Monday, October 31, 2011

Filmmaker Vincent Rocca

Vincent Rocca is a self-taught filmmaker. His formal education consists of a weekend film school, after which he hammered out a 92 page script and the movie "Kisses and Caroms" was born. Since then he has worked steadily in the entertainment industry. In addition to the 14 titles Vincent has distributed into the marketplace, he has also produced a few features, ghost written a few Hollywood scripts, and penned the 334 page book, Rebel without a Deal, which chronicles how a High School dropout made his first movie in five days for $11,000 and got it distributed by Warner Bros. where it grossed over $1,000,000.00.

What is the current project you are working on?

GalsPanic. It's about a shy, flat cheated girl with a fear of water who must compete in the BIG breasted world of wet t-shirt contests in order to save her Grandmas tavern from a religious nut.

How do you measure success?

The philosophic answer would be, "Happiness is the greatest measure of success," but that would mean crack addicts are the most successful people in the world.

So I'm gonna go with Money. I know people say money doesn't buy happiness, but I rarely meet depressed rich people. In fact, usually the people who swallow a bullet are broke. So, I'll stick with money.

How do you handle rejection?

The greatest trait a producer can possess is the ability to eat shit with a smile.

In the entertainment business, rejection is a fact of life. You need to handle it the same way you handle oxygen. You breathe it in, let it out and move on.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

Yes. When I was 5 years old I saw the shower scene in "Stripes." Completely naked girls pranced around on the big screen. I had seen porn before, but that was on a small television. This was larger than life. I told my brother I wanted to be an editor just so I could see the raw footage. Then he explained the crew got to see it live. It blew my mind.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Spring Break college coeds! My friends and I filmed the craziness on Lake Havasu and launched an adult video company.

Soon, I realized if we remove the sex and add some funny dialog we'd have a movie. With the help of Dov SS Simens 2 day film school, "Kisses and Caroms" was born, and for lack of a lesser word, I became a "Filmmaker."

What is the best thing about being one?

It's great to create something out of thin air, and see it come to life, but the greatest reward is the experience of watching others be entertained by this thing you conjured up.

What is the worst thing about being one?

Crotch Rash! Most of the time, while filming, you don't have time to shower. You spend 20 plus hours in the same pair of underwear, your sweaty legs chaff and you start to develop a rash. That sucks!

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

50 plus. Most never see the light of day.

Why did you want to write your book "Rebel Without A Deal"?

First, for the money! Then, for the sanity.

When I set out to make, "Kisses and Caroms," I wasn't sure we'd be successful, so I documented the process on video and in text. I thought if we failed with the feature we'd have a making of doc, like, "Lost in La Mancha," and a book, like. "Rebel without a Crew."

Ultimately I excreted my movie making stresses on paper and in the end I had written a book like no other. Rebel without a Deal is a true producers bible, that not only documents the entire filmmaking process from script through screen, all the way to financial statements, but also details the mental mind fuck you must endure to get a movie on the shelves of Wal-Mart.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

I admire any filmmaker who takes their life savings and puts it on the line in pursuit of their dream. But to narrow it down, I'll go with Kevin Smith. He helped me out tremendously. He even contributed over 40 pages of humorous conversations to my book as we discuss how his journey with "Clerks" and "Red State" relates to mine with "Kisses and Caroms."

How do you NOT love a guy like that?

How has your life changed since you became a filmmaker?

I have a pool and live behind a 10' gate. I also do a lot of lunches.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in the movie business?

Get off your ass and do it. Know your audience and make a film that is marketable to them. Include nudity, guns, and a car chase.

Or go to college and become an entertainment attorney.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I dabble in Real Estate and construction. I recently built an 8 person home theater with a 10' screen and THX 7.1 surround sound. Which means I also watch a lot of movies.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?


How would you describe your film education?

Two days with Dov SS Simens. Lots of commentaries and books. Read, "Rebel without a Deal" for a crash course.

What are some of your favorite American films?

American Beauty, Good Will Hunting, Shawshank Redemption, and the greatest trilogy of all time, Back to the Future 1,2,3.

Foreign films?

Life is Beautiful, Human Centipede.

Television shows?

Amazing Race, South Park, Family Guy, except the gags that are over 3 minutes and beat to death.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

I'm in So Cal, so I'd say it's pretty hot.

How has social media changed the independent film industry?

The internet and social media has given us direct access to our audience. Now we just need to figure out how to fully utilize that. Those that are front-runners become the next pioneers, the next Clerks, Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Mainstream film knows exactly who its consumer is and makes movies that entertain that base. If indies paid more attention to this, there would be many more successful indie flicks.

You could go back in time and see and film being made. Which film would it be and why?

The "Stripes" shower scene. Or maybe the first time that Delorean hit 88.

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

Sometimes you just gotta say, "What the fuck, make your move." - Risky Business. Don't all our greatest adventures start out this way?

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

They are great. Hollywood makes movies that cater to an audience. They have the money, and it's not like if they weren't re-making Footloose, they'd give the money to me. So, What the fuck, let 'em remake and sequel everything. Schindlers List 2, Titanic 2.

What I'm really excited for is when they start basing their remakes on remade movies. Can you imagine a remake of Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s original Psycho? Wow! That would be fantastic.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptations?

Again, catering to an audience is great. The Potter flicks are cool, but I wish they would have stayed true to Grisham's The Firm. That ending is way better on paper.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

For more witty insanity buy the ultimate indie filmmaking producers bible,