some breakout group, but instead the latest prefabricated schlock from Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
What really rots my USC grad, filmmaker soul to the core is the fact that FOX has the balls to sue someone for being "unoriginal" or "trade infringement" when they are the ones perverting one of the true seminal films in science fiction history! Robert Wise's THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is a near masterpeice. To remake it is near blasphome. To defend this blasphome by taking legal action against some scrappy filmmakers trying to get their .0000001% of the $2 Billion DVD market is just plain bad form. Fox is doing more than the Asylum to "confuse the marketplace" as I assume their claim states, by putting out a tired, boring, VFX laden imposter into the marketplace on the coat tails of a piece of cinematic history.
I truly hope that this recession forces major changes at the movie studios. Movies get suckier everyday. Being in the mix, I know that 98% of the problem is at the executive level. People on set and behind the camera really want to make good films, but are constantly hamstringed by the people cutting the check who assume that they know better. During the glory days of Hollywood and even into the early years of the Blockbuster, filmmakers ran the studios. Now, its corporate suits who look at test audience reports and make safe decisions to protect their over paid jobs. Lame.