Why So Difficult?

15 Feb

I’m healthy, of sound mind and financially stable.  My wife fully supports what I do.  I live in a free society with little restriction.  And filmmaking technology is the most accessible it has ever been.  So why is it so difficult to make a film?

I’ve come to the conclusion that the greatest challenge in making films has nothing to do with logistics, legalities, nor finances, rather, it has to do with execution.  In other words, I can have a camera, a cast and crew, and millions of dollars, but if I don’t know what to do with them, I’m stuck.  It’s like having an RV with a tank full of gas and a fridge full of food, but if I have no idea where to go, I’m stuck in park!

In most cases, the movie script is the road map; it tells the filmmaker where to go, and often, how to go.  But what if one doesn’t want a detailed map with a set destination?  What if one simply wants to hop in and drive as the old adage espouses, “Let the path be the destination.”

With Girlfriend 19 nearing completion, I’m considering my next move.  And at this time, I don’t want to write another script, so now what?  Like the RV, I’m eager to hop in and drive, allowing the road, weather and signs to guide me, perhaps meeting a few folks on the way who will sway me in one direction or another.

So, how do I allow the path to be the destination with a camera? Unfortunately, I can not simply hop into a camera and drive off as I would with an RV.  Or can I?


10 Responses to “Why So Difficult?”

  1. Rae February 16, 2011 at 3:26 am #

    Oohhh & you could sell the piece back to the person or business for a small yet profitable fee. I am positive they would want the creative footage either to promote their business, or post on some type of social network. Just food for thought!!

  2. Rae February 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Chris!!!! I feel the same way about making my album.
    I do have an idea for you though now that you are near completion with your film. Direct & film shorts on different interesting subjects, people or artists and post them on your youtube page. U could even enter them in local film festivals. :)

    • Christopher February 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      Hmmm, you’ve got me thinking, Rae!!! :)

  3. Christopher Bell February 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    I suggest watching and reading up on movies that didn’t have a script or an agenda. Some of my favorites are Oshima’s early 60s output, ones that were just released in an Eclipse Criterion box. “Sing a Song of Sex” and “Violence At Noon” were done without a script, the former is my favorite and took advantage of a new and much maligned national holiday, capturing genuine protests in Japan.

    There’s also Herzog’s “Stroszeck” which is pretty incredible.

    I planned to do something similar for my first feature but I think I’m a bit too young and inexperienced, though I’m trying to follow some of the ideas that brought them to these projects. One day I’d like to do it, and I fully encourage anyone willing to take the plunge – it’s exciting and experimental. We’re in the digital age and we’re independent, if you end up doing something that doesn’t work… fix it til it does.

    • Christopher February 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      Hey, Christopher! I’ll definitely check out the films you mention and, believe it or not, I got to watch Stoszeck in Hollywood with Herzog in-person. It was really great.

      Thank you for the encouragement and you’re totally right about the freedom and liberties our technology affords us these days. So true, so true…. In fact, I think you ought to take the plunge now! :)

      • Christopher Bell February 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

        I’m not brave enough :) Really though, I don’t have the guts at the moment, and I kind of want to get a bit more experienced before I throw everything away.

        Also I just watched “Putty Hill,” a new indie which was done without a script and intense collaboration. Very great, probably one of my first favs of 2011… since it’s in theaters now you could probably read up on press to see how he ended up doing what he did, too. It’s all very inspirational.

      • Christopher February 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

        I TOTALLY know what you mean regarding bravery! At this time, I have two super committed actors who come over to my place twice a week. We’ve been improvising various characters and situations, but haven’t nailed anything down yet. I’ve had a story idea with characters, but deep down, I’m not sure I want to do it. And the truth is, that I don’t know what I want to do. I have a feeling that I’m going to need to venture into seriously unknown territory to find what I want to do, but that takes guts – bravery! Do I have it??? I don’t know…

        I’ll definitely look into Putty Hill. I know it’s a film Ted Hope has championed – thanks for the great leads….

  4. Sajib February 15, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    It’s just the same thing, knowledge. You have knowledge, you can do literally anything.

    What’s an RV, by the way?


  1. Filmmaking in the Dark Unknown « Follow My Film - March 2, 2011

    […] lover of analogies (especially road analogies), I couldn’t help but compare driving on the bridge with filmmaking.  Can I make films […]

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