Thursday, January 20, 2011

A New World

Isn't technology moving fast these days? No sooner have we bought the latest gadget or device, but it's already nearly outdated by the time we get to use it at all. With so much of everything out there though, it means there is competition and that can keep certain prices down.
Camera's and lighting set-ups are now affordable to everyone and with a school of filmmaking now available for free right across the Internet, any new filmmaker now has the opportunity to delve into the possibilities should they so choose.
As with writing books and making music, filmmaking is gathering momentum when it comes to those with an Independent spirit, with artists utilising the many ways they can begin their careers by action, instead of waiting around for the approval of others. That certainly was not the case twenty and perhaps even ten years ago.

I've talked on my writing blog before about the Age Of The Independent. That is not inclusive of filmmakers, but can carry across many arenas in life, be it self-employment, a musician, an artist and hopefully in politics too. I've come to the conclusion in life that the only thing that holds anybody back is themselves. Dealing with contrary opinions eats up the time we all have, and to no effect. People who want a freedom and Independence in what they choose to do, generally come back to the same conclusion. If I don't do it myself, well then nobody is going to do it for me. From what I've learned, that's true.
Creative people generally don't take to kindly to criticism. I've been guilty of it myself. It made me think at every point along the way, is the pursuit of something that's always called to you a waste of time. You would be surprised how many people will think the same of you. That it's a crazy pursuit. I'm sure many have even given up. I nearly did myself a few times.

After taking time out I hope to get back into the swing of things this year. Continue practicing, try get scripts out there and work toward my first feature. Through trial and error I've learned an awful lot. I've found people I can work with who have similar ways of doing things I do. Some give up great time guiding and advising. Funny enough, they are actually people motoring along themselves and bringing out some quality material, knowledgeable of every pit fall along the way, but head down and focused on what it is they want to do. Make films.
Like everything, it takes time. Like life, filmmaking and other endeavor in the visual medium is a tough teacher. It is for everyone that practices it. I've had great times doing stuff, other times not so great. But learning all the while.

My own ambition in filmmaking is from a writing and directing point of view. I will produce my own stuff out of necessity if I have to. The queue for funding is long. Why wait?
In between times I try to learn what those around me can do. How a camera works, how light adds to a scene and a possible tone, how hugely important sound is. The art of editing. I don't want to do all those things as i think filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and I think it's good to respect what others around you are doing so something can be produced at the end of post production that all involved can be proud of. I don't see much point doing it otherwise.

I personally don't feel the structure of the Irish film Industry is designed around the development of filmmaking at a young level. Strives are being made, but it's slow. Looking around though their is undeniable talent there and the crazy thing is some of that talent have to sweat blood and tears practically to get anything off the ground. Some would be more deserving of support than others, but even that is not the difference.
Courses seem to be at Celtic Tiger price levels, opportunities to get experience are rare and mostly unpaid. Hopefully over time I can build up a variety of links for any filmmaker to look over. All geared toward getting started and learning about the many elements that need to come together to make a film. Be warned though, Ireland's filmmaking circuit can be a tough and sometimes brutal environment. The best advice i could give to anyone starting out or thinking of giving up is go with the gut feeling you may have. If you think you have something to offer, don't be put off by the detractors. You might be getting some of their work someday. Read, watch and get experience anywhere you can. Listen closely to those who talk about the work and the art and run from those who may be a little chatty about themselves. It won't take long for you to find your feet. Remain thick-skinned at all times, chances are somewhere along the line you'll need it.

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