Trying to survive out here in Los Angeles until tomorrow evening. I'm exhausted on my Hollywood hustle for my film "The Bboy Connection." for finishing funds. Same road trip since the mid 90’s, & same old story. Yes I know I got keep trying but I am noticing more grey hairs lol. I keep finding out about more dance films in the works and more people saying they are filmmakers too doing a dance film on bboy's or poppers. It gets depressing but all I can say is they can't catch up to the amount of footage I have already filmed since 1989 and many legends I have filmed wont do new interviews and some can’t be found. My early footage I call it my archives. It is money verses originality, creativity and passion. I want to continue but can't always afford to keep filming on my tic-tac budget.
My film looks like it has cots a lot of money to make. It has because I put everything I have into to it one day at a time for so many years. Anyone new at this couldn’t do this in a year or so even if they had a million dollars. My film I would say is the same as a kid with a piggy bank that finally got it full in ten years and has been over flowing the piggy bank for another 10 years. That’s the amount of footage I have invested into and continue to do so, not just for the film but also for hip-hop dance archives.
Clearances and legal is the main part slowing me down and polishing up the final editing and interviewing a few more awaiting dance legends to complete this puzzle. I don’t want donations or pity help. Kickstarter didn’t work anyways when I tried. I want earn what I sacrificed for by getting the real deal from executive producers that want to see my vision and enjoy the opportunity to be part of history and preserve hip-hops secrets. They will only want to help after the characters 70 plus years from are passed away and gone. Why wait, do it now while they are alive! It is like the jazz docs or docs on the Indians. If there were cameras on them back then it would be magical for eternity to see them speak for themselves instead of a Harvard professor and celebrities that know nothing about our dance “Lil Moma” in a doc or TV show.
They have others speak in behalf of someone in many other docs on history. My film has the innovators and creators speaking for themselves. Some in my film have passed away and many call me scared they are next and they want their story told. Many are also MIA or locked up. Hollywood will never be able to get these stories I know and have filmed. Instead they rather continue to make remakes and reality shows because they run out of ideas. So many new ones out there but they are afraid to touch them.
So many stories I learned and filmed it is amazing. I don’t post much about it on youtube because of all the biters (Copycats). All the information on the history I enjoy sharing the story for the curiosity but am I still giving my stories and ideas away to benefit the next filmmaker who wants to know everything about my film. I feel foreign here in LA and the sacrifice for keeping the history alive to reserve the truth on Hip-hop is just waiting for the right person or company to see the huge opportunity. Film festival invites and accepted in a few is a filmmakers dream and I am happy that I have accomplished that goal but I can't because I haven't knocked on the correct door for the support that is needed to complete the film 100%. Do I need to go to Good Will and find an Armani clone suit to get people to take me more seriously?
Am I going to keep hearing what I hear from everyone since the 90s that my day is coming, for another 10 years? I really want to get back to having a normal life. Sorry I must be delirious from lack of sleep. My car is my Hotel, Starbucks is my office & (I don’t drink coffee just hot chocolate & tea) and 24hr fitness is my shower. Not a complaint but a sacrifice to do what I need to do to get this film noticed in LA, so please no pity, this is by choice. Wow wait a minute I am noticed in LA and famous too out here! I keep getting noticed by people out here in LA as they ask me "Hey aren't you that guy in the Ford Fiesta commercial?" I smile and say yes but in my head it gets a little depressing after a while because they don't know the real story. Being on TV and radio doesn't mean I'm rich or Hollywood. I am very grateful for the exposure the commercial is getting me and the little checks that help me on the car payment. Can’t complain about that. I paint my life as a picture for myself & to share as others in the gallery of my vision see the painting differently as successful and no worries. Yes I am successful but the painting of this life is art. A painting is priceless over time and doesn’t cost anything or cost very little to create it. You can own a $100,000 paintbrush but my $1 paintbrush will make your painting look like a graffiti wanabee who just tags scribble crap on walls.
I just make sacrifices and made a choice in my life to survive as a creative artist and storyteller. It gets exhausting and looking back at my life on what I gave up for this film and my passion of this dance, filmmaking and photography of the arts hurts sometimes. The opportunities of really good jobs and big jobs I gave up for this life, not just for me but also for the dance legends. I do a lot of it for them. They have know idea what I been through or how I lived and been living over the years of this process, so once again I am not Hollywood. Don’t want to be taken granted for what I put in so hope they can understand and not give up on me like some have. All I can say is I’m doing the best I can for them.
I would be happy to just have the film completed and make no money from it would not bother me as long as it is finished. Getting paid back for my expenses’ over the years yes would be cool but to profit I don’t care. I just want the film completed and out there. It will open the door to the many other stories I have ready to share on film and have written docs and narrative features to make up for it. Just want the opportunity I been waiting for since I was little to make films.
Living a normal life and having my own place of privacy and a real bed to sleep on, I have no idea when I will get that. The people in the past I love and care about I had chose my selfish ways for my goals in life like most artist do. Or is it the other way around should they have been more patient with me? No actually I wouldn't want anyone to wait on me for anything that is not about business because my life has always been unpredictable. It would be selfish of me to have anyone wait for me. The only child I have is not really my child she is my eight-year-old Goddaughter that moved to Texas that I miss very much. I miss family life and how my own family use to be when we were kids before their divorce. Well these are just things that cross my mind but don’t want to ever be a should of could of person. Just continue to live for the next second, minute, hour, and the next days. Unpredictable life is not for everyone.
My life is not so bad; maybe I have to choose one life or the other to make it right? I am very thankful for all the last minute gigs that I do get that help me pay the bills. The only thing about doing so many variety of jobs, filming, photography, producing and editing takes up anytime to focus on one project like my film “The Bboy Connection.” That is why I also stopped filming weddings. They are a nightmare to make because the brides never understand it is like making a movie. Too much work when under budget, and any wedding videographer can tell you that. I need to pay the bills just like everyone else so I can’t complain on that so I take those kinds of gigs when I can.
I don’t want to hear the patient word anymore, I already know and heard it thousands of times. I won’t get upset if you do tell me, I’m just tired that’s all. Maybe one more trip to NYC and LA on my own budget but not sure how much more I can take. If I can get a job to pay my home bills and stay in NYC for the summer to finish my film then cool. How much more I can take hearing about a new filmmaker who just decided to buy a camera today and tell me him/her just got funded on their dance film? Why do they bother to tell me this, to torture me, brag about it that I suck and couldn’t do it?
When people say go knock on doors, what doors? Their securities wont let me past their gates. So yes I met with many producers in Hollywood in the past and most of the time they turn out to be sharks not caring about the characters or benefits of them in the film. But if the new filmmaker with connections and who is able to sell themselves out does a film on corny subjects that are not marketable they will take advantage of them quick. I guess the problem I am to Hollywood is that I am to smart for their own game. Been in many Hollywood producer meetings since 1996 and I have learned this business by experience. But what I have not learned is how exactly Joe Blow comes out of the woods and gets everything and all the help they need to finish their film. Not jealous, well maybe a little lol. Oh dang I am rambling again? I wrote this so fast just spitting out what’s on my mind write now in Starbucks somewhere in LA. This is what happens when you travel solo and become mute for a few days focused on a goal and distracted about reality of life that scares you.
Well at least I can say I have the manuscript of the history of this dance. But if something happens to me like my sleepy driving or whatever nature calls, who will finish my film for me? How will they download my brain? That is what I mean when I keep hearing how “my day will come some day “that I heard forever it seems. Yes I will continue to be patient but I’m sorry just very tired. I been taking breaks from this film being a DP for other people’s films making them look good and helping them succeed. I am happy for them and that my name is on their project and then I get to thinking about where I am with mine, wishing to have a crew and support like that too.
This documentary is not the only project. I have 2 other documentaries (Boogaloo, popping etc…. history) including all the volumes to this film. 30 screenplays I have written that some are related but 90% unrelated to hip-hop and dance. What I mean is I do not want to be placed in a category as another black filmmaker. First of all I’m a Blaxican lol. I’m a filmmaker with something different and new for all but old to me and all I want to do is make movies and travel the world to capture photos and explore what God has blessed us with on this planet. That is all I want. Alternative is go back to be a warehouse worker and drive a forklift to guarantee keep up on bills and be normal. Ok no, no, no I will never go back lol.
Another life challenge, back to trying to figure out LA on the road, peace out and blessings.
Beto Lopez “Mooncricket”