Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's my birthday!

I have been having a rough month. I got in a HUGE fight with Eddie a few weeks ago and I may or may not have blown it out of proportion. Usually we see eye to eye on everything, and the things that we don’t, I can easily get him to see things my way. It’s a gift of mine…

What happened was a few weeks ago Eddie and I (I AD on the majority of his projects) had a meeting with an actor who had a screenplay he wanted to produce and star in and was in search of a director. This actor has been in quite a few HUGE blockbusters over the years. But you would NEVER know it because even when he has lines, you NEVER see his face! Its really strange because this guy is quite handsome, very charismatic, and he’s also a pretty decent actor. The big hurdle that this guy had to clear was the fact that he’s Asian.

I looked over the script and it wasn’t terrible, Eddie actually really liked it. What Eddie didn’t like was an Asian actor in the lead. He passed on the project and we got up and left. In the car I asked him what the problem was. He told me that he just couldn’t imagine any situation where he could insert an Asian principle actor without making it feel forced and artificial. THEN he added that this was also the reason why he’s never directed anything with a gay character in it either!

This really frustrated and angered me for a plethora of reasons. Usually when Eddie and I have disagreements, there’s a very specific preordained series of events that happen. First we disagree, then I argue my point and he argues his, promptly afterward I say something snarky and pointed to which he usually acquiesces UNLESS he feels very strongly about it. At this point I concede because this only happens once in a blue moon and I know this is important to him if he’s going to risk my wrath.

This time things did not go according to plan. I just felt so betrayed by his words. When he said those things about Asian and gay characters and staying away from them, all of a sudden I felt like I didn’t even know who he was anymore. This was the guy who taught me what pride is all about! When in reality he has more internalized homophobia in him than a fucking ex-gay Christian! What the fuck is that about!? BUT even more than that, he’s the most talented and creative person I know, and if he can’t see a solution to this imaginary problem, THAT’S REALLY FUCKED UP!!

I think I realized things were getting out of hand when I realized that we were actually yelling at each other. I don’t even know what we were saying to each other, I was just so shocked by the whole scenario and how things were unfolding. As I am trying to describe what’s bothering me, this whole thing sounds ridiculous, but it’s not! This is a big deal because the only way to effect change in the world is to BE THAT CHANGE!

What I love the most about being a filmmaker is that we have the ability to create entire worlds in our minds that we can actually share with people that don’t live in our heads! James Cameron can take us to a world where there are 10ft blue people who commune with animals through a magic braid in their hair, The Wachowski’s can create a reality where all of mankind has become the energy source for millions of self-aware machines; however Eddie can’t envision a single scenario where it would be acceptable to show a gay or Asian person onscreen!?

I always thought of Eddie as this badass rebel who never gave a shit about what other people thought or said. He created how he wanted the way he wanted to and that’s what made him amazing! And now I know that I was wrong to think those things about him. He’s just a follower too scared to make ripples or step out of line. It’s just so sad and pitiful which in turn just makes me sad and pitiful for building him up so much in my mind to be something that he so clearly isn’t. At this point I don’t even want to associate with somebody who’s basically the definition of Uncle Tom.

Bradley says that I am being ridiculous and kind of an asshole right now for making a big deal over this. A part of me (probably the rational part) completely agrees with him, but this other side of me doesn’t want to let it go. I just can’t be creative with somebody who has such a limited imagination. I expected so much more from him and he let me down completely.


Jason said...

Eddie's attitude about these issues is sad, but it's not worth losing his friendship. If liberals and conservatives can be friends, I am sure you two can fin a way too. If you aren't around to help him, how is he going to change?

Anonymous said...

this feels like you are projecting some of your frustrations over your changing relationship dynamics with Eddie onto this situation. You need to work this out with him. This fight seems silly.

D said...

happy birthday!

Dan said...

I'd like to weigh in as a new avid reader of your blog. From what I've read, it sounds as if the argument got blown out of proportion and far beyond the original problem. And perhaps you have put Eddie on a pedestal because every time you write about him, I can feel your sense of admiration towards him. (Not that that's a bad thing)

But from your posts I can also tell the relationship you share with him is a really special one far greater than any argument. Best of luck to you both.

P.S. Happy Belated Birthday

Frank said...

I agree with Dan, you have Eddie up on a pedestal and it's about time you took him down. I am sure he's an exceptional person because you are an exceptional person. So to admire him like you do he must be pretty great. But he's still human! Maybe you can be the person in his life who helps him see the error in his ways and then changes because of it.

John said...

There's more going on here than this little fight if you're getting all riled up like this. Work out what's at the root of this before you lose one of your best friends.

Happy Birthday!

Mike said...

You're hoping Eddie reads this, aren't you?

Steve said...

Is it out of the question for you to go ahead and direct something like this on your own? This is likely one of those situations where you are going to have to lead by example.