Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pathway to a Short Film Panel Discussion

PHOTO: First order of business as director: keep cast and crew hopped up on caffeine.

So... We’re coming up on the Berkshire International Film Festival and I have some fun news – they’ve asked me to participate in a panel discussion about making short films! I’m so honored and excited that I was asked (and that I was even considered knowledgeable enough to participate). Since beginning “Best Laid Plans” my life has grown so much both personally and professionally.

Production on BLP is going on about 2 1/2 years now and looking back from where I was then, to where I am now, is fascinating. I wonder if it’s the same feeling journal writers get when they look back on entries from years ago. When I began shooting BLP, “Milestone” wasn’t even in my purview, nor was having the opportunity to direct a film for that matter. From the first day of shooting on the documentary, I had very little knowledge about the camera, relying heavily on my Director of Photography at the time. Now I can shoot an interview on my own if need be. I’m tackling the editing of the movie as well – which is also something I knew very little about then. Don’t misunderstand, I have LOADS to learn about the art of filmmaking from all angles, but I’m not sure I ever imagined I’d know as much as I do now.

And personally, as a result of the ordeal of divorce, my circle of people has gotten smaller; that circle is much richer now. My friendships mean more to me than ever before. They are deeper and more soulful, if you will. More than ever for me, friends and family have become synonymous and I don’t think I would have said that three years ago.

To bring all of this back to the panel, I think that one of the things I would offer to budding short filmmakers is to learn about every facet of how to make your film. If you’re not already a one-man band, learn a little about it all so that the experience is richer and you’ll walk away with more than just your movie. Also, surround yourself with the best people for you. A smaller, tighter group of people who are out to create the best film possible. You might fare better than having a huge crew that is less community and more individual-minded.

Other than that, you’ll have to attend the panel!

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