8:32 PM, Wednesday, February 28th, 2018:
I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated that at 42 years old, year NINETEEN of this journey, I'm still surprised by how much this stained what should've been a celebration. I really didn't see it coming. I didn't think of the curse of "The Journey" that balances all career success with something just awful ruining the ability to enjoy, well, the journey.
So I finished the deliverables yesterday and that meant the release of the final trailer:
Once I realized how important it was that people actually HIT the picture on their devices and then HIT the trailer and LOVE the trailer? I realized I had to nearly give it ALL away. Ever wonder why they give it all away in the trailer? They have no fucking choice. 95% of the movies aren't Marvel or Star Wars. You have to make people buy it right that second or lose them forever. And in my case? I'm fortunate if they even click on my thumbnail and so, I have to include FIRE and make it seem like it's NONSTOP ACTION. It isn't, but I will say this...
...after watching people view the film who didn't know what happened? They are genuinely gripping the chair and holding their breath. It's so painfully clear how much I DON'T want to race, that you can't help but wait to see if I crash and burn. It's amazing really. I'm fortunate in that sense: the intensity is real...
...but there's the whole other side: Kenny hadn't seen ANYTHING. Not sure what's unlocked now or will be, but his entire "ghosting moment" that forced me to go public for a new mechanic and driver and also forced me to erase the diary on the site? He left that in April 2017. I lived with it every day and still do. So he saw that trailer and lost his shit. That was the first time he realized I was going to be telling the truth. His text to me will probably be featured in a sequel so I'll save it, but suffice to say? When you compulsively lie FOR THAT LONG? You literally forget what you said/wrote/sent a year ago. Even he will be surprised when he realizes just how awful he was.
However, that angry text from him and then his other brother was like a 2x4 to the stomach. I called my father and he talked to me as best he could but this hurts all of us. This is why I begged him to take this seriously. Now it's all coming down and yes, it absolutely makes him look awful. I actually left out SO MUCH but it doesnt' matter: literally ANYTHING he did makes him look bad. I even try and talk him up at the end of the movie, but I'm afraid it falls on an audience that is already disgusted. I hid the name of the shop and blurred out the face of the owner to save Kenny's job, but it doesn't matter... he may still lose his job. I hate this. It's why I took a year to finish the doc: I didn't want to do it. Wasn't until the car literally EXPLODES that I realize I have no choice. This was a public project from the beginning and it was always meant to be a documentary I would sell. I can't afford to keep losing money to protect his reputation...
...especially when I don't feel his reputation is worth protecting. I mean, I'm happy to not highlight your fuck-ups if you're honest with me and work with me. We could've easily told the story a different way... but you can't fuck everything up from the finances, to the time to the RESULT and then when I need you the most fucking disappear and tell me to do it myself AND tell me to say what I want. Jesus man... then when I do just that you send me angry texts? Uhm. It honestly feels like I'm dealing with my 5 year old. Adults don't act like this, do they? Whatever. The good thing is, I add no voice over, I don't talk about what he did, I don't talk about WHY - there is absolutely none of ME in what happens. I literally stop the movie, tell the audience that I can't talk during this segment and just show the texts. When the texts are over, I move on and never speak about it (other than to say I struggled finishing everything because it made him look bad). It came down to losing even more tens of thousands of dollars and never releasing the film. And how much money can you spend to save a brother you never knew? Who never considered YOU for a second? Who just pissed all over you and blamed his anxiety and deadlines on YOU? Who lied to all of his friends for SO LONG that he believes his own lies! Christ does he even remember what he said? Does he scroll back and look a those texts?
Ugh, I'm rambling. Clearly I'm sad. Clearly I hate this. Today was a day that I delivered the deliverables! That's the moment you hand everything to a distributor and it's officially in their hands: you're done! I had a bounce in my step for a bit, 'cause I dropped it off in downtown LA and it felt like NYC in 2007. There was some magic. I'm excited... but it took mere seconds to think of Kenny and how much this is going to hurt him. Not only might he lose his job, if this gets big? He may have a hard time getting another job. This may have really, really fucked him. I begged you man. I begged you to come out. I told you how cornered you made me. I told you how impossible it was to continue. And now we're here. This is gonna get worse. It's a bittersweet day. As I've said so many times: goddamnit Kenny. Why did you do this dude?
C'est La Vie. March is 2 1/2 hours away. It will prove to be intense for sure.