What makes a great film?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm in charge of organizing the Film Festival at my school.  I'm pretty excited for it.  I got the poster done tonight and I'm already hearing about what films people are working on. Tonight we had an informational meeting.  There were a few people that came that were new to filmmaking but wanted to start.  They started to ask me about what cameras to use and what mics they should get so that they could have a good film..

I feel like many new filmmakers get stuck in this situation, focusing on equipment first.  They then let their equipment hinder what they do.  Whenever they have a project that they want to do they say they can't because they don't have the right equipment.

Now although it is important to get the best equipment you can afford, it should be a secondary thing. Before Aspiring Filmmakers focus on getting amazing equipment they need to make sure that they have something more important - a good story.

Story should always come first in any film.  There are so many Hollywood films out there that have amazing special effects and have ginormous budgets.  But they still suck. Then there are super low budget films that win Sundance.  The Blair Witch Project costed $60,000.  The movie Clerks only costed $27,000. El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez's first films) only costed $7,000.

Now that is all more money than most of us have.  However there is one thing that those movies had that  we all can have - a good story.  Instead of working on trying to get better equipment, work on getting a better story.  Instead of focusing on production and focus on pre-production.  Work, and revise, and work, and revise again until you get an amazing story.  When you get a great story it won't matter what type of equipment you use.


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