Filmmaking, to me, is a lot like sex. There’s a lot that has to happen before the act itself can be undertaken. Planning, scripting, casting, pre-production – it’s like foreplay – a very delicate dance and the reason most film projects never make it into the can, so to speak. Some are aborted because they’re bad ideas. Some are attempted, but the chemistry is wrong or certain elements are missing. Some just fall apart in the thick of the sweaty tumble.
Of those projects that do achieve consummation, only a few will be considered “good” experiences. And for those very lucky few, only a handful will reach a satisfying conclusion, in the form of a completed film. A truly memorable experience will result in the film being widely distributed and receiving acclaim. That doesn’t happen very often. Mostly it’s just a lot of plugging away in the hopes of receiving some sort of mutual satisfaction amongst the involved parties. Spielbergs and Scorceses – like Don Juans and Casanovas – aren’t born, they’re made.
Though the planning that goes into making a movie is a lot of work, it’s necessary. Done correctly, it can be fun, just as sex can be. Let’s not forget, however, there are a lot of people who have hang-ups about such dalliances. Some pin a lot of expectations on the act, instead of simply enjoying the experience and learning from it. Some demand a form of perfection that is near impossible to achieve without years of practice and the payment of dues. For some, it never evolves beyond the equipment.
As somebody who has always really enjoyed sex in all its many permutations, filmmaking for me is a similar challenge with great rewards. If, that is, I play my cards right, follow the rules where necessary, take chances where possible, be creative and never lose sight of the fact that there are others involved in the process. It hasn’t exactly made me an expert, because there’s always something new to learn, but the philosophy has served me well in one area, I don’t see why it shouldn’t in the other.
To push the above metaphor even further, if the act of sex is ultimately to procreate and thus give birth to a legacy, filmmaking is an apt simile. Which is interesting, to me, because I find that most young filmmakers never really get past the teaser. Most tend to abandon the project after the “fun” part, moving on to the next, rather than going through the necessary motions of editing and shaping the film into its final manifestation. They aren’t so much interested in creating a finished product as they are in playing with the tools of the trade and enjoying themselves. Sound familiar?
So, what’s the purpose of all this cinematic onanism? Let’s call it, the germination of an idea. I am currently hard at work on a project that I believe will change the game a bit for myself and other filmmakers in the area. This idea, once put into effect, will crank up production of short films, inspiring us all to see more projects through to the end, but also raise necessary funds to make such projects viable. Key to the success of this idea is follow-through – showing my fellow filmmakers, through mutual involvement, that a lot can be gained by mastering the art of fulfillment. There are a lot of elements that need to fall into place before we can take the first real steps toward bringing this idea to life, but we’re getting there slowly and I have faith.
It helps if I think about it like I’m planning a huge community orgy. Just like the bad ol’ days, but this time without the need for safety precautions and tarps. We’ll be releasing our first fertile crop at the beginning of the year. More will follow. Be warned, we’re counting on people like you to come with us on our journey. Pun intended. Even the squeamish among you – after scrubbing any unwanted imagery from your mind’s eye – will find something to like. One thing I can guarantee is, we’ll all be doing our best to make the experience memorable, in the best possible ways.
After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?