When it comes to any film project or piece of art the question that always remains is Can we do it? This fundamental question decides what projects we pursue and which pieces of a story are left on the drawing board at the planning stages. There has always been two overall forces fighting against filmmaking for me. These are, time and Money.
No matter what project or artform we are working on we are always looking for more time. Time is the one thing we have very little control over and looking back at when I have finished a project I am always thinking to myself ‘I wish I had more time’. That is where the exciting part of filming comes into play. The art of collaboration which is a whole other blog post in itself. Collaborating with individuals who share the same artistic vision and more importantly passion for a project simply allows you to accomplish larger sized projects, while keeping the quality at a high level. Collaborating is also a great way for you to surround yourself with people who are better than you and allow yourself to learn from them. Collaboration is one of the greatest tool that we can use against the enemy of time.
Filmmaking is expensive. Renting gear, paying for locations, costumes and props, all adds up very quickly. The chances of you making any of the money back that you spent making the film is also very low, unless you’re working on a commercial project. I found as a young filmmaker this was something that was very hard to deal with. How was I supposed to make a great film, get discovered and find work making movies, if I simply had no money to fund any of my short films? It seemed hopeless. I decided that I would purchase my own gear slowly over time and keep making short films. I got myself a job at Mcdonalds and started purchasing gear. I wanted to be a Camera Operator or Director of Photography (like everyone else in film school) and for me, this worked. I purchased gear and it allowed me to rent myself out, with my gear to shoot corporate gigs and weddings. Essentially, the gear paid for itself and gave me real life experience shooting different projects. The other thing that I tried to do was use as many free, or non expensive locations. I would plan to shoot at parks, friends houses or even grandparents farms. The one thing that I would not cheap out on and is provided food for the cast and crew. People who are hungry are not happy. It sounds simple, but it is very important to treat them with respect as they are sacrificing their time. It involves creativity in the preproduction stage of the game in order to effectively use what little funds you may have as a beginning filmmaker.
Can we do it? Do we have enough time and money? These are the challenging questions we face at the beginning of any film or art project but, they shouldn’t stop us from doing what we love, making films.
Check out No Plan B, money and time were definitely against us on this one.