I turned fifty a few months back. Yep, one half of a century old. What’s more is that over the last year I’ve found my passion – filmmaking. The weird thing is, it was there all along – I just didn’t see it; a forest for the trees kind of situation if you will.
I wish I could tell you that when I was a small boy the first time I walked into a movie theatre I fell in love with cinema. I can’t. That would be a lie.
The first time I went to a theatre it was the Capital on the Lake Shore in New Toronto. I was six or seven I think. I saw a Godzilla flick and when a three-headed monster hatched from a giant egg, I freaked out. I started crying and yelling to go home. So, one of the older kids took me home and he was seriously pissed off.
I’ve loved film for a long time, but it was writing that ultimately gave me the push in the movie-making direction. I’ve always been a storyteller and realized that those stories were pictures in my mind. I wrote a lot of what I saw. Mini-movies in my mind. From there my writing turned to screenplays and that’s when the realization of the ‘system’ took hold.
Sometimes passion is just not enough.
The film industry has always had gatekeepers. Those people whose job it is to filter through what they believe is or isn’t right for the industry. I’m sure they use a checklist of key words like ‘marketable’ and ‘demographics’ and ‘revenues’ in their decision making. No matter my passion regarding a project, it never seemed to be good enough. Oh, there was a lot of ‘this is fantastic’ and ‘love it’ and ‘let’s get this made’ but it was truly smoke and mirrors. Really what they were saying was ‘no’. And, I’d much rather have heard that than the crap they peddled; I’m a rip the bandage off quickly kind of guy.
So what is a fifty year old guy, living far from Hollywood, not connected to anyone in the ‘biz’, to do?
What are you waiting for?
I chose to make my films myself. The journey from writing scripts to having a feature on the big screen is one taken in small steps over a long period of time. Age be damned, passion is what matters. And believe me when I say, I have many fears to face and will die trying to get that feature made.
One step at a time.
I’ve got a few short films under my belt now and it’s abundantly clear to me that my strength is in the writing. I feel so damned good when an actor or producer or anyone for that matter, tells me how much they like my work. I’m open to having my work critiqued since correcting the mistakes I make certainly makes me a stronger writer but, positives always give a welcomed boost. Writing wouldn’t be a problem for my next film.
I realized quickly that I needed a director or photography, someone who knows the nuances of the gear they use or the gear I can provide. I wanted a particular look for my next film and now I know it’ll look as good on the screen as it does in my head. My passion for the project has to drive my decision making; what’s best for this film is paramount. This is not about me, it’s all about the end product – the film.
Add great actors willing to give their time and talent along with a crew that works with the same passion and you’ve got the makings of a great film.
Passion is essential but so is coin!
It truly is the best time to be an indie filmmaker. One of the reasons is crowdfunding. I get to reach out to people and talk about my film – my passion. This is the best way I can think of to get people interested in my film. No longer do people read about an upcoming film and line up to see it. They are part of the passion, they’re part of my passion – they’re in my passion network! We all get to be involved in making a great film. I get goose bumps when I think about it.
This is an exciting time for me and I needed to share that. I’ve written Rock and a Hard Place and will direct it. I’ve met wonderful people who share my passion. I’ll be reaching out to hundreds of people to share my passion.
The hell with my age, let my passion flow.