Countless documentaries and DVD extras have been devoted to how specific movies were made. Consider the writer’s first inspiration, getting the money, pulling the cast together, and on-set hijinks and drama. Now a documentary comes along that goes into uncharted territory and answers the question, “What do you do once your film is finished?” That’s the focus of Doug Block’s doc, The Heck With Hollywood, as he follows three films walking down the less-creative road of distribution.
Let’s start by saying, as of this review, The Heck With Hollywood is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its original release. In 1991, filmmaking was very different. The only place you could show your movie was a movie theater or on VHS, and soon the big chains would begin buying up and tearing down the independent movie houses. Advertising your film to the masses was a complicated and expensive undertaking.
“…he follows three films walking down the less-creative road of distribution.”
Featured are three films and three sets of filmmakers hoping to get eyes on their movies. Jennifer Fox is the producer/director of the documentary Beirut: The Last Home Movie. She examines why people are drawn to war. Why would someone re-enlist when their current tour is coming to an end? Her film found festival success, including the Sundance Film Festival, but can that translate into theatrical success?
Ted Lichtenfeld produced an indie film, Personal Foul, in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, and stars well-known names like David Morse and Adam Arkin. His film was picked up by a distributor known to represent films with gratuitous levels of sex, violence, or both. Unfortunately, Personal Foul has neither.
"…a lot of finger-pointing at the end, and it's pretty juicy."