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Closer To The Mountain

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  • June 28, 2015

I am writing from the headquarters of Good Bully Collective. Inside these chambers is, in no particular order: six cats, one jungle gym, a ball pit (yes, really), a room filled with fur, a bedroom fort transformer couch, walls piled high with paintings, a pirate ladder, and a teepee filled with stuffed animals.

It’s stationed in the heart of the Brewery, the arts compound of Los Angeles, home to acrobats and prop-makers, photographers and painters alike.

Each morning we awaken to the sound of a robot voice over the house speaker system, beckoning us, “GOOD MORNING, GOOD BULLIES. IT IS TIME TO GO TO THE GYM.”

We trundle to the rock climbing gym (conveniently also located in the Brewery) and run hard, and sweat. Sometimes we lift heavy things. And then we mosey back to the Good Bully Bull Pen and get to work.

If we had a MTV’s Real World style confessional, you would see video of us, in succession: eating lunch some days speaking only in French, firing up Skrillex to practice our best— weirdest— twerking, taking micro-breaks to fling kettlebells in the living room, pinning ideas to our monster wall of creativity, chasing cats, drawing, playing League of Legends, playing mandolin, and in general: playing.

But mostly?

We sit at our laptops, for hours on end, endlessly conversing with this film that is Temple of Art: how do we build it? What do we want to say? How do we best say it?

We watch footage. We take notes. We edit. Repeat.

We build the movie like tiny archipelagos, each stretching out tendrils of land mass until they touch the other, tentatively, tentatively.

How do we tell this story best?

Click.

Watch.

Click.

Click.

Edit.

And again.

Kevin Smith came to the house, and we asked him: you’ve been down this road many a time. What advice would you offer us, as young filmmakers? What is the best way to undertake this process, from where you’re standing?

And he tells us: “It’s all here,” pointing to his gut. Just feel it. Watch it, over, and over, and over, and just keep moving until it feels right.

So we watch. And we keep moving.

The first milestone is rounding the corner.

In two weeks we will show the first publicly shared footage of what we’re been working on in our strange art cave.

On Saturday, July 11, at 10:30am, we will be doing a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, sharing the first few pages of this story we’ve been laboring over for so long.

If you’re around, come by and see us (Allan Amato & Olga Nunes) in conversation with Grant Morrison, David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey, Jason Shawn Alexander, and Satine Phoenix. We’ll be giving away some surprise gifts, and would love to see your shining faces.

With fire and fervor,
The Temple Of Art Team

Temple of Art, Allan Amato, Dave Mckean (Mirror Mask, Sandman), Barron Storey (Sandman:Endless Nights, Marat-Sade Journals), Kent Williams (Kent Williams:Ophthalm, The Fountain), Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien, Batman-End Game), David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil), Bill Sienkiewicz (Electra Assassin, The New Mutants), Grant Morrison (Batman:Arkham Asylum, The Filth, Happy), Jim Mahfood (Clerks, Tank Girl), Stephanie Inagaki, Kozyndan, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Megan Hutchinson, Denys Cowan, Mark Buckingham, JAW Cooper, Junko Mizuno, Roman Dirge, Brian Thies, Christine Wu, Hueman, Jasmine Worth, Satine Phoenix, Matthew Levin, Soey Milk, Rovina Cai