Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cinema of the Masses

So no sooner do I write something about DV and it's usefulness when suddenly the magazine Moviemaker has several articles about "Budget-lite" movies & "the teen film revolution. As I've said previously in this meandering blog about filmmaking I started to make films when I was in my early teens, and that was back in the good old days of Super-8. Now with DV more & more young filmmakers are sprouting up. All you need is a digital camera, a firewire board, and a computer. Now instead of splicing tape, and looking through actual film one can create a movie just like the pros & some would even say better then the pros. The youth of today is bombarded by every type of media there is. Computer, cable, TV, radio, & print all covert the 16 to 24 year old demographic. It was only inevitable that this generation as well as it's younger brethren would begin to make their own media. That's where I find the idea of DV liberating, and fulfilling. With so much disconnection between the generations I believe that DV can provide a voice to some who feel disconnected, but yet have something they like to say. This concept is nothing new. Rodger Larson did just that in the late seventies early eighties in New York city. Larson called it Young Filmmakers, and his organization provided teens with the tools to create films. These films were shot and edited on 16mm, and every so often their would be screenings of the teens work together with their peers. Now in schools across this nation media programs are popping up, and becoming popular with the students. A new generation is beginning to think "media smart". These students are becoming aware of the tools that the media uses to get them to buy things, and are turning the media back onto itself. There are also more and more microcinema filmmakers out there who work on a small scale, but whose films are no less important and who have an audience. As cameras get smaller and the technology becomes more and more proliferated we are going to see more and more of these films. Wait till films are delivered through broadband into our very homes and schools. There will be no holding this wave back, and Hollywood will do what it always does. Hollywood will try and copy the success of a few and try to cash in on this "niche" only to find out that it's audience is a bit too smart, and it bites back. The future is wide open.

Friday, August 12, 2005


So with the production of the DVD my mind races to other projects. DV is the tool to do just that. Digital video is a medium with instant gratification, and multiple possibilities. If you don't like a cut or a scene you just delete and start fresh, or maybe by sliding around your video & audio clips you come up with something more interesting, and it's all a mouse click away. Just drag and drop, copy & paste and you may just find out a unique way in getting your point across. "Deadly Obsessions" was to prove to me and others that a feature is capable without the extravagance of a Hollywood budget. But the possibilities now are too numerous now. Their are people out there who are making movies in their garages, and getting them out to the audiences that want them. Regional filmmaking is becoming more and more, but even more then that is that different markets are emerging who specialize in one or two genres.

Sony just came out with an HDV camcorders and though it will never replace the professional ones that cost thousands of dollars it does now put HDV into the hands of thousands of consumers. The Sony HVR-Z1U is only the tip of the iceberg. More manufacturers are planning to come out with their own HDV cameras. So the revolution evolves and continues to evolve into a more and more fragmented market. You have people making their own horror/goth/fetish films, love stories, action adventure, and even sci-fi films, and all are geared to a certain audience. Marketing these films can be a mouse click away thanks to the Internet, and now the person in some town in Montana can connect to a genre that interests him or her.

The world is wide open, and it is growing my leaps and bounds every day. Already Hollywood is beginning to feel it's strangle hold on cinema slipping. In this weeks variety, and in other newspapers there is talk in Hollywood that this summer was the worst in box office sales. Some say it's because of the DVD, and others say it's because of the poor product Hollywood has been producing of late. My feelings it's a bit of both.

I feel liberated by this. Sure it's harder to market your particular film to viewers now because of the fragmented market, but one can now do it without others taking a piece of the pie. If successful you will make more on your product then you could have ever made going through traditional distributors.

Does that mean that the distributors are done for. I don't think so. After all selling to a WORLD market is complicated. There are already some pipelines that distributors have already tapped, so it would make sense to go to one for help in worldwide sales of your little epic. But before that happens you may have already gotten back your budget, and what ever comes in is gravy, and can be put into a new film.

The world is wide open, and opportunity is there. All you have to do is step up. Any takers?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Coming soon

"Deadly Obsessions" is on it's way to DVD, and will soon be available on the web. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The wheel does spin

I've been thinking about what I really want in life, and why do I feel so stagnant. Chalk it up to the lazy days of summer, and having the attitude in saying "WTF". This Friday opens a movie by a favorite filmmaker of mine. His name is Jim Jarmush, and his film is entitled "Broken Flowers". If your unfamiliar with Mr Jamush's films here are a couple that may sound familiar: "Stranger than Paradise", Down By Law", "Mystery Train", and Coffee & Cigarettes". I like Jarmusch's style, and he has such a unique way of looking at the world. He's a filmmaker I'd consider a true filmmaker. I like that he doesn't rehearse his actors but instead talks to them about the character. What do I mean by a true filmmaker? What is that? Doesn't any person who makes a film become a true filmmaker. The simple answer is NO!

A true filmmaker has his own unique look and feel, and he doesn't compromise in his or her vision no matter what the budget is. A true filmmaker takes cinema into different places, and tells his or her story in unique ways. Pushing boundaries! That's what it's all about for me. I've proven to myself that I can make a film from A to Z, and do it on the cheap, and yet make it look half way decent. Now I want more. I want to push film into other territories. There are so many filmmakers out there who are following the same road that Hollywood has been going down for decades now. Nothing new, and that's what eggs me on. Even I am susceptible to the old fall back position of telling a story. I get frustrated when I realize it's more of the same formula that has been ingrained into me by countless viewings of movies and television. That's the frustrating part of creating something. Maybe it's too much to ask to be different, and that constant experimenting is the ONLY way to achieve anything new, but the process is maddening, and sometimes just plain sucks!

So I push forward, and hope that an idea catches me and lights the creative flame under me, so that I can finally break free of the mundane, and be extraordinary.