Guest Writer: FB has some inspiring questions!

And a question or two for the directors…

By: F.B. Wood

F.B.’s Twitter.
F.B. is currently a student at USC Upstate and a prolific writer. To quote his Twitter page, F.B. uses the written word to “smith together sentences for both fiction and ad-copy while simultaneously tending to the needs of my 3 year old daughter.”

The director is to the filmmaking process what a captain is to a boat. He guides his vessel through rocky seas and fruitful ports, reaching a fate that could keep him sailing forever or ride a hole-ridden ship to the bottom of the ocean. As you begin to embark on your endeavor of short film production, I’ve wondered:

  • Do you think movie making is a hobby or has to be a passion?
  • Director’s talk most about their vision, that there is a specific way in which the story needs be perceived. With six billion perceptions available in the world do you focus solely on your own vision or try to imagine a more universal design?
  • Where does your idea generation come from? In the case of Expecting Goodness, you are asked to use an already published idea. Do you prefer to use inspiration from others or to bring to view your own ideas? Is it more difficult to flesh out your own ideas?
  • Cameras, Actors, and Backdrops all come together in the process of movie making. Do you prefer actors you know or paid professionals? How easy is it pick a shooting location? Are there restrictions for shooting in certain places?
  • When you do set sail and showcase your movie what is it you want the audience to walk away with after viewing your film?
  • In the end If you were to win an award who would you thank and pay attribution too?

I ask these question selfishly as I do my best to play the Devil’s advocate. Some questions I am most curious about while some are key foundation points every director should solidify before moving forward. Both are intriguing as they come together creating a drive inside the director. Lights. Camera. Action. Let all of them see the vision as you see it, breathing it to life from the silver screen of your mind to the white-vinyl projection screen.

2 comments

  1. Abe Duenas

    Hobby is something you do in your spare time for pleasure and relaxation. People look forward to it because it’s the time they can finally get away from their hectic schedules to do something they enjoy.

    Passion on the other hand, is something you love and would gladly lose sleep over to do it. It is the fuel that keeps you awake 3 o’clock in the morning, the drive that keeps you going even when everyone else thinks you’re crazy.

    I read the above once on a blog somewhere and thought, man now I know why people think I am crazy at times. I think if you you have a passion for whatever you do. You can not pry yourself away from doing it, even if at times it makes no sense to others of why you do what you do.

    I try and make the film that I see in my head. More often than not I find that I withhold certain information at times because I want the audience to interpret the film for themselves. I find that I really enjoy the films that do that. We have brains, let us use them. Sort of makes me feel like I am in English class again and Mr. Wall is asking “why did the author tell the story that way, what was he trying to say?”

    The story I chose to tell was more of an inspiration of the story I chose. After reading “SUCKER” I asked my sefl the question that every filmmaker has to make when choosing his story “What If”? So I asked, what if my character lost everyone around him and now found himself alone?

    One of my alltime favorite movies is “Bicycle Thieves” Partly because every actor in the film is not a professional actor. They were all people that lived locally and were cast appropriately. I think it is possible to use ordinary people if they meet certain characteristics. That is not to say that perfectly good actors can not be used. But on a project like this, where the community is heavily involved, why not extend that opportunity. My lead character has no film experience, and yet I feel he is perfect for the role.

    I was also fortunate ennough to find a perfect location. Usually I try to film as much as I can indoors. Mostly becasue it is easier to control your enviornment, which is super important when lighting your scene.

    Filmmaking is a tedious process, and when you pull off a story they way you intended. It is one of the most satisfying feeelings there is. So it would mean alot for me for my audience to react the way I wanted, or to relate with my characters. Any connection they can make with my films is a good thing and I hope thats what I accomplish.

  2. Terry Miller

    For me making a film is like any other activity. My entire self goes into it. I am far from perfect but have always attempted perfection in most everything.

    My opinion is that no matter what you attempt to do each person will perceive the film based on their own experiences at least to some degree. I always try to communicate in life in ways that I think most will understand and will attempt that in the film making process as well.

    My ideas come to me at random. Many times I awake in the middle of the night with solutions to problems that at first seemed impossible to conquer and these are generally my best ideas. I do well developing my own ideas as well. If I see something new generally it induces new ideas that move my thoughts in new directions. Whatever I am involved in generally dictates where my subconscious mind is wandering. I drive people crazy with constant new ideas or epiphanies. I am never finished with development and will continuously have new ideas. Thankfully I am aware of this and have to decide when it is time to accept that this is all the time there is and come to the conclusion that it’s time to “get the show on the road”.

    No preference on actors however it is rewarding to give someone who seems to have that self motivation and desire a chance to show what they are made of. The eager beaver is likely to be more attentive cooperative and responsive. My favorite thing in life is to teach a small child something new. To see them marvel at what they have discovered.

    Shooting locations could be difficult. People these days are afraid of liability.

    There are many restrictions for shooting. Being an emerging film maker I can’t tell you all of them. In Greenville you have to buy a permit to even take professional pictures. Filming is the same and they want details of what will be going on. In state parks you again have to pay to do photo or video. Federal land allows photo but I am not sure about filming a movie and I would guess it depends or the extent of the film and the impact it will have on daily operations.

    I want the audience to be entertained and feel they were part of what just happened. I want them to identify with the movie. I have ideas about how to accomplish this task but they are my own thoughts and not really open for discussion. They do involve getting into the minds of the viewer. Psychology has always been one of my strong points.

    If the movie is a success and we win something I would want each person to feel they had a equal part in it. Having supervised for many years and having coached baseball from the time my son was 4 till he was 12 I have learned that the best way to get the best out of any person is to give them a part in what is going on. If you don’t feel needed or that you are contributing you will lose interest. It takes a lot for the leader to keep everyone happy. We will all share in the process and in the credit. Creative thinking is a definite skill that would be a great asset in this process.