Thoughts of a Filmmaker

In the past four months, I have taken a 20-minute film from inception to near-completion with the help of 3 other incredible crew members, 5 amazing actors, and way too many friends whom I now owe dinner to. As we wind down the post-production process and finalize the film, I have begun to think about how it will be received. Honestly, I do not know how to feel about it.

One thing is for certain: I never want to make a film of this length with such a small crew ever again. I had way too many jobs to take care of. I was the writer, director, director of photography, script supervisor, gaffer, production manager, and editor. Being involved in so many parts of the film, I have read the script hundreds of times, heard the lines spoken repeatedly, and seen the edited product to the point where I dream about it. Don’t get me wrong though — I love every bit of it. But, the film no longer has any entertainment value to me. I cannot make an objective judgment about the film’s appeal to an audience.

The goal in mind when creating this film was to get selected for an international festival. Vancouver and Montreal were our most reasonable targets. I wanted to get selected because I wanted to prove to myself that I had a future in film. As I near graduation, I approach a risky decision of taking the uncharted path into the film industry from a business degree. Being selected for a festival would solidify in my mind that this is where I was meant to be.

I knew our biggest disadvantage was obviously our budget and resources. We financed the film off of our own savings, amounting to approximately $800. I wish I could say that we surmounted this, but it’s hard to say that we did. The lack of experience, equipment, time, and help proved to be difficult to work with, and it shows in the final product.

The film itself is a reflection of the relationships I had made, my regrets, and my imagination. After putting it all together, it was surreal to see the depths of my mind shown on the screen. I liked how it turned out. I told the story I wanted to tell. A story that many share with me, and one I hope others can avoid. It reflects me as a person: emotional, logical, irrational, and always joking around.

Will we get selected for a festival? Hard to say. It would definitely be amazing to be selected. To say that we did it with the little that we had to work with? What a feat that would be.

Realistically, we would be lucky to be selected for a major festival. The production quality simply is not at par. But despite this reality, I am still very proud of what we made, and how much we’ve progressed. This was the longest and most ambitious project I have ever taken on. Amazingly, I managed to convince 8 very talented a̶c̶q̶u̶a̶i̶n̶t̶a̶n̶c̶e̶s̶ friends to commit themselves to 9 grueling days of shooting, where we would often shoot from Friday night to Sunday evening with school on Monday morning. I managed to get access to various commercial spaces without having to pay a dime. I wrote a story that people believed in enough that they were willing to put down money to make it happen. I showed enough people what I could do that they were willing to take on this challenge with me.

I would love to have this film selected to be screened at a festival. Maybe it’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. But I don’t need a festival selection to tell me what I want to do when I graduate. I had the vote of confidence of those amazing 8 people. I’m proud of what we accomplished. And that’s enough for me to jump right in.

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