What Is My Motivation?
Filmmaking is a risky venture. You put so much money into it expecting a return that mostly doesn’t come immediately or even not at all. Paradoxically the more diverse films are, the more fragmented a large pool of people are and thus it’s difficult to bring as many people as possible to see what you’ve done. So why do it at all? Just like any other medium of art, it stems from a desire to express something meaningful to a larger world.
For myself, I think these three are worth making because they are worth seeing. First, I think of myself as an artist, who has used music in the past and now wants to use film as well. The desire of an artist is to share something of himself to the world at large, whether it’s about a specific moment in life or just about life in general. But these are not just some personal expressions or fictional retelling of my life … far from it. This is about six different and imaginary people who live their lives and form three different intersections. In their choices and actions, they comment in their way about the way we relate to each other, especially in a deeper and more intimate manner. This is something I think is not explored enough, especially in cinema as it is often sacrificed for the sake of expediency or laziness.
Continuing on that last point, I’m concerned about the state of cinema at present. While I’m fully aware about the long standing story of art cheapened for a “quick buck,” it seems that nowadays, it’s been worse. Most of the films made and released on a wide scale currently are sequels, adaptations or the ever-more popular “reboot” or “reimagining.” And sadly, they are just one of them. It begs the question: “is there anything new?” Can’t we dare to venture beyond the comfort zone and explore into uncharted territory?
Granted there is nothing new under the sun and it’s presumptuous to think that it can ever be refuted. But the wonderful aspect about human imagination is that every story can be reduced to some thirty-odd basic plots, we find ourselves telling these same stories yet with many different combinations and results. I refuse to believe that after ten thousand years or so of doing this, we somehow reached a point where the well is now dry. While it’s easy to believe that nothing really happens in the end, the fictional Robert McKee in Adaptation. said it best (via a rant =] ):
“Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There’s genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere takes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ’s sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can’t find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don’t know crap about life! And why the fuck are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don’t have any use for it! I don’t have any bloody use for it!”
And so I would add – though may not as colorfully as fictional McKee did it (for now) – “why aren’t we talking about more things? Why are we content with just a narrow band instead of a larger spectrum?”
So the point is that I simply want to see this happen. I believe in these stories and I believe in these characters. I love them dearly as both brainchildren and the dearest of friends. And why should I keep at all to just “something in my head” or a “nice thought experiment”? Why shouldn’t they be given life? Why shouldn’t they be given wings?
What I Can See and What I Can Say
So far, my experience in filmmaking has been very minimal. I’ve been an extra formally and I’ve appeared in a few odd-and-end efforts by others. I’ve written not only these scripts but another one way back in 2005/2006 called Omvendelsen. But other than that, I have nothing directly related to filmmaking. I’m trying to rectify this gap as best as I can as I go through life: surviving day to day, making things better for myself and others in my own small way, etc. But I also don’t believe in just being idle while everything comes to some kind of fruition. The key is always persistence right?
Combine persistence with a sense of ingenuity, you can come up with something that can help convey a vision, which is the essential element for any and all film directors. For myself, I’ve done this in taking the time to write the script, complete with actions and dialogue. Privately, I’ve been adding my own annotations and supplements to convey more details about particular characters or scenes or the film overall to the appropriate personnel. And every now and then, I let something out to a larger public about how I see it.
In this case, I’ve travelled around Boston – which is something I end up doing anyway – and tried to “see the film.” This was of course very important in writing as it depended on being able to visualize a location and therefore visualize how characters would interact in that space in addition to how they would travel along the path you’ve envisioned them to traverse. As I was completing the scripts (and even long after completing them), I took as many opportunities to take as many different pictures as I could of the various locations I had in mind for each of the three. These are all at the very least an aid in visualizing the story at various points as best as one man could.
They can all be found here (in chronological order by each story)
As things develop and/or I have the time to say more and add more, I will do so in due time. Until then …
Onward and upward … DJP