Tag Archives: the velvet autumn
My Streets (2009)
When I was sixteen, I made an extremely bad feature-length film called The Velvet Autumn. It’s two hours and thirty minutes, and it makes absolutely no sense.
The reason it doesn’t make any sense is because at that time in my life, I was obsessed with the visual construction of a movie, and I didn’t yet understand that you don’t just construct images, you construct them in a way that expresses a story. I was consciously working off of the Raging Bull hypothesis—that you create the images first, and your story will come later. Scorsese did a better job at this than me, although he had access to much better materials and had way more experience. But in any event, The Velvet Autumn, and Raging Bull alike, are proof positive that the hypothesis is incorrect—you gotta have the story first.
I’ve told this story a billion times so this time I’m going to try to include some more details. When my late grandpa, Tom Easton, was ten years old, he saw Fantasia in the theater. He always wanted to be a cartoonist but his dad was cold and distant and thought cartoons were for kids and no way to make a living. But despite that lack of encouragement, Tom did some cool things. He avoided combat in the Korean War by teaching art on base and drawing army posters.