Friday, October 30, 2009

We're all Ed Wood Now

Mr. Door Tree on his excellent blog Golden Age Comic Book Stories recently posted a number of photos celebrating the low-budget filmmaker Ed Wood Jr. The post got me to thinking.

Ed Wood made films in Hollywood completely outside the studio system which, at that time, was the only way that most movies ever got made. Wood made movies because he loved the cinema. Sure, he made what has been rightly called "the worst movie ever made", Plan 9 from Outer Space, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that Ed Wood did what he loved to do, on his own, completely outside of the massive studio system of Hollywood. Wood was a maverick and a visionary. He was no Orson Welles, but I would wager that over the years more people have likely seen Plan 9 from Outer Space than have seen Citizen Kane or The Magnificent Ambersons.

Today independent producers are a dime a dozen in Hollywood, but Ed Wood's spirit lives on in the rest of the world. All of us who create something and post it on the internet just because we love to do it, are just like Ed Wood. Anyone who creates a comedy sketch or a music video because they love to do it, and posts the results of their efforts on Youtube, is Ed Wood.

Anyone who makes a fan film of their favorite show or movie and makes them available for download or other methods of distribution, is Ed Wood.

Anyone who creates a comic book or a magazine sheerly for the love of doing it and puts it out there, either with mimeographed copies, or publishing through Lulu, is Ed Wood.

Anyone who starts a blog because they love to write is Ed Wood.

Anyone who does what they love to do, with little or no expectation of remuneration, and puts the results out there either via the web or local cable channel, or photocopies that they sell on the street is Ed Wood.

I'm not saying that these projects are bad. Some are bad. Some are good. Some are excellent and some are better than the "professional" projects. The quality doesn't really matter.

What really matters is that we are doing something that we love to do. We put our attention and care into the project because we love it., whether it be movies or books or comics or art. When we do this we are Ed Wood.

You know, Wood's movies are terrible, but they have stood the test of time in a way that neither Ed Wood himself or anyone else could possibly have foreseen.

Any of us who does what we do should be as lucky as Ed Wood.

I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?

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