Be the next Mozart of Filmmaking….

bolex and me

I’ve so far I’ve shared my likes, dislikes, and my advice on making a film. I myself am not a good example on how to do things.  If anything I’m a good example of getting it done, and what I mean by that is producing a product.   You have to realize when your talking to anyone about making a film they’ll look at you like you have 6 heads. It is an understatement to say that most people just don’t get it.  Why? It’s a simple question. Why go through the pain of writing, financing, and shooting your film when maybe the odds are that you’ll never make any money at it, and you’ll struggle at getting it seen.

I have to argue that in today’s world you have a better shot at getting your film seen then ever before.  How you ask?  Easy it’s all about social media and how big YOU can push you’re own story through the gate keepers at studios.  Make no mistake I am being very sarcastic when I say it’s easy.  It’s anything but easy, yet it is being done.   Good stories and good films get seen.  How they get seen is all up to you.  I am no master at knowing how to do this, and it would help if you knew people who did.   The distribution business has changed radically in the past few years.  Sometimes if you make an impression and get some buzz going through the festival circuit or even on-line studios may begin to notice you.

I have had NO luck doing that personally.  Maybe because I didn’t want to give my baby away for free.  I always felt that if anyone wanted to distribute my film they would make an offer.  But that is naive.  There is a whole lot of content out there.  Many of different degrees of quality.  I have looked down at films shot on video because I felt the technology wasn’t there yet.  Also the quality of those films (shot on video) were not of the same quality of films shot on film.  That is no more the case.  I can attest to seeing some really good films shot on digital.   Just peruse YouTube, and you’ll find some.

Listen if you’re hot on making a film of you’re own do it.  Simple.  Test the waters.  Use friends and relatives when doing you’re initial foray into filmmaking.   Make a couple of shorts and post them.  The more you do the better you get at it.  No really it’s that simple.  We are our own gate keepers.  We put limits on ourselves for what ever reason, and those reasonings can be multiple.   Life can get complicated at times.  Life is short and there are a lot of things people go through that sometimes gets in our way of what we want to do.   Don’t beat yourself up if the circumstances don’t happen for you right away.  Plan, write, read, and meet other creative people like yourself.  In numbers there is strength.  Just get out there and experiment.  No actors or you’re time limited?  Try the avant garde  Anything goes there.   We all need to do something we enjoy, and NOT finding the time is on you.  It’s you’re passion GO FOR IT!

Don’t let the naysayers get you down.  Stymied from lack of talent?  Check out the local art scene in your area.  I bet you’ll find some great talent there.  You just need to look hard enough.    Can’t pay people?  Well make it easier for people to act and participate in your opus by feeding them, and/or maybe paying for their travel.  If their your family they’ll understand, and if their not they’ll thank you for the opportunity to participate.  The one thing you should NEVER do is lie.  Don’t lie to people about your project.  I never did.    When I finally had the resources or partial resources I jumped in and went ahead and focused on finishing the film.  It took awhile to finish the film.  The editing and the sound mix took awhile, but I found people who could help me, and it didn’t turn out too bad.  Even today I still want to re-scan the negative and do an HD version of the film so I can distribute it myself via the web.   I always thought my movie was one of those dime store novels you picked up at news stands or airports, and watched while killing time via you’re phone.  We’ll see how that goes in the future.

Remember YOU’RE the one person who can set yourself back.  I’ll still keep trying myself, and hope that I have the privilege & opportunity to make another film.  But don’t forget to live also.  Go out with friends, fall in love, and do things that make you happy.  Don’t be all too consumed by being that filmmaker.  If you have the itch go scratch it.  Start making films with your phone.  Don’t underestimate yourself.   I’ve taught young children how to tell stories, and they seem naturally gifted in doing so.  Especially in todays world where media dominates a lot of their lives.  I’ve taught kids for 10 to 20 minutes, and they figured out how to put clips together and create a story from those clips.  The hardest thing is to teach what is the idea or subject you want to convey.  I have had teenagers ask me what should I talk about or do?  I’ve given them the same answer always and that is to write what YOU know.  What is it that you are passionate about? Let it flow from what interests you.  Again when you invest in your passions an idea is born, and from there it’s off to the races.  We are conditioned to emulate Hollywood, and TV, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  I find that in young children, and in teenagers the norms are challenged, and if you show them other works unlike what they see in mass media they really get excited about their ideas.  It’s also a great way to learn collaboration which filmmaking is.  So no matter your age, or where you come from you should not feel inhibited by your ideas.  Experiment, and play with different forms and different media.  I really believe that we are on the cusp of a breakthrough in media, and it is not only technology that is driving this but the different ways we use and see media now.

I keep on coming back to what Francis Coppola said about moviemaking:

Now go on and start being that new Mozart of filmmaking like Mr. Coppola says.  He believes it, and so do I.