Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Being Indpendent In The Film World

In my time blogging thus far, I have had the pleasure of coming into contact with several independent filmmakers. And more than that, I've been asked to view their work and comment on it. It truly is an honor and a bit intimidating. I will say that you look at an independent film completely different from a commercial release. Or I do, at least. There are not the easy devices of commercial films to guide you along. You understand in viewing these films that in watching commercial features, you take a lot for granted and you become lazy in your viewing. It's easy to compare a scene of a commercial feature against the director's previous work or another movie of the genre. And a lot of creativity is lost because budget constraints are rarely a concern. John Sayles was asked what he would do with 100 million budget. He said he would make ten, 10 million dollar movies. Raimi himself even said that big budgets would force him to be less creative in his thinking. This of course was before the Spiderman franchise. I ask you to watch Spiderman 3 and see if Raimi has lost any of the creativity that was on constant display with the Evil Dead trilogy.

I went to film school, so I have a small inkling of the dedication it takes to make a short film or complete a full-length feature. The raising of money, the begging of friends, the job of director/cinematographer/writer/best boy, the balls to put pen to paper and then to put those ideas on film or video. These are brave and dedicated and perhaps crazy people who make these films. They show tremendous will to work their day jobs and then shoot at nights and weekends. And some do it not to be the next big thing in Hollywood, they do it because of a deep passion for film and storytelling. And they do it in places like Pittsburgh or Kansas City or Arkansas or Canada. Before I even view a single frame, I have tremendous respect for these people, for they have done what I never did and few others have.

In the next day or so I will be reviewing a couple of pictures from The Butler Brothers and a short from Lucas McNelly. It is my pleasure and my honor to do so.


* (asterisk) said...

That's great that you get to see these people's work. I made a short film myself a few years back, using friends, a Hi-8 camera, and editing on a high-end VCR. It takes huge time and effort.

Another great (paraphrased) quote for you: "In Hollywood, they wash away problems with the money hose. Not having money forces you to be creative." Robert Rodriguez in his hugely inspirational book Rebel Without A Crew.

Sheamus the... said...

awesome man...we just finished filming a short. I will be writing about it on my lunch break over at the DEAD. I would love to hear what you think about it when I'm finished editing and scoring. But till then check out the writings this afternoon and some pics.