Well, hardly. But as recent web rumblings indicate, one of the hazards of putting yourself out there on the internet is that people may cease to find you charming.
David Poland in today’s Hot Button:
I became familiarized with the filmmaker via his blog on indieWIRE, which didn’t help him any, I have to say.
Before I had a chance to watch the film, I got to scroll through a debate Mr. Zahedi decided to carry on with Nathan Lee, who reviewed his film in the New York Times with brevity and, what I would later learn, was a completely appropriate degree of inattention.
And at his blog All These Wonderful Things, filmmaker AJ Schnack posted a lengthy analysis of the Cuban-Caveh situation that sparked a discussion in the comments and eventually a response from Zahedi himself, which Schnack then reposted along with a response. From the first post:
Proponents of day-and-date keep assuring us of its inevitability, but despite the viability of some political documentaries, there’s yet to be a breakout day-and-date success story, particularly on the narrative side. In fact, nearly all signs point to the flaws inherent to the concept. Perhaps the breakthrough is just one film away, perhaps the breakthrough will never come. Perhaps, as [Sony Classics’ Tom] Bernard describes, it’s the worst thing to happen to indie film since the screener ban.
Maybe Zahedi is an indie-world hero. Maybe he really is a David caught between two Goliaths. Maybe he just knows a good hook when he sees one. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see if his very public battle translates to some degree of success for a film and a distribution chain that he has already embraced.
The biggest question this situation raises in our mind is how beneficial it is for a filmmaker to be as public a figure as the internet so readily allows. In our heart of purist hearts we’d love it if every filmmaker were an interviewphobic recluse living in a log cabin in British Columbia, just because we’d rather not know about them in context of their film â€” once completed, we love the idea that a film should float free, unhampered by its creators’ publicly stated intentions. Of course, that’s ridiculous â€” in real life indie filmmakers need to hustle all they can to get their film noticed, whether this means press junkets or one-on-ones, passing flyers out in the streets of Sundance, selling their own DVDs on the web (but no longer?), staging in-costume battles in front the of Austin Convention Center, podcasting about their process and their personal lives, blogging, or, perhaps, seizing the moment and a juicy media hook. But there comes a point where the filmmaker and the film become too closely linked in one’s mind â€” though given the autobiographical nature of "I Am A Sex Addict," maybe there’s no such thing.
+ April 17, 2006 (The Hot Button)
+ Caveh, Cuban & Day and Date: "The Worst Thing to Happen to Indie Film…" (All These Wonderful Things)
+ Caveh Zahedi Responds (All These Wonderful Things)