Dreams and Videotape
Sorry for the second late post this week. I’ll try to put up Friday’s post as early as possible.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve liked to make movies. I still remember my brothers and I digging out the family camcorder and running around the backyard on a summer afternoon making a movie about aliens. As time past my older brother lost interest, so I got my two best friends from church involved. We’d make all kinds of silly little films that I wish I still had copies of. As we got older we tried to become more serious about filmmaking with scripts, planning meetings, and actual editing software. In the end we spent more time talking about videos than making them, but we had fun.
Around the same time my brother bought the extended editions of Lord of the Rings. We spent hours watching the special features, learning about Weta Workshop, costumes, makeup, casting, editing, “bigatures”, directing, finding locations, catering, everything having to do with making LotR. When I watched those featurettes I felt something grow inside me. I knew that I wanted, more than anything, to be able to make movies. I just didn’t know how to get there.
My friends and I tried to step up our game. Our youth pastor at church found out about our hobby and he asked us to make a video for youth group every other week. This was our most productive period: with actual deadlines to follow (and people to disappoint) we started to actually finish the projects we’d talk about. Everyone thought our videos were funny, which was all the encouragement we needed. You can find a couple of those videos here, along with some general silliness. (Sadly, the best videos we made can’t be uploaded to YouTube because they contain songs owned by the Warner Media Group. Which sucks.) Eventually we decided to make a feature length fantasy film to help make our mark in the filmmaking world.
The production was a disaster. I wrote the script, and I put in way too many speaking roles. We couldn’t find enough actors to fill said roles, and we started getting desperate. At the same time we kept coming up with more and more elaborate ideas that would be harder and harder to pull off on our (nonexistent) budget. Logistics became a nightmare: of what few actors we could find hardly any of them could film on the same day. In the end we only filmed two days, getting hardly 10% of the needed footage done. And what footage we had was subpar, with hammy acting, bad lighting, and crude special effects. We probably could have started over from scratch…but we were all tired of it by that point. We made plans for a different movie for the next summer, but it never got past a basic outline. Our moviemaking troupe was dead.
When I went off to college I put thoughts of moviemaking out of my head. I wanted to be realistic: there are thousands of talented men and women out there who dream of making movies. Why should I succeed when so many have failed? Besides I wanted to help people, to spread the word about the poor, unborn, etc. In a way pursuing moviemaking seemed too selfish. That’s what I told myself at least, but I also have to admit that I was afraid to try.
However some things have changed. I’ve been encouraged that I should at least try to pursue my dream. A few months ago I picked up the camera for the first time in ages, and I was reminded how much I enjoy making videos. I want to be a writer, but I also need a day job. I want that day job to involve video production, and if God is willing I’d like to make movies someday.
What is all this leading up to? I decided that if I want to make videos I should start now. As soon as I’m able I’m going to try to start a small video production business. It will be strictly local, with a focus on filming videos for use online. Right now our main selling point will be affordability: I’m willing to work for peanuts. From time to time I’ll talk about my progress here on the blog. I just wanted you all to have a heads up about that.
Unless I remember any other revelations to share there might be something interesting to read on Friday. Hopefully.