Monday, December 31, 2012

The Hooterville View

Most of you have probably never heard of the Hooterville View unless you grew up in the 1960's. It was based on a sitcom called Green Acres and about a New York lawyer who decided to up and leave the city to a farm in the country.

The show was based on the premise that everyone in the farm town was a little crazy and the only one who realized it was Eddie Albert, the lawyer. But since he was the only one who was different, he was essentially the crazy one.

In Hooterville you could be a woman plumber named Ralph and you could have a pig that was named Arnold who was drafted into the army by mistake  and who yet wanted to "serve his country."

One episode in particular had the townspeople deciding on whether to have the World's Fair in Hooterville. Eddie, the lawyer told them it was impossible, the world fair couldn't come to the town. Their answer was to vote and the votes won over the lawyer. The fact that it was impossible made it even funnier. In other words the townspeople were living in an illusion,  a world where anything was possible just by saying it was.

We called it the Hooterville View and whenever someone said something unrealistic we said it was just the Hooterville View.

So what does that have to do with movies?

I joined Linkedin some years ago as it promised the ability to join other peers and maybe find financiers to fund movies. However after the first year I began to notice something happening.

People I didn't know kept requesting to join me.

At first I felt flattered that so many up and comers where interested. But it wasn't long before I realized it was nothing more than a contest as to who got the most accepts. And also that almost all of them were people who never have done anything.

So it became a reminder of that joke from Groucho Marx who said he wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have him as a member. Instead the "new friends" I got were full of confidence with their packages of movies from one to a whole slate of feature films.

All they needed was money.

Now and then someone posts that they have money for movies and the rush is on. One person said he's "writing" three movies which of course he will direct and also be co-producer on all of them. And another guy has a western script that can be made for $44 million and if that doesn't work he has a comedy for $300k. 

This is where the Hooterville View comes in. Unfortunately it was, like the townspeople, based in a reality that doesn't exist. 

Much of Linked in consists of these kinds of people, who don't really know how to raise money as well as the reality that they have no idea what they're doing. It takes more than buying a Canon 5D DSLR and ten pages of a script that they are "still writing".

But on one hand, I did find a producer to help me fund Ghostkeeper on Linkedin. But the catch here is that I already knew him and he was a seasoned producer. 

Should I shatter their dreams? I don't think so because they wouldn't believe it. So I drop by Linkedin now and then to see which actor/director/producer/screenwriter/waiter with a package of  movies wants to know me.

If life were only that easy.

A director friend of mine was once asked by a young wannabe filmmaker how he could get to be like my friend. My friend simply said "all you have to do is get a job at a TV station and work for 35 years."

But I guess everybody has to try.

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