AN EMPIRE OF ONE

If you don't think the world's weird, you're not paying attention.

No Guns, No Cars, No Phones

Frank Miller

I’ve often heard writers or artists say something like this: “I write or draw what I like.” For example, Frank Miller says his stories feature so many guns because he likes to draw guns.

The Octopus in a storyboard sketch for Frank Miller's The Spirit

If I were to make a list of the things that I like, it would be very long. So, I’m going to do the opposite, ie, a list of things I do not like and try to avoid in my projects. It’s a list of rules and the list is very short.

  1. No Guns

  2. No Cars

  3. No Phones

I’ve somewhow managed to make or write my films and scripts while, for the most part, obeying these rules.

NO GUNS

I made a detective film (see it here) without having the detective use a gun. The characters use a weapon, but it is a Super 8 movie camera.

Kitty uses a Super 8 camera as a weapon against the director in Shadows on the Wall

NO CARS

The characters in Star Man do not need cars because they fly around using jetpacks.

I broke the  no cars rule in The Tears of a Clown, but the car is made of candy and gets eaten.

NO PHONES

A sub-rule of the no phones rule is visualize it and shut up! The robot-like characters in Intermezzo do not need phones because they do not talk to each other.

The robot-like characters of Intermezzo do not talk to each other

It’s only recently that I’ve been thinking about these rules, yet they appear to have been applied to my projects without me being aware of them. Why? Perhaps because if I made a list of things that I passionately dislike, prominent on that list would be guns, cars, and phones. Judging by the number of films with an infinite number of scenes built around guns, cars, and phones, the people who make these films must feel the opposite and love guns, cars, and phones, perhaps more than anything else. If these rules were applied to Hollywood films, there would be few films left. In fact, Guns, Cars, and Phones would be a good title for a book about current Hollywood films.

It’s almost as if including guns, cars, and phones in a film is an essential prerequisite for a film in Hollywood to be made. Hence, it is no surprise that my projects The Tears of a Clown and Star Man have been produced only on alternative versions of Earth.

The first appearance of Earth-Two, an alternative Earth, in DC comics

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Written by David Kilmer

April 29, 2011 at 11:30 am