Making movies!

I took two months vacation this summer and spent most of the time in glorious idleness – swimming in the ocean, catching up on reading, drinking a lot of beer. In August we left for a short trip to Poland for a family reunion on my fathers side, and I got to drive in Poland for the first time – something I dreaded more than I care to admit.

The last week was spent filming and editing a short video for a competition. I’m better motivated to solve problems rather than fulfilling my own projects, so I threw myself at it with gusto – enlisting the help of Sara to write the script and Emma-Kara and Benjamin for acting. We shot it with no rehearsal in an hour and a half. I’m happy with how it turned out – I’m especially proud of the sound which was completely done in post – but looking at it now I can see a bunch of stuff I’d like to do better. I guess there’s a reason why there are so many people on movie sets.

So it appears that I’m now trying to become an “indie filmmaker”. I’m reading books on acting, writing and producing, watch masterclasses and youtubes of varying quality, and buying a shitload of equipment I’ll have to justify owning. A 7kg panning video tripod is nice, but do I actually need it? The obvious answer is yes, yes of course I need it because I’m an indie movie making person now.

As always when I’m into something, it turns into a slight obsession and with that I tend to spend money with abandon.

Right now I’m reading Syd Fields The definitive guide to screenwriting and it’s interesting to peek behind the curtains of Hollywood movie production. I’ve stumbled upon many of the terms before – character arc, plot points, act I II III – but never read much about it. Syd has some practical advice to give in the book, and I’m definitely watching movies with a more critical eye thanks to it. The book is littered with arbitrary and poor metaphors, and occasionally he contradicts himself from one sentence to the next, but it’s still a worthwhile read – especially to get a glimpse of how big studio scripts (and movies) come into being.

I’m going to try my hand at a few more competitions, using them as an external motivator and yardstick. I have no ambitions past entertaining myself and my friends, but it would be fun to see a few projects through to completion, and challenging oneself is always a learning experience – I mean, if you never jump into the deep end you won’t know how tall you are, right?