As many of you know, I wrote, produced, and directed a feature film entitled “Potential Inertia” that is readily available worldwide. What you probably don’t know is that there’s a whole lot going on in the film’s story that you most likely didn’t catch.
Aside from the character of Willie mysteriously disappearing from the narrative shortly after the third act starts, I explored a lot of voyeurism which you see taking place on the screen. It’s, a lot of times, something we don’t often think about when it comes to watching movies, but ultimately as moviegoers we’re actually becoming voyeurs ourselves by the simple act of watching a film. We’re peering into the lives of those characters on screen and they have no idea we’re doing so.
Not only do we become voyeurs, but the characters themselves show their own personal voyeuristic tendencies throughout my narrative. For example, there is a brief moment of our main protagonist, Declan (and I use that term loosely, because one thing I tried to do with the film is blur the line between the classical protagonist and antagonist by actually making them the same person,) looking at his own sister’s chest during the bar sequence. It’s subtile, quick, but it’s there. It’s also a moment of foreshadowing to a later scene. It wasn’t intended to foreshadow, but like many happy accidents it works. Later in the scene, Declan and Kevin gaze across the bar at Katie with different points of view about why she’s there. They’ve placed themselves into her moment without her permission – Declan wondering about her motives, and Kevin confident he knows them yet still a little interested if he’s got them figured out.
Randy, our hopeless romantic, pines from afar for Sarah, who is ultimately revealed as the entertainment for the fraternity party scene, notices the “cute little dimples in her shoulders” instead of looking at the obvious woman parts every other fraternity guy is gazing at. Voyeurism runs deep in the situation of stripping for a living, with a stripper giving as much of herself as she can visually with minimal physical contact. It’s a strong, intimate act to allow yourself to show people physical parts of yourself which you normally wouldn’t show without being intimate in the first place. Yet Randy makes this voyeuristic act two-fold by taking the moment to notice something even more intimate – shoulder dimples – something you normally wouldn’t notice unless you knew every part of someone’s body, someone you’ve had an emotional bond with. It’s a revelation for him that is both sexual and emotional. Yet, for some reason, when he reveals this revelation to Jacob, we as a voyeuristic audience giggle at his discovery. Whether we are laughing because it seems outrageous that he even noticed something like that, or we feel like an uncomfortably guilty audience because we were staring at breasts, we have to admit to ourselves that either way we enjoyed the situation.
And that’s why we inadvertently all become voyeurs, because we feel this intrinsic need to compare our lives with others’. A lot of times that comparison is born out of the want to see others fail worse than we do which, in turn, makes us feel better about ourselves when that occurs.
There are more instances in the film that display voyeurism, but I won’t spoil the fun of watching it so people can find out what those instances are.
Our lives are full of voyeurism. Embrace it, but be aware of it. Watch a movie and enjoy it.
Copyright (C) 2015 Matt Croyle. All Rights Reserved.
OIL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCHES IN 2016
(OIL CITY, PA) The first Oil Valley Film Festival will take place September 1-3, 2016. Based in Oil City, the festival is designed to bring the voices and films of new and established filmmakers to the heart of Venango County, an area underrepresented in the world of film.
The festival programming will include feature and short films in competition, along with feature-length and short screenplays in competition. Day three will feature a hand-picked block of curated filmmaker to screen in exhibition, all leading up to the awards ceremony on Saturday night.
“We’ve already received submissions in each category from all over the United States, and a few Internationally, and the festival is still a year away,” said Matt Croyle, the festival’s director. “As a filmmaker myself, not only do I want to continue to make movies here, but this festival seems like a way I can use my passion to share films with the community – films they may normally never get to see in a multiplex. This is about starting something that the community can really get involved in and get excited about.”
The festival is currently in search for partnering venues, and has already partnered with Videomaker Magazine, MaddyG TV on ROKU, and the Oil City Library.
“The Oil City Library is a gem. We’re really happy to have them on board. Dan Flaherty and his staff are doing great things with that facility, and I couldn’t be more proud to have them be a part of the festival,” Croyle continued.
More information about submissions, corporate sponsorship, and general inquiries can be found at: http://oilvalleyfilmfestival.weebly.com
OIL CITY / TITUSVILLE, PA – Locally produced feature film, ‘Potential Inertia’, already available for digital purchase worldwide, will be added to programming on the MaddyGTV Roku Channel beginning on October 1st. Roku customers worldwide will be able to watch the film for free. Potential Inertia has screened locally throughout western Pennsylvania, and recently at the Boonies International Film Festival. The film is directed by Matt Croyle, and stars Matthew King and Sarah Shawgo.
MaddyGTV is a locally owned Streaming TV Channel on the Roku Service. Headquartered in Titusville, PA. MaddyGTV has been offering the best independent films and TV shows since 2009 and has grown to become one of the premiere free channels on Roku, serving over 2 Million Viewers a month.
Roku is a free Streaming TV platform, available everywhere with the ‘Roku Box’, a simple device that connects your television to your internet connection and delivers over 2,000 channels, including Netflix, Hulu and Crackle. MaddyGTV is available for free in the Roku Channel Store worldwide.
Please contact us for any pre publication inquiries at:
One Fish Films
509 Hiland Avenue
Oil City, PA 16301
914-848-5313 – Production Cell
For Information about MaddyGTV
Director of Programming
408 May Ave
Titusville, PA. 16354
Snooty. Snooty? Snotty. Snotty? Snob. Straight up, indie filmmakers get enough flack from the rest of the world for their career choice. They shouldn’t have to get it from fellow indie filmmakers. Bottom line. Hands down.
When someone decides that they’re going to take on the venture of making an independent film it’s pretty much like deciding to build an ark. There’s no “easy” way to go about it. The process has many pitfalls and problems that the team will have to face with the production process. However, the one problem that indie filmmakers shouldn’t have to put up with is fellow indie filmmakers not supporting them along the way.
Having made my first feature, which took two-and-a-half years to complete, it has become apparent to me that an already “established” (in their own minds, at the very least) group of American indie filmmakers seem to only want to pay attention to the stuff that they and their friends work on, or what some people call “faux-indie” — projects with way bigger budgets, that are outside of major studios. These are the folks who have worked on or made a few films, and have somehow been able to corner the American Internet niche on indie film-making. They’re the ones who run all of the most popular indie film websites, who seem to have all this expert, formulaic advice on how to make an indie flick. These folks are the people who cover all of the “indie film” news and reviews (except yours, because you’re not friends).
There is a problem here. The problem a lot of truly independent filmmakers face is getting their stuff out to the public. And the problem is that if they don’t have a huge marketing budget, if they’ve (let’s say) made a flick for ten grand and have nothing leftover to actually show people there’s a film someone may want to watch, then the only way they can do that is to use these “indie film” sites. Sure there’s the festival circuit, and word-of-mouth, but those two things don’t guarantee you getting your film out there en masse. But, there’s a catch. These sites will only watch your film if you PAY THEM to, and even then you’re not guaranteed they’ll even mention it anywhere. Are these people actually filmmakers, or are they just out to bamboozle you out of your money so they can keep up their profiles as “supposed” experts in the field?
Here’s a question: Why can’t these people be both filmmakers and Internet entrepreneurs? Kevin Smith does it. Granted he’s not really in charge of writing reviews for others’ films, but you get the point.
The solution comes to me as this:
It is imperative, as artists, to be supportive of other artists — especially when working in the same medium. Someone may be well versed, and book-smart, in film theory, but they may have never made a fucking film in their lives. They have no practical experience. Those people? They need to shut their fucking mouths.
Those of you who run large “independent” film sites? Loosen the fuck up. We understand you’re probably making your living from selling advertisements and charging people just to watch their film, but if you are really “indie” filmmakers then you’d make time for the guy that just shot a black and white feature in a week for two grand. People have to start somewhere. And, please remember that YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. I don’t. Nobody does.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I CAN SAY TO INDIE FILMMAKERS IS THIS: Don’t be a snob. We’re in this thing together. Introduce yourselves. Help promote each other’s work. Work for free because you love it (if it isn’t what you’re trying to make a career of). Hold a light or a boom. Talk to each other online and over coffee.
Too often we think of ourselves as “better” than someone who is trying to accomplish the same things we are — to make a film that is meaningful to people. If you’re not in it for that reason, you’re not in it for the right ones.
One Fish films has launched its latest project on Hatchfund for funding. ‘Circle, Michigan’, an hour-long television pilot, is looking to raise $2500 for its initial production costs.
The follow up to Croyle’s feature film, ‘Potential Inertia’, ‘Circle, Michigan’ will also shoot in Venango County, Pennsylvania.
All contributions are tax deductible. For more information, or to make a pledge, please visit: http://www.hatchfund.org/project/circle_michigan_one_hour_tv_pilot
In life we have certain experiences that change who we are, our being, our inner selves, that sculpt who we ultimately become before we take our last breaths on this planet and venture past the unknown threshold of death. And they’re not just major experiences in life. They can be the smallest of things which build our character, break us down, make us hate, make us love.
Love: there’s a affliction for which there seems no escape. No matter our youth or age it will find us in the strangest and most un-looked for of ways. The most recent era of my life has mostly been free of it. I searched not for it in hopes that I could elude those dreaded times that when falling asleep, and waking, my thoughts were consumed with another human being, longing for them, wanting to be holding them in those moments, wishing beyond all hope I didn’t feel like that because I was too frightened to speak of my feelings, my needs, and my hopes.
It has, again, found me. And while I’ve tried my best to sneak away from any thought or moment in which it would reveal its face to me, it has found a way to do so in the guise of someone I wished it not, someone who is very dear to me. Unfortunately, love does not care for your opinions to whom it entraps you to. It simply exists, and you must accept that you succumb to its power – for it is the most powerful force I have ever known, and to think I can be stronger is a waste.
So, here I am – an unfortunate soul to which love has revealed its face, again, in a person I wish not to lose. However, love has a way of ruining things for me. Because with love breathes jealousy, and with jealousy comes hate, and with hate comes destruction, and with destruction comes death. In turn, love breeds death. Love and loss are so intertwined that one can simply not exist without the other. And it is this knowledge that rips my heart out knowing that if I act on this love, choose to move forward with this feeling, it will ultimately be my downfall again – whether it be immediate rejection, a building of a relationship only to fail, or death itself. Something will end this feeling, and loss is inevitable. The death of something so beautiful in my heart is already written, and cannot be undone.
I will go no further. Lennon once spoke of love being all that you need. Unfortunately, in today’s world, this is not the case. Things other than love I have not to offer, and that makes love a more difficult task, as it already is with doomed outcome. So I pause, in hopes that it will eventually diminish in the absence of with whom my heart now lies. Treat it like a death, without it having lived out its natural course. A tragic moment that never had a chance to blossom to fully live, only after such beautiful seeds had been planted in just a few short years. An enduring Winter. A Springtime that will never come.
(OIL CITY, PA) – With the worldwide release of Matt Croyle’s first feature film, his production company, One Fish Films, has released the shooting script version of the original screenplay for the film. People are now able to download and read the screenplay for free.
The screenplay is located here: PotentialInertia-ShootingScriptPDF
The film is available worldwide at: http://potentialinertia.vhx.tv and http://www.indiereign.com/videos/potential-inertia
(OIL CITY, PA) – Matt Croyle’s debut feature film is now available worldwide on VHX. The film, which took over two years to complete runs roughly one hour and twenty minutes. The release is a deluxe edition with over an hour of “extras” including behind the scenes footage, an interview, and a guest lecture by Croyle at his alma mater, Clarion university.
The film is available to purchase digitally for $14.99, and rent for $5.99 at: http://potentialinertia.vhx.tv
With 99.95% of my first feature shot, I thought I would give some personal tips on how to actually get believable performances from your actors. And while this may sound like a pretty simple task — “Just say the lines.” or “Give me a bit more sadness behind it.” — it definitely is not a simple thing at all. I will explain why it isn’t so simple, and then I will give you some tricks I, myself, was able to use on my feature, ‘Potential Inertia’.
SUBJECTIVITY & PERCEPTION
As a director, you have to ask yourself: “What is believable and what isn’t?” The answer is: It’s subjective. I think one has to truly grasp what kind of film they are actually making. Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? All types of films require all types of acting — “styles” if you will. However, regardless of genre, even if it’s an “over-the-top” comedy, all performances must be believable to an audience if the audience is going to be willing to come along with you for a ride.
What is “real” actually starts with the writer. It is how the writer writes the characters themselves. What is real in the world of the character may not necessarily be real to the audience.
For example: In ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Harry and Lloyd are not very realistic characters to an audience. They’re portrayed as cartoonish embellishments of what low intelligence would be — brilliant comedic acting by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, but they seem not very plausible in real-life. However, every other character in the film is just like you and me. These are not only choices by the writer, for writing such fantastic lines, but also the direction that has been given to every actor on set. The normality of the supporting characters embellishes, even more, the absurdity in the direction that was given to Carrey and Daniels — and we’re willing to “believe” them as being “real” because the reality is subjective to the characters themselves.
The actor must make choices — or have those choices made for them — that would best interpret how that character would physically react or vocalize given a specific situation(s). The director’s job is to make sure their vision of said situation(s) translates to an audience in the most realistic way possible. If the audience can’t connect, or buy into the reality of what they are seeing, then it’s ultimately the director’s fault.
THE EXPERIENCE FACTOR
So, how exactly does one go about getting their actors to pull off this remarkable feat of morphing themselves into what you want and need from them? How do you get your actors to be “real”? How do you get your actors to be “believable”?
Every actor is a different monster, and I say ‘Monster’ in a very loving way. I’m also an actor, so I know what it feels like to be molded, scorned, twisted, praised, rewarded, and the plethora of feelings that come with the job. But, as a director I must realize that each person I’m directing is different. Each has different experience. Each has a different process they use to get into character.
In my first feature film, ‘Potential Inertia’, the experience of my actors runs the gamut. I have had to direct people who have been leads in previous independent features, people who have been background and supporting roles in major Hollywood movies, and people who have had no acting experience in their entire lives.
My actors with experience on stage, screen, or both, all have their own processes. For those folks, it was imperative that I made clear what kind of film this was to be — the tone, the level of intensity or urgency for each scene, and the fact that I didn’t want their lines to sound inelastic. And with those experienced folks I was able to allow a level of trust that veteran actors deserve, because they are the ones that can understand the structure of a scene. They are the one’s who you really need to mentor those lacking the time spent in front of an audience. Regardless, each of those actors have individual processes, and as a director it is my responsibility, again, to understand each process by itself, be able to explain what I want to coincide with each process, and be able to find a cohesive way to mesh each actor together with another.
It can be extremely fun or totally frustrating to direct an actor who has never been in front of a camera before. They are extremely aware of the camera itself. They are not sure of themselves, or what to expect from a more experienced actor they have to do a scene with. It is a real test to put someone on screen who hasn’t the slightest clue of what they are doing.
I have knack at “seeing” people. I mean, really seeing who they are. Not all extroverts make good actors. Not all introverts can’t be actors. However, all “passionate” people can. I believe putting someone who is a passionate person in front of the camera for their first role will be a better idea than putting someone there who isn’t one.
The following notes are a bit of advice I have for those directors trying to get believable performances from their actors. These notes are a direct result of trying to make my first feature film as conversationally believable as possible using both veteran and rookie actors. I hope you all find them useful.
- Always remember that every actor has a different process, especially those veterans you have in your cast.
- Let the words in the script work for you, and not against you. If you need to give an actor a line reading, especially the rookies, do not be afraid to do so in the most polite manner possible. Let your actors play, but if they’re not giving you the delivery you want, make sure you show them what you need.
- Make sure your actors understand what each scene is about, and what is happening both on the surface and underneath it. Scene study with your actors can be a valuable tool when your actors are making decisions while the camera is rolling. If they don’t know why they’re saying something, if they don’t know their motivation, then there will be no focus or purpose in the delivery of their dialogue.
- Remind your actors to BREATHE. Breathing is imperative to coming across as believable. People breathe when they speak.
- Remind your actors to NOT RUSH their lines (unless rushing their lines is a character trait, or the scene calls for it).
- Let your actors veer slightly off script, perhaps to say their lines in their own way. Unless a specific line MUST be included in the story fully intact, sometimes letting your actors take a more personal approach to delivering them results in a more conversational result.
- Prepare them for the intensity or lack thereof in each scene.
I think it is important as a director to remember that each set is different, along with each script, and one must always take those two factors into consideration when looking at what is ‘real’ and ‘believable’. Please remember that your actors are an extension of you, and your vision, for what the film will ultimately be. Work WITH them, have fun WITH them, and communicate WITH them.