The fear that this might be the closest I ever get to Hollywood. And envying the people who get closer. And scorning their work.

The fear that this might be the closest I ever get to Hollywood. And envying the people who get closer. And scorning their work.

A few years ago it seemed like no matter where I turned I kept hearing about mumblecore filmmaking; and not just hearing about it but hearing filmmakers and critics practically wetting themselves over films from (in my opinion) is a crap genre.

I couldn’t argue with the mumblecore philosophy of focusing on relationships between characters doing everyday things and I couldn’t argue with the notion of producing films on virtually no budget because story is story no matter the budget. But I hated the pacing. I hated the lack of tension. I hated the talkiness. I hated the subject matter; usually people younger and cooler than I would ever be whining about relationships. Most of all I hated that other filmmakers were getting famous and successful for producing work that I didn’t find entertaining.

So I did what any self respecting filmmaker would do: I made a mumblecore film.

I’m even proud of it even though it didn’t win me any of the fame or success that belongs to the mumblecore filmmakers that I so scorned. I learned a ton about directing and story building and producing with no budget and now I can happily go on hating mumblecore as a genre without feeling like I am dismissing it out of hand.

So lately I have been giving a lot of thought about things that I dislike, particularly relating to filmmaking, and trying to figure out how I can learn from them. I believe the best way to do this is to figure out the things about filmmaking that I Envy, Fear, and Scorn the most and make a deliberate effort to try them. So here are some of the things I have so far:

  • Location scouting and management. This is probably one of my biggest fears about commercial filmmaking especially in Los Angeles where everyone knows what is going on, everyone is annoyed and everyone expects to get paid. The ultimate extravert job: chatting up strangers to let you use their stuff. [Fear]
  • Working with actors that I don’t like or respect. I have particular actors in mind for this but feel it would be rude to say who they are. They are very famous. I don’t understand why.  I dread the day when I will have to work with someone that I don’t respect because their name will be what gets the movie made. [Envy]
  • Commercial product. You know what I’m talking about: films or TV shows made to make money to the exclusion of all else. [Scorn]
  • Documentary. Whenever I hear the word “documentary” there is this little blank screen that pops up full of static. I feel like documentaries are a strange and exotic marine species that live deep underwater and I can’t hold my breath that long. I also feel like I would either make very boring documentaries and everyone would fall asleep. [Fear]
  • Chick Flicks. [Scorn] Nuff said.
  • Trying to tell stories about characters of ethnicities that are different than my own (so very extremely white). I worry about falling into stereotype. I worry about being untruthful. I worry about audiences thinking that I can’t tell a story because it isn’t about people that look like me. [Fear].
  • Working in a country where I don’t speak the language. Especially if I can’t even read the letters like someplace such as China or Russia. I am so used to being independent that I am SUPER intimidated by the thought of being in a foreign place and being functionally illiterate. I really, REALLY want to get over this one. [Fear]

I’m sure there will be more soon.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 9, 2013.

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