Print Story The futility of modern filmaking
By Tonatiuh (Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 11:20:28 PM EST) (all tags)
Sound? READY!

Camera? ROLLING!

Mark it! SLATE 1 TAKE 1!


So it went my first exercise in film making.

The scenario was peculiar: there were 8 of us learning the craft, supervised by 2 pros plus 2 actors, all cramped in a small flat in order to film our first serious exercise.

The involvement of the actors was a tale of its own. We needed to get two of them for the weekend, but came Thursday and nobody had gotten any. So I used one of my skills from my regular life and organized the whole thing: found websites populated by actors, emailed the project's details, got replies, interviewed people and choose 2 of them. In other words I got things done because it is what I normally do. It felt good :-)

So I chose 2 actors and the choice was well received.

Each one of us took turns to play a role in the making of the movie (director, director of photography, sound, lighting, props, continuity, make up, and even clapperboarder).

All was complicated and quite scary to be honest. The amount of work that will go into making a 3 minute film is staggering, my initial thought was that there is no wonder films are so costly to produce.

Enter Mike Figgins, who gave a fighting talk here in London yesterday about the overweight film industry.

Not being a real Hollywood  insider, but having worked there, he had lots of good anecdotes and points of view. Most telling was how he was not knowledgeable about camera models and other technical nonsense (when asked which camera he is using, he could go as far as name the brand, but when he could not identify the model a bunch of tech heads in the audience recited, as in a mantra, the model with all its variations and technical abilities, which kind of made his point: people are too worried with the technical aspects of film making and less concerned with the artistic part of it, which he contends makes movies worse),

About the anxiety of people to get good zooms lenses for example, he gave Cartier Bresson's invaluable advice:  just get closer to your subject.

He also described how he has made films with 4 people for a crew, the actors and a few lights. Compared to my weekend's exercise that felt mercurial.

The message was pretty much just to get out there and do something instead of worrying so much about the how. Now that I have the emails of all those actresses actors I may just  do that.

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The futility of modern filmaking | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
Need any help ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 11:57:59 PM EST
Not that I know anything about film.

You would be surprised how useful one can be. by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 04:49:31 AM EST
The boom (mic) operator for example,  he just holds the boom out of frame, a very necessary thankless task.

Or the clappboarder, which makes sure all scenes are accounted for  by basically keeping track of a counter.

[ Parent ]
I can do that ! by Phage (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 04:55:15 AM EST
Gi'us a job !

[ Parent ]
The actors worked for free :-) [n/t] by Tonatiuh (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 07:23:53 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Dogma by jump the ladder (4.00 / 0) #2 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 12:54:09 AM EST
Some pretty good films have been made without the enormous technical overhead.

The futility of modern filmaking | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)