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Making Movies for Fun and No Profit

First of all, Ken Levine somehow stole a blog post idea directly from my head. (This fits with my theory that Rupert Murdoch has a chip my brain, and he’s stealing all my good scripts before I even write them.) Ah, well, it’s probably for the best– he’s a better writer than I am, anyway, and his views on the writer/director subject are more insightful than mine would have been.

Anyway, on to my real post.

I like making movies. It’s why I moved to Los Angeles, why I went to film school, and why I’m willing to work for idiots for less money than what a grocery clerk makes.

The problem is, making movies is a collaborative art (unless you animate it and do all the voices yourself).

Growing up in a small midwestern city, I didn’t know many people who were interested in making movies, let alone willing to put the time and effort it takes to actually write, shoot, and edit one. But once I got to film school, finding collaborators was easy.

That, to me, is the main advantage to film school. You’re surrounded by people who don’t want to do anything but make movies. I was shooting all the time, sometimes my movies, sometimes other people’s. Sure, they were universally lousy, but at least I was filming.

The problem I had working at a production company was that I was the youngest person there. Nobody else was interested in spending their weekends with a DV camera and actors cast from Craig’s list. Once I got into PAing on movies and TV shows, I finally got back to filming just for fun (or artistic expression).

This year, I’ve worked on two friends’ projects, and done two of my own. It’s always a fun way to burn a weekend or two.  It’s hard to get stressed, like you do on a real shoot, because everyone’s working for the love of it (and maybe a slice of pizza).

Even better, in the years since film school, the projects have ceased to suck, and progressed to merely disappointing. In a couple more years, I may attain the vaunted sphere of “adequate.”

Here’s hoping.

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