Internet Filmmakers Unite!

Well, this is the first of what will become many, many online journals for my new English 101 Independent Study.  They’re basically daily journals about anything and everything.  Which is pretty much what I’ve been doing all along, just not quite daily.  So here goes.  This one’s about the online filmmaking community and how people come together a lot of the time without the age barrier and physical appearance barrier that often presents itself when dealing with physical people.  This is incredibly helpful to kids like myself, though I’m 18 and entering the adult world now, because people can’t see and judge me as a kid, and therefore incapable of complicated storytelling or filmmaking tasks in a realistic sense.  However, it does present challenges toward finding and holding down a stable social life outside of the internet and my room, which I don’t really have.  I have friends at work, a few friends here and there, but nobody I spend time with unless I happen to be in the area.  This closes off many gates that I’m now rediscovering as I get to know some new people and re-form a small piece of a social life.  I’ve made friends with the people at my work and one of them apparently loves editing movies, so I’m going to have her edit my short film The Waiting Room that I’ve been sort of working on for the past year.  That’ll get things done much quicker since there’ll be her, the editor making the physical changes and decisions and myself to guide the process and keep it moving along so it doesn’t become obsessively focused on one cut (which can kill a director’s liking for an editor, trust me, I know) but also focused so that every cut is still important in the way of keeping the film paced nicely and moving in a way that fits the story.  It’s also just more fun to edit with somebody else, it keeps the mood more open and happy, keeps dialog flowing so the director constantly (or maybe not constantly but often) has to explain or justify their ideas to the editor which not only explains and shares the common goal but reaffirms the director’s belief that they know what they’re doing.  If they decide they’re wrong, then they come up with something new, which is the greatness of editing with someone else, I think.  I just can’t stay focused for a long time cutting one piece together unless I’m really driven for it.  This piece I lost the drive for when my actress refused to come back and shoot for a while.  Then we did and it was done.  That was about 7 to 8 months ago now.  Since then I’ve cut about 5 minutes together and a trailer.  That’s not much.  And letting time slip by without making progress isn’t helping.  So, a new person with new ideas and a fresh take on the project I think will help push it to not only completion but a different level, due to the second perspective on the same one piece.  I think it’ll be great.  Now, back to my original point… the internet brings tons and tons of people together no matter their ethnicity, history, age, background, location, gender, or anything.  People meet and often, in the filmmaking world, collaborate with each other to create final products that they can be proud of and all gain from.  If nothing else, they gain the knowledge of another person out there trying as hard as they are to make it in this super-competitive world of filmmaking.  They get their names in the credits of someone else’s production, which is often an “in” for many people into the business; they get the background experience to use on their or someone else’s next project; and they get the friendship of more and more people, a broader web of contacts around the world for their and other’s future projects.  It’s a huge web waiting to be explored.  I’ve often thought that if I end up getting picked up by some studio and need a good project shot and made quickly and cheaply, I know exactly who to go to for help.  I’d probably spend the most money in getting them to and keeping them housed in the area where the film was being shot.  I’d hire my whole decorating and prop and much of my grip and crew department out of some folks I know in Florida, and a few other people I know of around the country that have pledged their efforts to various projects around the internet and whose work I’ve seen and admired.  I’ve touched base with these people, created contact and friendships out of them and we form a sort of web that goes beyond the internet now.  For example, a friend all the way out in Ohio who I met over the internet and have never met personally has been giving me feedback on a short documentary against school violence I’ve been working on that was inspired by his call for people to make Virginia Tech-inspired videos.  He asked me tonight, actually, to color-correct his final cut of his short film for the Sony/Videomaker short film contest.  It’s a short film contest that awards all sort of prizes to its winners, and there is plenty of exposure to those winners, I’m sure, once their piece is awarded prizes.  Having my name in the credits of a production that in my opinion looks like it has a good chance of making it into the winning seat of something in the competition is not only great for the video and the filmmaker himself but it’s a good idea for me because of the people who will see my name and maybe remember it.  Next time they see it in another film, they might remember it again and see the connection, see I’m dedicated to working, they may hire me or know someone who might want to hire me because of my work.  They say in Hollywood it’s all about who you know, and well, the internet is an awesome place to get to know plenty of new people who are passionate about the same thing as you are: low- and no-budget indie filmmaking, doing the best with what we have and making the best we can to show our talent, skill and dedication to an art form we love.  And most of the time, I’ve found they’re pretty cool people, too.

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