Everybody Is A Film Maker


| A weekly indy film tech blog on the BSFF website | 

For over a hundred years it's been too expensive to make a movie.  An industry was built upon the complicated technical craft of the process.  It cost a lot of money to do at a high level, and the professionals that do it a lot get paid a lot to make it look a lot better than what you'd be able to do at home.  Even indy films of the past needed a decent amount of coins to help bring their ideas to fruition.

Not anymore.  The technology to make a movie is so affordable anyone from any class can do it...with the right ambition and vision.  

And these new, typically unheard voices, are the next wave of cinema.  They offer a vibrant immediate voice.  After all, growing up poor can create a stressful perspective unique from a class more insulated from financial strife.

Now, just about all aspiring indy film makers you meet will complain that it's a pauper's trade.  But many of them come from a financial background that does offer a bit of a safety net, be it family or friends.  

However, since failure without an economic safety-net is more dire, then couldn't that fear of failure and the serious consequences of failure while being poor actually drive someone to be more meticulous, more ambitious?  Depends on the person, eh?  

I'd argue that if a person really wanted to, they could now make a movie for practically nothing and have it rival big budget productions.

Let's say you were a gal or a guy with only a part time job.  Minimum wage.  Short order cook at the local Panda Express.  You ain't got much so you live in a small apartment with 4 other people, sharing rent.  You could acquire something like a used Pentax camera and a 50mm lens for around $200-300; add a couple of extra bats and a few cheap SD cards. Heck, maybe you could even swap something on craigslist for a camera.  

Your local library offers a media computer for editing as well as research on techniques to make a film.  Point is, if you want to do it, you can do it.  And you might even be successful if you have the gift of storytelling insight and natural ability.

If your ideas and abilities are worthwhile, you could easily cast via craigslist as well.  If people trust your abilities and your personality, they will help.

With this scenario, if you were a really creative insightful person, you could make a movie for pretty much nothing.

Ultimately, it's the skills that matter.  New cutting edge professional gear is great and fun, but it's not the road to a good film, it's just a carriage.  Yours might be gold gilded and horse drawn by 12 royal ponies, but someone with an old wagon and a mule can still make progress on the same path.  

Gear seems an almost irrelevant part of the main equation.  Getting a technical equipment is very easy, it's everything else that's difficult.  But, learning is free!  Skills can be acquired through experience!  Go!  Make your movie.  If it's something special it will get recognized, no matter where it comes from.

-Matt N.