Or... how Hollywood wins and I lose.
As you know, my last blog was about possessory titles, as in "A Film By Whomever" or "A (fill in name) Film) and how I resisted that kind of credit on a film screen because I was above it all, or at least not wishing to join the rank of hack directors who do take the credit.
As I said, "A Film by..." should be for accomplished directors who have a track record of great movies and maybe even an oscar thrown in here and there. But certainly not a director who made a rather obscure film called Ghostkeeper that for some reason has a small but faithful following, enough to re-release the film in January 2012.
But there it was, the DVD cover and at the top it read... "A Jim Makichuk Film". My eastern-European guilt and insecurities went into the words of my father, who, when any attention was potentially bestowed on any member of our family including him, said this;
Don't show off.
Don't buy the convertible, don't get a bigger TV set than your neighbor and don't ever think you're better than anyone else. One out of three ain't bad I guess.
I emailed the distributor and asked him to make it "A Badland Picture" instead. After all it was my company so it's almost the same thing. Just less bragging.
He called me and said it should stay as a "Jim....etc" film. And that's when he also gave me a lesson I had forgotten over the past few years. Jerry Lewis had a famous saying that went like this;
"I don't care what you write about me, just make sure you spell my name right."
"But," I said, "nobody knows who I am or cares". And it's a movie that's quite obscure.
He reminded me that most of Hollywood isn't that smart anyways, they just released a Justin Timberlake movie in LA without a single ad in the LA Times. Well, he must feel a lot worse than me, I guess. Not a single ad?
The distrib's point was this; put your name wherever you can, it won't hurt. As they say, this is the business in the term show business. You're not here to be humble, save that for speeches. You're here to find work.
And besides, it's gone to the printers.
So.... that's Makichuk, not Mackinchuck and with two K's.