If the indie filmmaking community had a friars roast, Chris Gore would be its master of ceremonies. Creator of Film Threat magazine, host of IFCs trivia show Ultimate Film Fanatic and author of numerous guides to the festival scene, the Royal Oak-born and -bred film geek has carved a niche for himself in Hollywood as a sort of Gen-X answer to Roger Ebert.
I dont feel like a superhero, but I know what its like to have dual identities, Gore says. Now, after more than 20 years of covering the industry, hes segueing into yet another identity: that of independent filmmaker. As the co-writer and producer of the raunchy spoof My Big Fat Independent Movie, Gore is gleefully biting the hand that feeds him, sending up the tropes that defined the genre: greasy, briefcase-toting hit men (Pulp Fiction), cutesy, lovelorn French girls (Amelie), convenience-store philosophers (Clerks, The Good Girl) and, of course, dozens of earnest lesbians (Go Fish).
The film is like a love letter to independent film in the form of a fart joke, he says. Its a genre long overdue for satire, but its Gores belief that the broad comedy will appeal as much to fans of Adam Sandler or the Scary Movie series as it will to devotees of Magnolia, Memento and Pi. Indeed, being one of the first publications to cover the festival scene in-depth and to give serious credence to burgeoning talents like Quentin Tarantino, Film Threat in part created the audience for My Big Fat Independent Movie. Its an irony not lost on Gore, who says that his background not only as a chronicler of the indie scene but as an industry outsider as well has helped him cut through the clichés of the business, whether hes working in TV, film or print.
I found the transition to making films actually to be the easy part in fact I was shocked, I wish I began making films sooner, he says. The difficult part has been the perception of the media of me as a game show host, or as a guy whos done Film Threat for years.
But Gore doesnt care about perceptions, so long as he can do the things hes always wanted to do: writing, producing and directing films. If my career proves anything, its that Im really good at shooting myself in the foot, he laughs.
My Big Fat Independent Movie opens Friday, Nov. 4, at the Emagine Theater Canton, 39535 Ford Rd. (half-mile east of I-275); 734-721-3456.Michael Hastings is a freelance writer. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org