Sunday, January 06, 2008

Reality Check!

I've been catching up on some movies I've been wanting to see, and never got around to them, so hence the mess of reviews in the previous blog entries. I have some more to go, but over the holidays something kind of clicked with me. My family had surprised me with some movie gifts in the form of DVD's. I've also been reading "The Portable Film school" by D.B Gilles., In the book he makes some interesting observations, and the one thing that stuck out was a chapter about loving movies. After reading this and seeing all the movies I've acquired I suddenly came to the realization that I've fallen out of love with movies. Maybe it's just that there are other things in my life that have demanded more attention. But the thing is I still LOVE films, and filmmaking. I began watching some of these films, and slowly began to appreciate them. I'm not going to say that at this day in age there aren't that many GOOD films out there. On the contrary there are a lot of films that are very good, and are struggling to be seen.

I've also recently watched a 58 minute interview with Jerome Courshon entittled "Secrets of Distribution". He the writer & director of a film called "God, Sex & Apple Pie". It is a film that has been successful for him, and I do remember catching it on cable one late evening. His comments in his interview are interesting, and thought provoking. After all the landscape to film distribution has changed drastically in the past few years. In the interview he explains a few things about the language of distribution, and the various deals that exsists. He also offers an 8 hour seminar in Los Angeles about distribution. From the info I got in the interview he's a knowledgeable person, and one who knows the business.

The interview got me to thinking about the reality of filmmaking. So hence the title of this piece reality check. At some point you have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. We all know the film business is a business. I don't think we're that naive anymore. Too much water under the bridge for that to happen.

There seems to be a small industry on the Internet that is made up of producers, writers, directors who give advice or seminars to the masses who aren't initiated yet into the world of film business, or film production. I even took one of those seminars from Dov S. Simen called "the Two day Film school". I learned a lot, and it did accomplish one thing, and that was making a film. The cold hard facts were all out there. Of course it's all changed with the advent of Digital video, but filmmaking still takes focus, and most of all talent.

I have to ask myself what do I want to do? What's my goal, and how do I do it with the resources I have? That is the key question. What resources do I have. Money can limit you of course, but with more and more sophisticated tools at a filmmakers disposal one can make a very good and entertaining film nowadays.

I still believe that it's all about the story so one should get it right in the writing, but as a filmmaker you also want to get your film seen too. It still seems as though that such genres as horror, thriller and action/adventure films are a good way to start. Especially if you don't have any well known actors in your film. The harder sell are dramas, comedies, and romantic comedies.

I've been focusing on one particular genre, and realize now that it isn't practical to do. I've worked on a lot of low budget films and they've jaded me, but I've forgotten about the classics, and how much I love cinema. It is possible to do good work on a sub-basement level budgeted film, but you have to LOVE it, and so I needed to re-evaluate some things and try again. Cheap, fast & good. It's going to be a mantra of mine, but one I'm used to, so here's hoping. Till then I'm immersing myself into the films I so love, and the filmmakers who inspire me. Maybe with that I can make a better film, and better yet I can be a better filmmaker.

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