“One of the lessons I took from Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner—which is one of the influences here—is that one of the reasons that film was so effective in its discussion with race is because it started with a situation that was universal. Take the race out of it, everybody can relate to the fear of meeting your potential in laws for the first time. At some point I had a revelation that was also the way to get into [Get Out]. ”
Writer/Director Jordan Peele (Get Out)
The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith podcast

Scott W. Smith


“I think the greatest scare in horror is turning the corner in The Shining and finding the girls at the end of the hallway. It’s the same scare as when you first meet Hannibal Lecter [in The Silence of the Lambs]. You come down the hallway, and he’s just waiting for you. It’s the protagonist in motion and something waiting for him, patiently and calmly. Those are so chilling to me. The plane in North by Northwest [chasing Cary Grant’s character]. One of the great things you can do in movies is fool someone into seeing depth. When you see the plane far away, and it gets closer and closer, it changes your breathing.”
Writer/director Jordan Peele (Get Out)
New York Times interview with Jason Zinoman

Scott W. Smith

“For young black horror filmmakers, if you have a script, reach out and I’ll try to help it get made. Monkeypaw Productions is my production company and we’re really trying to promote untapped voices in genre… The reason we don’t see more films about the African American experience is because we haven’t nurtured black talent, we haven’t encouraged young black filmmakers to dream big.”
Writer/director Jordan Peele (Get Out) @Jordan Peele
Digital Spy

Related post: The First Black Feature Filmmaker

Scott W. Smith

“You will fail at some point in your life, accept it. You will lose, you will embarrass yourself, you will suck at something…And when you fall throughout life, remember this, fall forward.”
Denzel Washington

Full speech:

I think the American psychologist Maslow said if your only tool is a hammer you view every problem as a nail. And I would flip that and say that the geniuses have very limited toolsets—they have a hammer. And their genius is in looking for nails. That’s their genius, right? They have a very limited skill set but they master it and apply it incredibly well. I’m reminded of the movie The Karate Kid. Wax on wax off. Sand the floor. And then he had that crane-kicky move. And he won the California State Championship on the basis of those three. I’m goofing here on The Karate Kid, but it illustrates a profound point to master a few skills well, and then look for domains when you can apply those skills, and stay out of everything else. Warren Buffett does the same thing with his investing.
Adam Robinson @IAmAdamRobinson
Podcast Interview with Tim Ferriss;
Lessons from Warren Buffett, Bobby Fischer, and Other Outliers
(Starting at 31:09)

It’s doesn’t take much to apply that to successful screenwriters, directors, actors, editors, etc.

Related quote:
“Swing your swing. Not some idea of a swing. Not a swing you saw on TV. Not that swing you wish you had. No, swing your swing.”
Golf legend Arnold Palmer

And a little bonus hammer-themed folk music written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays. The Peter, Paul and Mary version became a top #10 hit in 1962.


Scott W. Smith

One of the great joys of my decade living in Iowa was getting to know and work with artist Gary Kelley. Here he is explaining his football sized artwork at the Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  

And these large murals are painted in other Google data centers (the cloud) around the world.

P.S. Gary’s daughter Cydney Kelley is a writer on Days of Our Lives. She also wrote an episode of The Game

Related post:
Kelley’s Blues Concert
Post #1,500
Postcard #32 (The Planets)
The First Black Feature Filmmaker  (Oscar Micheaux stamp by Gary Kelley)

Scott W. Smith

“The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”
Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Last week, before I could do a video interview at home I had to overcome various outside noise issues as well as the following technical issues. (These are the actual message.):


This was something that I’d done before, so I didn’t think I’d have to jump through so many hoops. It ended up taking hours of updating software and trouble shooting after updating. It was a comedy of errors—full of conflict—but it all worked out at the end of the day. (Actually, at the end of day 2, but who’s counting?)

It reminded me of a Robert Rodriguez quote from my 2015 post Nothing Ever Goes as Planned. Here’s an excerpt:

Sometimes when I hear new filmmakers talk, they talk all down about their film—‘Oh, nothing worked’ and ‘It was a disappointment’—and they don’t realize that’s the job. The job is nothing is ever going to work at all. And you go, ‘How can I turn that in a way to turn it into a positive?’ And you get something much better than if you had all the time and money in the world.”
Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez
Interview with Tim Ferriss

In my case, I upgraded to macOS Sierra (10.12.3) and got done what I needed to get done. When all was said and done I fired up a Prompter People telepromter I hadn’t used in a long time to see if the software worked with the new OS system. It did and and it gave me an idea to explore vlogging/podcasting based on this blog.

The simple lesson is things can and will go wrong. In filmmaking and in life.  (Revelation, right?) But do your best to work through it and look for something good to come out of the struggle.

Scott W. Smith



%d bloggers like this: