Double Digits: The Story of a Neighborhood Movie StarHD Closed Captioning
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About the Movie
DOUBLE DIGITS introduces us to Richard 'R.G.' Miller, a tenacious low-budget filmmaker and unlikely YouTuber as he prepares for his latest epic film, "The Masked Man." This documentary follows his unconventional process and delves into over 35 years of his personal and professional backstory: utilizing footage from Richard's own archives dating back to 1979, DOUBLE DIGITS lovingly pieces together the story of one man's dream as it is born, cultivated, stuffed away, shattered, and triumphantly revived.
Art for Art's Sake
You know how at the beginning of an MGM movie Leo the Lion roars and you see that Latin caption "Ars Gratis Artis" (Art for Art's Sake?). In director Justin Johnson's documentary "Double Digits : The Story of a Neighborhood Movie Star" we meet Richard "R.G" Miller of Wichita, Kansas. Miller, is an extremely DIY indie filmmaker, screenwriter, special effects creator AND star of his own movies who lives to produce his modest features and upload them to YouTube. Miller creates art for art's sake, content as an outsider to make movies on his own terms. These films do not provide his livelihood, but they are very much his life.
Justin Johnson and his production team, all with roots as DIY filmmakers, take us into Richard Miller's world as he plies his craft with a modest video camera, no budget, but a wealth of passion. His set pieces are miniatures, crafted and spray painted in his kitchen/workshop. Props are scavenged, friends and family members called upon as performers. He derives great joy from his work, and his enthusiasm and self-deprecating tone is touching as we watch him prepare and lovingly shoot his movies.
Overcoming personal setbacks, Millers perseveres at his craft and maintains modest expectations, considering his work a success if YouTube views of his features exceed 10 ("double digits"). We learn that he's gone through some troubled times and that filmmaking in many respects, has saved him. To watch him work, often in difficult situations (a scene where he is trying to shoot on a windy day comes to mind), is fun and frustrating, but inspiring. Miller's wisdom in all of this is making the best of a situation and then moving on to the next challenge. This all grounds him and provides a Zen-like quality to his life.
When an opportunity to showcase one of his films unexpectedly arises, we share Miller's apprehension and hope for his triumph. Johnson and crew capture these moments without being intrusive and it's what makes the documentary work.
In a world of $250 million movie budgets, $20 million actor salaries, and multi-billion dollar box office receipts, Richard Miller is a true original. And as "Double Digits: The Story of a Neighborhood Movie Star" proves, you can't put a dollar amount on art. To quote the MGM Lion: "ROAR!".
Awesome and Inspirational
This film is heartwarming, funny and inspirational. The filmmakers Justin Johnson and Erik Beck beautifully unfold the inner workings of RG Miller, cutting to the core of what it means to be human, to struggle, to suffer loss, to continue, and to find happiness and purpose amidst it all. RG's passion and creativity is infectious. Do yourself a favor and watch this film today!
This is a great documentary about the power of art to transform lives. Filmmaking is a potentially powerful art form in that sense, able to reach large audiences and move many people. Too often, though, this quest for a larger and larger audience dilutes the power of the message. R.G. Miller is not that sort of filmmaker. He chooses to inspire a few people a lot rather than reaching a lot of people and only serving to distract them from their lives for a few minutes. Filmmaker Justin Johnson expertly tells the story of this "neighborhood movie star," delving deeply into the filmmaker's motivations and how the community around him informs his life and his art. In the process, you just might find yourself looking differently at the way you create.