HOW TO NOT SUCK AT FILM
I love the internet
and what I love most about the internet is the wealth of knowledge we can find as we browse its endless data abyss. When it comes to film, I have found Youtube, blu-ray bonus features, and film-maker blogs to be the greatest resource for discovering, observing, and experimenting with film styles and improvements. There are film geniuses found throughout the free universe of the internet that will beat almost any college degree. Their tutorials, camera reviews, tips and tricks, and especially their own creative works have inspired my team and me to new levels. As we have ventured to educate ourselves through the great “line” that is always “on” (on-line, in case you didn’t catch that) we have learned many things…but,
it will kill you,
figuratively speaking. With so many great film-makers to turn to for inspiration, it is easy to lose ourselves in the simple thought of “man, I suck.” A few months back that exact feeling started beating on the inside of our creative minds. I love the style of the film-makers that I look to for inspiration. Their art is well crafted, unique, and inspiring in so many ways. And little by little I started to really ask myself why am I doing this when I don’t compare to what they can do?
I didn’t see it as a woe-is-me moment, I wasn’t asking why can’t I be like them. To me it was a moment where I felt that – despite trying in many different aspects, learning many different things, and practicing in real film projects time and time again – I could not get my style to match up to theirs. As I allowed this thought process to continue, it was amazing to see how my work started losing purpose. Even our amazing team started losing motivation because we all – in some way or another – started feeling the same: We did not match up to those whom we had learned so much from.
I took a tour down memory lane
and looked at those old videos we all have from when we first started in our passion. It’s often hard to look at them knowing how much we have progressed since those origin moments (For me it was Hi8 camcorders, for some of you 8mm, and others it was DVD camcorders – that was a horrible day in film mediums). Though as I watched this time through, I noticed something I hadn’t really seen before. I realized there was something I had long forgotten. It was my style.
It was there. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was that made it my style, but it was evident that all these old works had a certain characteristic to them that still remained true in my film-making even today.
Then it hit me!
There was one obvious reason why our work did not match that of our fellow film-makers: it wasn’t their work!
Somewhere down the line, I forgot that I had my own film-making style. It was inherent in all that I create. The issue was, as I learned from my peers and exemplars, I started trying to get my work to be their work instead of allowing their work to influence my work.
I realized at that moment, in film-making – life, relationships, even education – the works around me are suggestions that I can choose to influence my own style.
My style and your style is, what it is, we need to hold true to it. It inherent that we must allow the Philip Bloom’s and Gnarly Bay’s of the world to help us learn what are those areas where we can find improvement, but, it’s only a suggestion.
Here are 4 influencers
that I would suggest for you to not suck at film:
1. Philip Bloom – Youtube Channel
Impactful story telling told through well composed yet simple shots
2. We Shot a Zoo Featurette – We Bought A Zoo BluRay
The making of We Bought a Zoo is a very compelling and emotional story. It’s basically a movie about a movie that makes me remember why I love making movies.
3. Every Frame a Painting – Youtube Channel
A great dissection of film-making techniques and purpose
4. the Making of Hunger Games – The Hunger Games BluRay
Wether you like the films or not, these featurette’s show some very neat perspectives on directing, innovation, purposeful use of style, and using CGI intelligently
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