In light of the controversy surrounding the withdrawal of my film KABOOM from London’s FrightFest this past weekend, I wanted to set the record straight. Alan Jones’ inflammatory story claiming I deemed the movie too good for a “bunch of geeks” is a complete fabrication. I would NEVER call anyone who wants to see any film of mine “a bunch of geeks”. I’ve never spoken or corresponded with Alan Jones and I’m stunned he would put words in my mouth that I never said. This kind of blatant and willful misrepresentation is not only damaging to my reputation, it’s hurtful to my fans so I take this offense very seriously. As anyone who’s seen my movies would know, I’m a cinema geek and genre fan myself – and in fact I have two projects I’m currently developing which are, yes, straight up horror genre films.
As an indie director, I never take any fan of mine for granted and am grateful for each and every one. The only part of this sordid saga that’s true is that KABOOM was unfortunately removed from the FrightFest lineup. That decision was made after careful consideration by myself, the other producers, the financiers and upon the advice of friends who work in distribution. The sad fact of the matter is it’s becoming harder and harder to make and distribute truly independent films in the current marketplace. Getting your film out there to audiences is more difficult than ever and requires careful planning and strategy. Fan buzz-generating screenings like FrightFest are of course amazing and great fun to do but they’re normally slotted closer to a film’s theatrical release date as part of an orchestrated marketing effort. Our foremost concern right now is what’s best for KABOOM overall and how to parlay the movie’s amazing debut in Cannes into the widest distribution possible. As to why the film was pulled so late, I wasn’t even told of its inclusion in the festival till a little over a week ago (sorry, but I don’t google myself or my films on a regular basis and have no staff or assistants to keep me updated on stuff like that).
Finally to everyone who was eager to see KABOOM on Sunday night, I sincerely apologize and believe me, I’m just as excited for you all to see it. I’m super proud of the movie – everyone involved really put their heart and soul into it – and I truly hope there’s a chance to see it there in the UK soon!
Sordid saga? I personally wouldn’t have gone that far. Did I really lay it on that thick in the last story?
At least we now know, if nothing else, that Araki is developing two horror films. Maybe we’ll reply to this e-mail and ask for some scoop on them… or… er… maybe not.
I would perhaps question Araki’s ph test for whether somebody is a geek or not. I’m sure there’s plenty of non-geeks not interested in seeing his films, plenty of geeks who are. All the same, we geeks at Bleeding Cool are grateful for this response and glad that Mr. Araki has had the opportunity to answer back.
Top tip for filmmakers everywhere: when your film is only screening rarely, at a handful of festivals around the world, do try to keep abreast of these appointments. It might help you avoid all manner of embarrassing situations. It can’t be any harder to keep up to date on your screenings than it is to, say, know where and when you’re involved in some kind of online controversy.
FrightFest, newly Kaboom-less, continues regardless. Can’t wait.
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