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Tampa Bay model Lisa Marie Lowrey photographed by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault during a photography session for Tampa Bay modeling resource site Independent Modeling in 2003. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay Film Festival PictureTampa actress and model Sarah Bray photographed poolside in Tampa Palms (New Tampa) by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault in 2002. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay A Dancer in a Tampa Bay event photographed by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay Film Festival PictureTampa filmmaker Chris Woods headshot by Tampa headshot photographer C. A. Passinault, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Photography and Design.Tampa Bay model, dancer, and choreographer Melissa Maxim photographed with Lance, a nightclub dancer, in a Ybor City nightclub by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault in 2002. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay Tampa model and actress Roxanne Kowalska (right) and singer Michelle pose for a pre-production shoot of the short indie film “The Pledge”, in a preproduction photography session with the original cast by C. A. Passinault. Both Roxanne Kowalska and “Lowie” Laura Narvaez (not pictured) were scouted for the film at a Passinault audition. Casting crew for Passinault Entertainment Group conducting auditions for the Reverence feature film.Tampa audition photograph of actresses reading roles from the Reverence feature indie film project by Dream Nine Studios.Two actresses read during an audition for the Reverence feature film, a Passinault indie film.Tampa actress and model Harmony Layne poses for pictures to be used in the Tampa indie film, The Quiet Place. Photograph by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa photography and design.Tampa singer, model, actress, television host, pageant title holder, and entertainer Ann Poonkasem serenades an audience near Brandon, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area. Photograph taken by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault, who was sitting in the front row judging the beauty pageant with a camera and a long, 300 MM lense.Tampa actor Rob Mussell headshot by Tampa headshot photographer C. A. Passinault. Tampa model and actress Sarah Bray during a modeling shoot with Tampa modeling portfolio photographer C. A. Passinault in Riverview, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area.Scream At The Wall Cameraman at the Horror and Hotties film festival in Tampa, Florida.


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Taking A Break To Prepare - White Lie - A Prelude To A Revolution In Tampa Indie Film

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 09:00 AM - Tampa Indie Film Log for Filmmaker C. A. Passinault

Competition, Credibility, Plagiarism, And The Upcoming Indie Film Revolution

Before I go onto other things over the next few weeks, I really need to post this statement. Everyone needs to pay close attention to it, because it is a prelude to what is coming. It is also the key to establishing the first Tampa independent film community, and putting Tampa indie film on the map.
Regarding the current truce, too, it is tentative upon the actions of others. If people are foolish enough to start with me again, I may not only take legal action, but I’ll fight back, within legal and ethical boundaries, and let the world know what is going on. Please note that my use of the term “fighting back” is done professionally, and within ethical and legal means. I am not a criminal, and will not break the law, nor violate the rights of others, when I fight. The same, however, cannot be said of my opponents, whom have committed crimes against me. When I fight, I not only fight for my rights, but for the rights of others. I fight with the_truth, with opinion, with dominant exposure, and ideas.
This should give both my supporters, and my naysayers, things to consider in the coming months.
Let it be known that, with my Tampa Bay Film sites, I have withheld 90% of my ideas. This includes my indie film concepts. The reason for this is that most current Tampa filmmakers have proven to me that they cannot be trusted.
It’s happened to me a few times already. I’ll help out a filmmaker, and the filmmaker will take what they learned from me, plagiarize the idea, and then, to add insult to injury, when I post the idea, both they and their friends will then accuse me of stealing the idea from the filmmaker. Regardless of if their friends know that the idea was mine to being with, or if they were misguided due to ignorance, such things are going to stop (and I have things in the works right now which will specifically address this).
Ultimately, such tactics are a common form of credibility theft, boosting the credibility of the thief while undermining the credibility of the victim, and using the ideas of the victim against them. With the past, and current, Tampa film scene, credibility attacks seem to be the name of the game. These baseless, unethical, and highly unprofessional tactics undermine the progress of Tampa indie film, and they prevent a functioning, productive independent film community from being established. Like most relationships, a community is based upon trust. If filmmakers cannot trust each other, then a community can never function.
I’ve disagreed with filmmakers in the past, and have attempted to debate the issues with them. Those filmmakers, instead of sticking to the issues by debating, instead chose to try to attack my credibility. When they could find nothing wrong, they would make things up, and spread rumors around. I suppose because someone lies about someone else, it automatically becomes true. Unfortunately, though, this is an ignorant, and a short sighted, way to attack someone. The problem is that, if a person does not know the facts, and does not know the other person being slandered, and accepts the rumor as some sort of fact, it backfires if they ever get to know the person being lied about, and find out that they were lied to. What do you suppose happens to the credibility of the bastard who made up the lies to begin with?
The problem is, my friends, is that, eventually, people are going to get to know me. They are going to find out that I am genuine, and that I know what I am doing. They are going to find out that I was criminally attacked by a bunch of insecure, unprofessional jackasses. Most of the people in the Tampa indie film scene who grumble about me simply listen to the wrong people, and do not know me. This negative perception will evaporate once they do get to know me. In fact, I figure that the greatest danger to those who slander me is that the people whom they lie to end up talking to me. I’d be afraid of this.
I have been threatened with assault, threatened with death, slandered, publically heckled, and accused of crimes. Those whom accuse me of wrongdoing are often the ones who are actually doing crimes. How is this professional? I haven’t done any of these things to anyone! How can the criminals who have committed crimes against me ever become a part of the Tampa film community? I’d love to take the high ground and say that I would let by-gones be by-gones, and that I will forget what happened, but I can’t. In order to endorse someone, I’d have to be able to trust them. After my rights have been violated, how can I ever trust them? Can you ever trust someone who has professionally raped you, or whom has tried to professionally rape you?
I have a saying, and that saying is that “time proves all”. In time, lies are revealed; if unsure about something, just give it some time, and see if things still hold water. More often than not, it takes time for trust to be earned. I’d say “trust me”, but those are just words. Words must be backed up by what you do, and doing anything worthwhile consumes time as fuel. In time, however, I am sure that I will earn the trust of the majority, and I am very much real, and I am sincere about supporting the advancement of Tampa indie film.
I have a right to voice my opinion regarding Tampa independent film. Although I have yet to make a solo film, it’s not because I’m not qualified to do so. Even if I was some aspiring filmmaker who was just learning how to make films, I’d have a right to voice my opinion. It’s just that some of these people have tried to tell me that I have no right to say anything. Another filmmaker even told me that he hoped that I would be publically humiliated one day for expressing my views.
Well, I don’t accept that, and that’s not going to happen. I will be vindicated. I am not giving up, I am not stopping, and no one will discourage me from my filmmaking agenda, as well as my conviction to sincerely support Tampa independent film.
Sincerity. That’s something which seems to be lost on my opponents. To them, sincerity is a just a word; a word to be used to mislead their next victim. They do not really know what it means. A person is defined by what they do, and by their actions, sincerity is only a word to be used to drop the guard of others. My actions will define who I am, and everyone will come to realize that I am one of the sincere ones in this mess of a film scene.
As far as being humiliated goes, too, who’s going to do it? Them? The insecure, unprofessional, unethical, amateur filmmakers and aspiring shady politicians in the Tampa indie film scene whom have unjustly attacked me won’t be able to do it. Why do you suppose that they attacked me to begin with, especially when I did not start anything with them? I was helpful, kept my opinions to myself, and did not criticize anyone. It was only after Tampa Bay Film was started, and I found out about the baseless rumors and the slander, that I started to voice my opinions.
Humiliation and being insulted have a lot of things in common. One of those things is that you have to accept it in order for it to have power (You have to give permission in order to be insulted). Sure, I’m not perfect, and I expect to make mistakes along the way, despite all of the experience that I have and the work that I’ve done, but that’s fine. As a matter of fact, because I will be truly innovative, and because I will experiment and take risks, there will be results which some may perceive as failures. I cannot control that perception, nor what others think of me. This is also fine, and progress cannot be made without trying new things, and taking risks, although risk can be reduced if it is calculated. Mistakes don’t have to be humiliating, or undermine credibility. Making mistakes is how we learn, and I will certainly make some along the way. The point, though, it that I will learn from my mistakes, and I will move on. So, tell me, how is it that I am supposed to be humiliated one day? I’d like to know, because, in my opinion, it’s not going to happen. If someone were to ever do something to me that is supposed to humiliate me, I submit that their unprofessional actions would serve to illustrate who they were, and their character, rather than mine. Someone once threw a pie at Bill Gates, in an attempt to humiliate him because of some petty reason. Not only were they guilty of assault, which they should have been prosecuted for (I’m not sure what happened there), but it served to humiliate them rather than their intended target; it backfired. Although I’m more familiar with the incident at the moment, rather than what happened, if I were Bill Gates, I would have stood my ground, covered with pie, looked the attacker in the eye, and stated “Is that how you want to try to win? What, you can’t debate with me and win? Do you have any facts to back up your argument in your disagreement with me? By this petty assault, you’re telling the world that you don’t.”. If you disagree with someone, gather evidence to support your argument, and disagree with them. Don’t act like a child and try to attack their credibility when their credibility cannot be attacked. Stick to the topic, debate, and may the best person win. If you do not like me, fine, don’t like me. Tell others that you don’t like me. That’s your opinion. Just make sure that you can give them a reason, with supporting facts, instead of making things up about me. That’s how people get sued, and that’s how you destroy your own credibility when people find out the_truth.
I certainly will not be humiliated, or insulted, because I will not allow it. Oh, and if anyone tries to assault me, or carry our their threats, they will be prosecuted. Will it be worth it to do a criminal act against me when it destroys your credibility and your career? Do you really want a criminal record over your stupidity? If you’re against me, you’d be your own worst enemy if you made it that easy for me to win. I’d win by default.
We are what we do. We are what we stand for. That’s integrity. Standing your ground and doing the right thing is what being a professional is all about. I know who I am. I know what I’m doing. I will not be discouraged.
If anyone thinks that I am some sort of hypocrite, and that I am using web sites to unjustly attack the credibility of Tampa filmmakers with slander and libel (i.e. doing the same type of credibility attacks which I am writing about in this post), I would suggest that they talk to an attorney. The facts are that, unlike others, I have not stolen anything from anyone, I have not threatened anyone, I have not slandered anyone, my allegations are all true (and they can be proven), and I’ve always been open to a debate concerning the issues.
I have merely stood up for myself, and did not take the B.S. from these people that so many others have. I feel really bad for the scores of poor people, and undiscovered talented aspiring filmmakers, whom were discouraged and quit because these people attacked them like they also attacked me. How many other victims of these crimes are there out there? Also, I’m sure that these people have finally realized, too late, that I was the wrong person to slander, steal from, and attack. I didn’t start any of this fight, but I certainly finished it, and my success will ensure that people will reap what they have sown.
This is what makes me a professional, and the others irrelevant.
I’m just thankful for one thing. That I found out how these people really were before I took any kind of risk with them. How did I do this? I helped out as a mere photographer who had actor friends, and did not allow them to know the full extent of what I did, and what I was about. As a result, I was underestimated, and most of them figured that I was not in a position where I could benefit them in any way, and therefore was an irrelevant wannabe filmmaker. A few of the ringleaders, however, did look me up online, and they quickly found out who I was. They saw me as serious competition, and became afraid. These insecure people who found out about me realized that there was no legitimate way to attack my credibility, so they started to make things up. The rumors were then spread to their friends, whom assumed that it was true, and that I was irrelevant. The cool thing about all of this, however, was that because none of them thought that I could be used by them, or that I would be useful to what they were doing, that the political pretense was dropped, and I easily saw them for what they were.
It would have been different had I entered the scene and let everyone know who I was and what I did. They would have been nice to me in an attempt to lure me in so that they could steal from me (Well, the damage was minimized, at least. Despite seeing them for what they were and taking precautions, they stole what they could from me) and otherwise use me; it would have been very difficult to figure out who was truly trustworthy. I’m glad that I know who is real, and who is not, in the Tampa indie film scene. I’m also glad that I figured it out before I tipped my hand, and before I could get scammed to the point where it would have hurt me.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Find out for yourself. Just don’t go in telling everyone what you are about and what you can do- remember, you want to see what they are really like, as that it the best way to begin building a trust with them (Don’t mislead anyone, but don’t volunteer information, either. Keep your mouth shut, listen, and keep a low profile while evaluating the others). If they think that they can use you, they are going to be fake with you and nice to you to lure you in, and it’s much higher risk, as it will take much longer to figure out their character, motivation, and what they really are about. Don’t volunteer any information. Keep low key, network, help out, and observe what is going on. Don’t be surprised when you find out that I was right (
What, you expected amateurs to behave like professionals?). Which brings us to the conclusion of my statement.
One of the purposes of the upcoming Tampa Film Conference is to serve as a public think-tank where filmmakers can freely exchange ideas where there is little danger of unethical, insecure, unprofessional filmmakers plagiarizing those ideas and using them to attack the credibility of perceived competition. There are checks and balances in place to discourage this, and to make everyone accountable for what they say and do. This will help to not only advance the Tampa indie film scene, but to promote trust between filmmakers, which will help to establish, and grow, the first Tampa indie film community. Accountability is the key.
I’ve stated before that I did not see most of the current Tampa filmmakers becoming a part of that first Tampa film community. What I predict is going to happen is that, once I start making films, demonstrating, and proving, my concepts, and my film festivals are established, that most of the pretenders are going to go away, like the losers that I truly believe that they are. Their insecurities about not being able to compete will come true (and I do believe that the reason that these people started with me to begin with is that they were afraid of competing with me, and that they were afraid that I’d make it hard for them to make it as a filmmaker, because they were intimidated. The tactic of slander and credibility attacks might have discouraged potential competitors in the past, and maintained their position in an indie film clique which was masquerading as a film community, but it did not work with me. It backfired. They underestimated me. They should have realized that I am an ethics activist, with a proven track record, and that I had the resources to address their nonsense. I’m sure that they regret what they’ve done, by now, and they will continue to regret it). If they try to compete with me, it will be a nightmare, especially since I own Tampa Bay Film, the online film festival (which is currently the best platform for indie film promotion and marketing in the Tampa Bay market), and will own the best network of film festivals and indie film events in the Tampa Bay area (what, do you think that I'm doing all of this prep work for nothing? I have one hell of a plan, and although it is taking longer than I planned, it is coming along nicely!). Other than some talented Tampa filmmakers such as Chris Woods, Andy Lalino (and the other Andy), Shelby Mcintyre, and a handful of others, I don’t see most of the current Tampa filmmakers making anything significant, or being involved with much of anything in the Tampa indie film scene of the near future. It will be as it should be, survival of the fittest; they will either be assimilated, or they will be rendered insignificant and obsolete.
Simply put, most, if not all (and I'm talking all of them combined working together, too), Tampa filmmakers will not be able to compete with what’s coming. I’m not talking about me, and what I’ll do as a filmmaker, necessarily, and reality does tend to keep my ego in check. It’s more about what I’m going to enable. Think of me as a catalyst, and my ideas and concepts as fuel. I won’t be able to revolutionize anything by myself. Simply put, I’m going to need help. Where do you suppose that I will get that help from? From current filmmakers? Not hardly. I’m in a position where I don’t have to depend upon them at all, and my plans do not depend upon any of them helping; they could all boycott me, and I'll still succeed. Read on, and I’ll tell you what I am planning.
You see, Tampa filmmakers need to be more concerned about what I think of them than myself being concerned with what they think of me. I’m simply more valuable to them than they are to me, in my opinion, and I have yet to see any evidence to convince me otherwise. I don’t need them like they are going to need me.
I’m not quite throwing away the baby with the bath water here, well, not entirely. If a filmmaker shows that they are professional, ethical, talented, skilled, and that they have potential to make a contribution to the Tampa film scene, I will certainly help them. It’s just that I’m not convinced that the majority of current Tampa filmmakers will make the cut (It’s not as if these Tampa filmmakers have accomplished much in the past ten years, anyway, besides running up their credit cards in an attempt to make their films. I’m sure that the credit card companies love them! Has anything improved? How about all of those broken promises? How about things which look like gold, only to be revealed as fool’s gold with some time, heat, and pressure, and the foul stench has burned the nostrils of everyone around them? No wonder so many people, other than myself, are jaded! I think that we’ve all been burned by a very dysfunctional film scene).
The way that I am setting up all of my support infrastructure, such as the network of film festivals, discounts the participation of the entire current Tampa film scene. Their participation is not required; if they all decided that they did not want to participate, it really won’t matter. This said, I would say that it would be in their best interest to get involved, as they don’t want to be left behind on the outside looking in. It’s smart to get in on the ground floor, and to give things a chance. If, after a few film festivals and projects, I can’t back up my claims and concepts, by all means, walk away. I don’t think that this is going to happen, though.
Basically, most of my efforts will be geared to starting over.
Starting over? How?
I think that the Tampa indie film scene needs a reboot. All of the pettiness, insecurity, unprofessionalism, bully tactics, slander, stealing, self-serving pretentious politics, and other crap that we’ve had to endure in the Tampa indie film scene over the years must stop.
How can it be stopped?
Well, it can be said that a person is what they do. It can be said that a person cannot deny themselves their true nature, and their character flaws. The problems that have plagued the Tampa indie film scene, and which have undermined progress, can’t be stopped if some of the current filmmakers whom are responsible for the mess are allowed to continue what they are doing, and to participate. I certainly do not want these people in our ranks sabotaging everything. They need to be fired from the film scene, to be recognized for what they are, and to be held accountable for what they have said and done! For some people, redemption is simply not possible.
This, of course, is the largest reason that my efforts discount the participation of current Tampa filmmakers. They have to prove that they can be trusted before they are allowed to participate. By not allowing our efforts to be dependent upon the participation of the current Tampa indie film scene, we can negotiate, and operate, from a position of strength. We will be in a position to pick and choose, and rightfully so.
Most of my efforts will be geared to getting new people involved with the Tampa indie film scene. We will demonstrate that talented people can get started in indie filmmaking inexpensively, and that they can grow into their careers with a lot of hard work, as well as by learning from other filmmakers. These new filmmakers will tell stories with their films, and they will collaborate where needed with other talented people to compensate for areas which they are weak in. They will use my “portfolio/ sell” strategy to build a portfolio of short indie films, which they will then use to market themselves to investors; the money from the investors will then enable them to buy the best equipment and to make some very ambitious films, especially feature films which will help to put the Tampa indie film scene on the map, as well as make it a leader in independent film worldwide.
This is the strategy that I will be using as a filmmaker, and I’ll blaze a path by proving it can be done (every film which I will do will be heavily covered on Tampa Bay Film, with articles and behind-the-scenes features, along with videos and pictures, showing how everything was done. This will be the only film school that Tampa filmmakers will ever need, and it will cripple the efforts of anyone out there with plans on running a Tampa film school; you learn by doing, and we don’t need any film schools ripping off aspiring filmmakers in the Tampa Bay market. I, for one, am looking forward to the day which I can stand up before a crowd, after showing them a short film which blows away most of the large, expensive feature indie films done before in Tampa Bay, and tell them that it was done for a few hundred dollars in equipment. Do you think that most of the other filmmakers will have much credibility, then?). In essence, the end result is that I will help raise an army of new filmmakers, talented, innovative filmmakers who can outdo most current filmmakers. The current filmmakers, especially the unethical, unprofessional ones, will not be able to compete.
That, and the fact that I will have a massive network of web sites, film festivals, indie film events, talent resource web sites, online message boards, online job and audition boards, underground film festivals, an online film festival (which is already proving to be more than what I initially planned and claimed as the top indie film promotion and marketing platform in the Tampa indie film market), a monthly film festival and networking event series, and an annual Tampa indie film conference, supporting all of this. Do you really think that we can be stopped, especially with the full knowledge that current filmmakers have not been able to get it done?
Do you really think that I care what current filmmakers think about me? Like I’ve already stated.... They need to be more concerned about what I think about them.


UPDATED 05/23/11

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