by Andy Wright
First Appeared HERE
...Back from planet film. After spending two days and one evening in the company of Chris Jones and hundreds of film makers, I've got the same feeling that I get when I've finished shooting a film. Some of you may know that feeling: Its been hard work, tiring, challenging, educational, energising, inspiring, motivating... and a great reminder of WHY we ride the rollercoaster.
I won't go into detail too much about what Chris spoke about - If you want useful tips, just go on the seminar next time Chris runs it. If you're serious about making films, you really have got no excuses. You simply cannot afford not to go. Yes, the days were very long, but the ground covered was immense. And most importantly, it wasn't two days of someone blowing hot air up your backside - it was sound, career-changing advice and opinion.
Most importantly for me, the reason for going was utterly affirmed:
Should I still keep trying?
Why do I want to be a film maker?
In the past, I've had:
The joy of creating a film, from script through to the edited film itself
The pleasure of meeting and working with some very talented, lovely people
The chance to go to places that I'd never normally go
The buzz and excitement of being on-set
The Quentin Tarantino phone call (or OMG Part 1)
The Terry Gilliam phone call (or OMG Part 2)
The Fred The Weather Man (from 'This Morning') phone call (or 'Excuse me, I need to get back on my weather map now!')
I've also had:
The on-set mutiny
The six-police-cars-arriving-on-location-induced panic attack
The firing the lead actor a week before the shoot
The second on-set mutiny (quashed before it got any legs)
The script not being ready to shoot
The why-is-there-no-audio-adaptor, hire company?
The colossal confrontations
The personal disappointment
The disappointment of friends and others
The disappearing 'friends'
The rejection and unwarranted judgment
The immense self-doubt
But: I'm still here.
I've had some horrendous times making films. I made some wrong choices. I was also at the mercy of uncontrollable elements. I've also had some of the best times of my life making films.
Hearing the trials of Chris Jones's career was pretty much a cathartic experience. Having had my guts kicked out and jumped up and down on whilst making films, I feel restored after last weekend's seminar. Like the cowardly lion after a trip to see the Wiz, I've been put back together. I know WHY I want to do this (and its not fame, money, peer recognition, proving myself or any of that stuff Chris wrote on the white board). Its because I simply have to do it. I've got stories to tell, and they need to be communicated to an audience.
I'm an 'end of stage 2-looking to start stage 3' film maker: I've worked as an A.D., I've made my own short and feature length films, have made tons of mistakes and have learned a lot from them. I'm now looking to make that 'Stage 3' quality short film.
So next year marks 'The Year Of The Shorts'.
The plan is to make two high-quality short films, get back on and ride that pony, Sheriff!