The film industry is broken. The people in control have closed their doors to newcomers. If by chance you’re able to break through you have to give up creative control to keep working. This is the general theme of Ryan McCoy’s film My Hollywood Story.
My Hollywood Story is one person’s perspective on the outlook of the film industry in Los Angeles in 2020.
Writer, producer and filmmaker Ryan McCoy tells the story of how his film “Evidence” changed his perspective of what it actually means to “make it” in the film industry.
The movie starts out with a close-up of Ryan McCoy in black and white. McCoy seems pretty encouraging to those artists who are pursuing a career in the arts. The internet has brought a new communication medium that artists need to take advantage of. He seems tired of how the film industry purposely has steps in place to stifle new filmmakers from getting in if they don’t fit in their specific molds.
Artists have a tough time as it is to get noticed by these executives, if anyone is lucky enough to break through through all of the countless others who want the same job they’re hoping to get they end up releasing their creative control to those higher-ups.
There is no “made it” in his eyes, there’s no need to have that in your vocabulary as an artist. And this quote in his film says it best:
I would like to eliminate the term made it. That should not be in your, if you’re an independent filmmaker and are trying to make it, or if you’re an actor and you’re trying to make it, if you’re a screenwriter and trying to make it, you have to change that way of thinking. You have made it. We have all made it. We can make it together. We can make it together and we can do our own thing. There doesn’t have to be this thing of ‘I have made it’. The only thing you have made it into is their system. And you lost all control of your creativity(3:20) My Hollywood Story
McCoy then goes on to explain how even getting in the same room as a producer in Hollywood ended up being a bad decision, one that led him to go years without writing more movies. McCoy had made a Horror/Mystery film titled “Evidence” in 2012 and presented it to a producer, but only a year later, a movie of the same name, same genre, and very similar story was made by said producer. He tries to give the producer the benefit of the doubt by saying that there were many producers on that film, so said producer was (and still is) probably unaware that he ripped it off. McCoy’s film Evidence (2012) was made on a $30 thousand budget, Evidence (2013) was made on a $10 million budget. Seeing his film be produced by someone else helped in his realization that he shouldn’t be working to “make it”
In these past 3 years McCoy realized how much time he had spent relying on his movie and what it did for him at the time. He then explains the situation he saw himself in by describing his inability to make movies because of the idea of A-list players, B-list players, and C-list players. Due to his talent and status in the industry he saw himself as too distinct to mix with C-list players but not enough clout to work with A-list players. He attributes this as another factor in him not being able to make a full length film since Evidence.
Years after the film was copied McCoy was given the chance to make a sequel to it. Although this sequel was something he loved to write, something he knew that fans of the first movie would appreciate, something that would answer all the questions left unanswered in the first movie, he couldn’t bring himself to make it. Shortly after finishing the script, he found himself having a mental breakdown. In his words, this movie is “cursed”. There will never be a sequel to evidence, made by him at least. But he loves this story and sees it as something crucial to round off the story and has left the script available to anyone who wants to make the sequel.
My Hollywood Story is a plea to other artists, a plea to bring into question their commitment to the industry. He says it best at the 15-minute mark:
(14:56) My Hollywood Story
The potential promise for glory and goods that Hollywood industry provides is such an easy attraction for the mentally unstable and from one person perspective, what I’ve seen in the 10-12 years that I’ve lived in Los Angeles and worked in the film industry, not only is it a magnet for the mentally unstable , it is also a trap for the mentally unstable, and I’ve just experienced far too much sadness not to speak up. Every single person has the most amazing story in the entire world, and it’s right here, the only thing they need help with is how to tell it.
Do your art. We are living during a time where the barrier of entry is extremely low. We don’t need to wait to be discovered by Hollywood executives anymore. With the advent of the internet, literally anyone can “make it”. This film is more than just a plea to artists, it’s a rallying cry. There’s never been a better time for artists. Focus on your art and enjoy the journey.
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