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“If life is a movie most people would consider themselves the star of their own feature. Guys might imagine they're living some action adventure epic. Chicks maybe are in a rose-colored fantasy romance. And homosexuals are living la vida loca in a fabulous musical. Still others may take the indie approach and think of themselves as an anti-hero in a coming of age flick. Or a retro badass in an exploitation B movie. Or the cable man in a very steamy adult picture. Some people's lives are experimental student art films that don't make any sense. Some are screwball comedies. Others resemble a documentary, all serious and educational. A few lives achieve blockbuster status and are hailed as a tribute to the human spirit. Some gain a small following and enjoy cult status. And some never got off the ground due to insufficient funding. I don't know what my life is but I do know that I'm constantly squabbling with the director over creative control, throwing prima donna tantrums and pouting in my personal trailor when things don't go my way.

Much of our lives is spent on marketing. Make-up, exercise, dieting, clothes, hair, money, charm, attitude, the strut, the pose, the Blue Steel look. We're like walking billboards advertising ourselves. A sneak peek of upcoming attractions. Meanwhile our actual production is in disarray--we're over budget, doing poorly at private test screenings and focus groups, creatively stagnant, morale low. So we're endlessly tinkering, touching up, editing, rewriting, tailoring ourselves to best suit a mass audience. There's like this studio executive in our heads telling us to cut certain things out, make it "lighter," give it a happy ending, and put some explosions in there too. Kids love explosions. And the uncompromising artist within protests: "But that's not life!" Thus the inner conflict of our movie life: To be a palatable crowd-pleaser catering to the mainstream... or something true to life no matter what they say?”


Tatsuya Ishida
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