THE "SNUFF" MANIFESTO
A Declaration of War Against the International Capitalist Entertainment System
by Domenic Migliore
(Originally Published December 21, 2012)
“IF YOU WANT TO DO A FILM, STEAL A CAMERA, STEAL RAW STOCK, SNEAK INTO A LAB AND DO IT!”
— Werner Herzog
I. ALL MONEY SAVED FOR EDUCATION, TRAVELS, AND/OR FUTURE HAPPINESS, MUST BE INVESTED IN FILMMAKING...
- Film schools are a scam. Instead, watch movies. Every movie; new ones, old ones, bad ones, obscure ones, animation, porn, experimental ones that use a single uninterrupted take of a dog’s eye-socket for 6 hours. Watch everything!
- Read! Not just books on filmmaking. Not just non-fiction. Read as much as possible. From classic literature to cheap pulp novels.
- Art... Study classic painters, photographers, visual artists of any kind. Then, take up painting or drawing. Put everything down on paper; the cheapest way to direct a film.
II. PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT EVERY WAKING HOUR OF EVERY WAKING DAY AND EVERY WAKING NIGHT!
- Buy a still camera. Either a cheap 35mm film one, if the price of film development can be afforded, or digital. Set it on manual and take it everywhere. Shoot until the f-stop and shutter speed functions are easily understood. This will take time. At first, everything shot will look like shit.
- Find the cheapest editing software and video camera possible. Make films with friends and relatives. Edit them. Do this every week for a good number of years.
- Write. But do not read any “how to” books on screenwriting. Instead, fill the blank pages with things you would never tell a living soul, your deepest desires, darkest hidden fantasies, and most nightmarish dreams. Write about what fills you with joy and what drives you to uncontrollable rage. Then, go back and proofread. Get feedback from friends. If it’s shit, keep writing. With time, you will improve.
- Work with people you know and whom you love. Your friends. A film can be made anywhere. If you need a location, go there and shoot. Adults get caught up in rules and regulations concocted only for themselves to exploit monetary gain and to make them feel at ease in a crapsack world. Then, they force these beliefs onto others. Truth: There never were any rules.
“All universal moral principles are idle fancies.”
— The Marquis de Sade
FINAL. THE DEATH OF FILM
- THE FUTURE...
Our Internet is the future. Hollywood is dead, celluloid is dead, and soon will go the DVD and the Blu-ray. The entertainment industry knows this. Their cash crop will soon be dried up. Silencing the Internet is their final attempt at longevity before entering rigor mortis. Online is where we as filmmakers all must flock to. There we are all connected, free to share our work.
“S” - SINema: To make movies or cinema, one must sin. Lie, steal, cheat. By any means necessary. But even the greatest of sinners never betray their colleagues, friends, and co-artists. For we need one another to survive. Make every film like it is the last, because it probably is. Do not hold back. There are no limits. Film is an outlet for all of the world’s pain. When one says “this is too much,” you have hit upon something profound. That’s when you push even deeper.
“N” - NATURAL: Film must come from a natural place, no matter how absurd or fantastical the piece. If we do not believe it, it will fail.
“U” - UNDERGROUND: Film must be brought underground. Where there are no limits and no brutal dictators bent on controlling it.
“F” - FLAWFUL: A perfect film is an imperfect one. True art has flaws and true artists are not afraid of them. Every filmmaker is just as proud of their work’s mistakes as they are its best moments.
“F” - FUTURE: Now, with camera phones and YouTube, anyone and everyone is a filmmaker. Some say this means death. They are right. It also means rebirth. Everyone is a filmmaker. We have entered Film’s Renaissance.
- F.W. Murnau’s “NOSFERATU” (1922)
- Jack Hill’s “SPIDER BABY OR, THE MADDEST STORY EVER TOLD” (1968)
- Jaromil Jires’ “VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS” (1970)
- Alan Arkin’s “LITTLE MURDERS” (1971)
- Roman Polanski’s “THE TENANT” (1976)
- Alex Cox’s “WALKER” (1987)
- Bigas Luna’s “ANGUISH” (1987)
- Richard Stanley’s “HARDWARE” (1990)
- Kathryn Bigelow’s “STRANGE DAYS” (1995)
- Thomas Vinterberg’s “THE CELEBRATION” (1998)
- James Fotopoulos’ “BACK AGAINST THE WALL” (2002)
- “THE TRIAL” by Franz Kafka (1925)
- “STORY OF THE EYE” by Georges Bataille (1928)
- “BRAVE NEW WORLD” by Aldous Huxley (1932)
- “THE BIG SLEEP” by Raymond Chandler (1939)
- “NAKED LUNCH” by William S. Burroughs (1959)
- “FICCIONES” by Jorge Luis Borges (1962)
- “BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS” by Kurt Vonnegut (1973)
- “THE ILLUMINATUS! TRILOGY” by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson (1975)
- “NIGHT SHIFT” by Stephen King (1978)
- “BLOOD AND GUTS IN HIGH SCHOOL” by Kathy Acker (1984)
- “HAUNTED” by Chuck Palahniuk (2005)
— Il Cinema Duce