There is an identifiable trend in the independent film world that is a bit disconcerting to me: people are increasingly writing themselves into scripts and subsequently directing themselves. Tiny Furniture is the quintessential example from 2011.
Perhaps the rise of mumblecore movies and reality TV has something to do with it. I suspect YouTube has played a huge role as well. After all, half the videos on YouTube are people ad libbing on a webcam. I guess such YouTubers not only deserve writer, director and actor credits, but also producer, cinematographer, costume designer, editor…
Regardless of where this trend stems from, I am intrigued by it. Will it lead to better art? Is it mostly narcissism? Laziness?
One thing is for sure: just because you can attempt something doesn’t mean you should and it certainly doesn’t mean you know how. I personally know actors who have studied for years under master teachers and they still claim to know nothing about the craft of acting. They have the utmost reverence for their craft. To be on stage or in front of the camera is an earned privilege, not a right, nor an opportunity.
Just because I can go to Home Depot and buy electrical equipment doesn’t mean I can rewire my house. Sure, the tools are available, but I have no idea what to do with them. It seems the “democratization of film,” i.e., the proliferation of cheap digital filmmaking equipment, has not only liberated us from the prohibitive costs of film production, but from the art of filmmaking as well.
Believe me, I try to have an open-mind; I do. But all this self-saturated stuff is beginning to depress me.
I really would love to hear what you think….