Making a movie can be such a long and complicated process that sometimes it's a shock anybody has the strength to do it. However, James Gunn has made a remarkable film and now he's written an open letter to the fans to say thank you and explain why making movies is important to him. Gunn opens the letter by saying how proud he is that the movie is doing so well at the global box office. Though he admits that while the numbers are important, they're not the most important thing about the movie.
So, as we open up around the world, I would be lying if I said I don't get distracted by the numbers. The first thing I do in the morning is roll over in bed and check my phone for the morning box office reports. But, in the end, it's not what matters to me. I write this now to let you know, but also to remind myself. Because I'm human and I sometimes forget.
From there, things get very personal for James Gunn on Facebook. He admits that when he was young he had difficulty making personal connections with people and he spent much of his time alone, to the point of having suicidal thoughts. However, he found solace in popular entertainment, things like Marvel Comics, science fiction, the Sex Pistols, and Queen. These things opened his eyes to the world beyond the one that he experienced and let him know that there was more out there for him. For him, seeing something strange and unique on a movie screen was an indication that there other people like him in the world. Now, he makes movies so that he can be that signal for somebody else.
I work because I like telling stories. I work because I love the relationships I have with my collaborators. And I do it because I like connecting with people, and the easiest way I know how to do that is through filmmaking. I do it so that some kid in Thailand, or England, or Colombia, or Brazil, or Japan, or Russia, or anywhere, can hear the frequency of his or her own heart bouncing back off the Guardians.
Making entertainment is a strange business. On the one hand it has to be financially successful, otherwise, you don't have the money to make more of it. However, part of being financially successful usually includes being good, resonating with people in some way that it makes a direct connection with them. James Gunn understands this balancing act. He knows his movies need to make money, but that's not why he makes them. He's been on both sides of the movie experience, so he understands he has a specific job to do now that he's the one making the movies.
For those people who watch the Guardians of the Galaxy and find something in them that makes their own life a little easier, it likely means a great deal to know that James Gunn isn't just making movies that they enjoy, he's literally making the movies for them.