Apologies, and a Promise

First of all, an apology. It’s taken way longer than I thought it would to finish BRETT AND MELANIE and get the DVD released, and I’m sorry.

Some of the problems have been purely technical. The computer that Brett and Melanie was on didn’t survive the trip to and from the islands. Don’t worry! There’s a back-up copy! But when I got back home I was already committed to other projects, ie the demolishing and renovation of our kitchen on a six week deadline.

But more than that, I think BRETT AND MELANIE is a really sweet film, and I’ve been afraid that without a good releasing strategy it wouldn’t get the attention I think it deserves.

So I’ve been keeping my powder dry (i.e. stalling) and trying to come up with (as Hunter S. Thompson would say) a cunning plan.

At the same time I’ve been wrestling with the fact that ComstockFilms.com is a verboten domain, and what that means for our ability to promote our films. (You can see a public rumination on this over at James Fallows’ blog at TheAtlantic.com.)

The good news is that I think I have a plan!

Step one was starting TonyComstock.com, which is (for now) a “Safe” domain. Keeping it that way is going to mean forgoing a certain level of candor about sexuality, and that still bothers me. But it’s not 2003 anymore. NSFW is the new reality on the internet, and if I want people to be able to encounter my ideas, I have to carve out place for myself in the SFW world; and that’s going to mean playing by their rules, not my own. (Never a strong suit for me!)

The second step is where the promise comes in, and the promise is this: help me submit BRETT AND MELANIE: BOI MEETS GIRL to the Motion Picture Association of America, and I promise I’ll finish BEN AND DESIREE.

I know, that’s a weird sort of promise; and what it really is is a plea for your help. The constant stress of never wondering when the next algorithmic shoe is going to drop (the Great Google Sex Catastrophe of 2006 or  the Amazon FAIL 2009), combined with a feeling of hopelessness about the place of the erotic image in our culture (Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose?) have drained my reserves, and I’m asking the people who read this blog and who buy our films to help me.

So can you help?

The answer is over on TonyComstock.com in a post entitled Rating the Ratings Systems: a promotional tactic for a problematic film. We’re going to submit BRETT AND MELANIE to the MPAA, go through the entire ratings process, and write about it so people can see just how it works.

To cover the additional costs of taking this step, we’ve submitted a project proposal to kickstarter.com and hope to hear back from them soon. Just like our fundraisers for Hurricane Katrina and No On Prop 8, people who give to our cause will get some nifty goodies in exchange for giving us their hard-earned money.

You can also help by signing up for our newsletter and following me on twitter, and if you’re a twitterer or blogger, I hope you’ll consider giving this project a shout out.

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