Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jim Jarmusch #5 rules of Filmmaking...I mean RPGs

I found this yesterday at and I found a lot of stuff that we could use to know about the RPG industry. I have modified (A la Mash-up) to make it something important for RPG Publishers.

Rule #1: There are no rules. (This is very important so pay attention) There are as many ways to make a RPG as there are potential filmmakers (or RPG Publishers). It’s an open form. Anyway, I would personally never presume to tell anyone else what to do or how to do anything. To me that’s like telling someone else what their religious beliefs should be. Fuck that. That’s against my personal philosophy—more of a code than a set of “rules.” Therefore, disregard the “rules” you are presently reading, and instead consider them to be merely notes to myself. One should make one’s own “notes” because there is no one way to do anything. If anyone tells you there is only one way, their way, get as far away from them as possible, both physically and philosophically.

Rule #2: Don’t let the fuckers get ya. (Believe this one, because it will come up A LOT!!) They can either help you, or not help you, but they can’t stop you. People who finance RPGs, distribute RPGs, promote RPGs, and exhibit RPGs are not RPG Publishers. They are not interested in letting RPG publishers define and dictate the way they do their business, so RPG publishers should have no interest in allowing them to dictate the way a RPG is made. Carry a gun if necessary. (Damn Skippy!)

Also, avoid sycophants at all costs. There are always people around who only want to be involved in RPGs to get rich (well NOT in RPGs but in films), get famous, or get laid (well MAYBE in RPGs but yes in films). Generally, they know as much about RPGs as George W. Bush knows about hand-to-hand combat.

Rule #3: The production is there to serve the RPG. The RPG is not there to serve the production. Unfortunately, in the world of RPGs this is almost universally backwards. The RPG is not being made to serve the budget, the schedule, or the resumes of those involved. RPG Publisher who don’t understand this should be hung from their ankles and asked why the sky appears to be upside down.

Rule #4: RPG creation is a collaborative process. You get the chance to work with others whose minds and ideas may be stronger than your own. Make sure they remain focused on their own function and not someone else’s job, or you’ll have a big mess. But treat all collaborators as equals and with respect. Those with whom you choose to collaborate, if you make good choices, can elevate the quality and content of your film to a much higher plane than any one mind could imagine on its own. If you don’t want to work with other people, go paint a painting or write a book.

Rule #5: Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”