Thursday, August 10, 2006

At first you don't suceed.....

So at first you don’t succeed try, try again. That’s how the saying goes I believe, but how do you do it again when filmmaking is such a complex and trying endeavor. I mean it was fun when you were young and you picked up the camera and said to everyone “let’s make a movie”. It isn’t that simple anymore or is it? By making your first professional film do you suddenly throw up your hands and give up on creating another one. As a TRUE independent filmmaker not one that Hollywood labels as an “indie”, but one who is completely outside the system how can I make another film? I mean I don’t see any investors lining up outside my door willing to invest in my next flick. How do I move on, and continue to do what I really LOVE to do? So many questions and yet the answer is always in front of you. As an artist you use what you have on hand. If it’s limited locations, and limited equipment you make due with what you have and tell a story you think is worth telling. There will be a lot of people telling you what you SHOULD do, or what you SHOULD NOT do, but only in your heart of hearts do you know what you HAVE to do.

What am I talking about? It’s persistence of vision. If you do it long enough and good enough eventually the odds turn in your favor. I have always been a strong proponent in believing in yourself. There is little room for doubt. Doubt kills, and destroys dreams. Doubt will be you’re undoing, and for a creative type that is fatal. Sure we all face doubt every so often, and we succumb to it for a moment or two, but the artist in us tells us different. We overcome it, and channel that creativity into other projects. I don’t have to tell anyone that there are a lot of talented individuals out there who constantly strive to push their art forward. They are painters, sculptors, photographers, graphic artists, writers, poets, and yes, even filmmakers.

I know what you’re thinking. What now he wants to do art? Doesn’t he know it’s called “show business” emphasis on the word “business”. I’m fully aware what show business is, and I’m fully aware what art is. I’ve always believed that film is an art form. I bet you Godard, or Fellini NEVER saw their films as business opportunities. No they saw it as creating “art”, and that’s what separates us from the mainstream. We do it because we have no other choice. We have things to say, and we like creating our art. For some of us we can make a living at it while others strive their whole lives trying to reach perfection.

Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe it’s just as I get older I begin to see things a bit more clearer. I do this for my enjoyment, and I get a release out of it. I don’t do it for ANYBODY else. I do it for me. If I create something that resonates with others then great, but if I fail I will just try again until I think I’ve said all that I can say. Did you ever feel like you were shouting on a mountain top , and all you heard was the echo of your own voice, and the wind howling back at you? Sometimes that happens, but sometimes if you do it long enough some one else hears you, and all it takes is another person listening. I don’t profess to be a marketing genesis, or a great artist, just maybe a storyteller.

Look at all the great filmmakers, and tell me they don’t have passion in what they do. If they were not filmmakers what would you think they would be doing? Somehow I think the Godard’s, and Fellini’s still would be artists of some sort. If you have doubts about your abilities please be aware that it’s all part of being an artist. The quicker you overcome that doubt the faster you will create again. Failure is just one step in the course of learning who you are. After all it isn’t a failure if you’ve learned something new is it?

So that brings this back to me. How? Why? And what next? All I have to say is that I refer to you to the original phrase from which I began with. “At first you don’t succeed, try, try again”.

It all begins with an idea, and then moves from there. Ideas are plentiful, so there is no shortage in that, but an idea that others might find interesting is something I try to strive for. Something that would speak to the audience on a personal level, and communicate those feelings and desires. There lies the crux of my dilemma. I need to communicate what I feel strongly about and yet make it entertaining, and thought provoking. “Always leave them wanting more” is another phrase I’m familiar with. Maybe when I get it right I’ll let you all know or better yet you’ll let me know, but till then I’ll continue to plug away at what I love to do best, and in the process I’ll try not to take myself too seriously.

The above photo is of me and my father-in-law. After finishing the movie and watching it my father-in-law gave me a big hug and shook my hand. He was real proud that I had finished the film, and it was something he had seen being made. That alone made it worth while. My family and I miss him dearly, but I have that and at least he lived to see his son-in-law do something that he loved. It was always about passion with dad, and that’s a lesson I’ll always remember. Thanks dad!

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