‘How do I become a film maker, I’ve been struggling to do so for so long ?’
How often have I been asked that question.
“is that a Video you are running on your cell phone ?”
“Do you have access to some form of editing system on your computer or on the cell phone ?”
‘Do you know how to upload to youtube or hundred of other similar sites ?”
“Then do just that, and you are film maker, right ? You’ve just created, edited and distributed your own film for no money”
I see doubt cloud his face. I swear I am not just getting rid of him. It’s a serious, relevant answer.
” You are not asking me the right question, are you ?”
“You are not asking me how to become a film maker, but asking me how do you become a famous film maker, get a theatrical release, right ?’
He looks really sheepish, for more often than not, that is what is on people’s mind. For that is the only way they see it.
” It took me 12 years of knocking on people’s doors to make my first film, Masoom. If I had this technology it would have taken me 12 days”
You want to sing. You then want to then be a singer. And then you want to be Lady Gaga. You want a record deal. What happened to just singing for the pleasure of it, for the passion of it ? Especially now as you can sing and put it out there for people to participate in your passion ? I collaborated with Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale to put my poetry to their music. We just put it out there on SoundCloud and thousands have heard and appreciated. We did it for the joy of it. At zero cost.
And why don’t we see that simple answer as possibly the right answer ? Because we are stuck in another world. In a world of yesterday. I believe that technology and it’s practical use is more hampered by an addiction to the old ways and culture, rather than technology itself. Our desires tend to cling to us, even though technology is creating fundamentally different ways for us to express them.
Lets talk film. The 35 mm film when first developed had very low light resolution. So artificial lights were needed to boost illumination. That limitation then became the art of film itself. The art of lighting the face. The art of lighting the set etc. A relationship between silver halide and light. A limitation became an art. It always does. Technology often provokes an expression of art, and the limitations of that technology itself creates the culture of that expression.
On film we rehearse a shot, then the actors leave the set, as the Director of Photography lights the set. Once done then the actors come back on the set and we take the shot. Do you have any idea of how long that takes ? Other than actors having to recreate the rehearsal again, possibly loosing the absolute passion of the moment ? Digital has changed all that. Even some consumer models are more light sensitive than our eyes. Lars Von Triers and his colleagues started the Dogma 95 movement , which were a bit extreme and the movement has faltered since. It disallowed even music and props. But technology has developed leaps and bounds since then and I really wonder why Hollywood film budgets average out at $ 100 m each.
It’s the old model. Today a child can make a film and put it out there for people to see. And they are. I judge an annual world wide competition called ‘One minute to change the world’. One minute films often shot on cell phones on the environment. Some of the most innovative ones come from kids. Really. I often tell my friends in Hollywood (and myself) that our competition is not from each other. It is from those kids that do not carry the burden of the past and are adapting so fast to new technology and the Internet, that one day the theaters may be empty . Other than a few successes, the box office take is directly proportional to the amount of money spent on marketing. No wonder Hollywood is banking more and more on pre sold franchises and on 3 D.
There is a new model available. Where you make a film by your own passion. Like you paint, or write poetry. Or write a book. It is possible now to make that zero budget film, and put it out there for the world to see. Not every story you write will be zero budget, but hey (I say to myslef) there are stories you would like to create that are possible on a zero budget.
I must practice what I preach. Lets just go out and express our passions.