Wednesday, March 25, 2020

You Wanta Make a Movie? By Scott Shaw

 By Scott Shaw

I’ve been professionally in the film game for about thirty years. In that time I have witnessed a lot. There has been a lot of changes in technology, audience reception for films, and the attitudes that people bring to the table when they wish to become part of a project.
I have met some really great people in association with filmmaking. People who are a pleasure to be around and great to work with. I have also met a lot of not so nice people—people who bring their own weird agenda to the table and/or do some really uncool things on and off of the set. But, that’s just the nature of the beast.
One of the main things I have realized, in all of these years of filmmaking, is that most people do not want to partake of the craft. Sure, many-many people have dreams of being a filmmaker but very few step up to the plate and actually conceive of a project, learn how to actualize it, and follow it through to completion. There are a lot more people who simply want to walk on a set, spit out a few line, and walk away a star. That’s great! Good for them. But, not many of them are going to get very far in their quest.
Being based here in Hollywood, there are all of these people who come here with the dream. I have spoken about this subject in a lot of my articles and books on the subject. Many of them believe that if this certain famous person could do it, so can they. Sure, that’s a great belief to have. Unfortunately, of the literally millions of people who come here, maybe one in that group makes a name for themselves. The rest are left going to auditions (if they are lucky enough to get an agent) for roles they will never get or being an extra.
All this being said, early on in my immersion into the film business I realized that the true art of filmmaking is behind the camera. Actually creating the film. There you possess some control over what is actually being produced. There, at least you can create a something, as opposed to hoping for something to be created around you.
Throughout my years in the film business, I have actively tried to help other filmmaker actualize their dream. I offer people crew positions when I have them available. I give them advice when they ask me for it and so on. I have even offered to create a movie with some people who seem to be very driven. But, what I have experienced more times than not is, even the person who really talks the game, even the person who really expresses the desire, even the person in film school, when push comes to shove and I say, “Let’s make a movie,” they always find a reason not to. What happens to their career? I don’t know. They never do anything. But, the reality is, it did not have to turn out that way. They could have joined forces with me (or anybody else) made a movie and got their name out there.
Sure, as stated, there have been a lot of people who have worked with me over the years. They did something with their filmmaking dreams. They achieved something. But, there have also been so many more that have not.
Yes, yes, periodically people ask me to finance their films. But, I don’t do that. I have seen way to many people take money from whomever and never finish what they started. Dreams and promises mean nothing in this business.
As a personality, I am frequently asked to be an actor in other people’s films. Like I always semi joking tell them, “The only bad movies I’m in are my own.” But, the truth is, I am an active member of the SAG/Aftra Union so I cannot be in a nonunion film—which most indie films are. But, I am asked by the people who are already out there doing it. They are living their dream. They are actualizing their creative vision. If they ask me to help them behind the scenes, I am happy to do. And, that’s the thing, particularly in the realm of indie filmmaking, you help each other out. From this, new realities of cinema are created.
So, what am I saying here? …Particularly in this day and age, there are filmmaking opportunities everywhere. You can make a movie with your phone! You simply have to have the fortitude to actually do it. Sure, dreams are great. But, if you don’t make your dreams your reality then they are nothing more than something that is locked inside your head. …Lost forever inside of your brain.
If you want to make a movie, make a movie! Reach out to people that you believe can help you and get it done!
All creation is art. It doesn’t matter if it is loved or hated by the masses. Who cares what they think? The only criteria is, if you get it done, it becomes a something and from this you have become something, a creator.
Create. Make art. Make Cinema.

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Originally from the Scott Shaw Blog