The Konformist

January 2002

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Mike Z



Worldwide Internet 'Death-Bed Confession' Video

Talented NY Film-Maker 'Mike Z' Strikes Again


Original Video


Ever since I appeared on the Jeff Rense program pretending to be "Chris Wilson" offering an eerie video on my web site I've received a steady stream of e-mails. Some of them came from people who felt cheated after learning that my internet film DEATHBED CONFESSION was a hoax. Some of them have suggested that I could do something better with my skills than try and trick people. Rather than attempt to reply to each and every comment I'm going to explain why I make hoax films.

I used to make a living working in the Hollywood film industry. I am well aware of why today's movies and TV shows are so outrageously awful. It's because the Hollywood system is controlled by.... people that don't respect their audience. One producer that I used to work with would chuckle that he was only trying to "entertain America" whenever he was asked why the TV show he was producing was so lousy. Most popular entertainment is mindwash, telling stories that reassure you, that tell you what you already know. Pick up a screenwriting instruction book, and you'll see that movies are intentionally made to give you the whole story in the first five minutes, so you know right away where the movie is going to take you.

I decided to try and do something different. I began making short videotapes that would allow the audience to get involved in the ideas I wanted to address without pandering to the industry standard of telling stories the way they have always been told. My work has always used what I call Experiential filmmaking, in which the viewer is invited to experience the story without any framing devices that indicate that the piece is "only a movie." It's not a new approach, and it was made familiar by the success of The Blair Witch Project.

After having my work shown at the few underground film festivals that would accept noncommercial tapes like the ones I was making, I decided to use the Internet to find a wider audience. With Y2K on the horizon, I made MILITARY TAKEOVER OF NEW YORK CITY. In response to my tape, certain agents in the FBI and the Department of Justice decided to prove that the government was not going to do anything evil during the millennium. They did this by approaching my webhost with threats of putting him out of business unless he agreed to take down my site. The resulting suit filed in response to this unprecedented assault on the first amendment is languishing on the desk of some federal judge, and the ACLU has plenty of more important matters to deal with these days.

When I started working on DEATHBED CONFESSION I wanted to explore the kinds of ideas that I have been reading about on websites such as this for years. The most interesting aspect of conspiracy theories and fringe belief systems for me is that they give people the thrilling experience of discovering things that aren't discussed in the mainstream culture. Many times I start my creative process by imagining what kind of tape I wish I could see. I think everyone would like to see the "smoking gun" video that places blame on the most deserving villains (ask the CIA why they made that bin Laden home movie.) Once the September 11th attack occurred, I knew that I had to make this tape.

Needless to say, I make films so that people can see them. So I made some effort to lead people to my site. That's how I got on Jeff Rense's show. Within hours, people had uncovered the thin layer of misdirection that I had employed, and revealed the tape to be a hoax.

Some people ask why I'm not more upfront in announcing that my work is fictional. Perhaps I should. Tell you what. I promise that I will make every effort to stop misleading the public as soon as the mass media, the Pentagon and the White House do the same.

Until then, enjoy the ride.

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