ANGEL CITY seems to me one of my most dated works, perhaps because it is in the nature of satires, or the embracing of things-of-the-time (in order to skewer them) that one is necessarily enmeshed with just what one is out to attack, like B’rer Rabbit’s tar baby. Still it has some pretty funny things in it, even now. And as a film it is for the money, a pretty spectacular piece, with aerials, a big crane shot, EFX, all done for a measly (even back then) $6000.
Which brings up a little anecdote. ANGEL CITY was made with 3 investors, a doctor and a few professors out of La Jolla, California (UCSD), who each put up $2,000 apiece, and I guess – though they got to see the script first – they thought that for their big pot of gold they were going to get some kind of Hollywood thriller/detective story. When they saw it they were appalled and probably totally mystified, and dropped it like a hot potato. I suppose to them it was some kind of “experimental” thing, and not the potential Hollywood potboiler BO-buster they seemed to anticipate. Being utterly unaware of film realities and how much had been done for how little they scampered away in dismay. Along the way, they declined to fork over the remaining $500 which was due of the total budget, such sum which was to be my pay for it all. However, then ownership also fell in my hands, and after a nice tour of festivals, good press, and so on I was able a few years later to sell it to the new UK Channel Four, for $12,000. My first “profit,” I guess. It was my first experience with “investors” and “producers” and unfortunately was indicative of future experiences, which seems to prove I don’t learn too well from experience. At least not that kind of experience. Or maybe it is indicative of a fundamental problem of the film business.
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