A Dreamer Walking

The Pen of a Filmmaker

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on January 16, 2011

Making a movie is sort of like creating a piece of literature. Your pen is the camera and the paper is the canvas for the world you are going to create. It is the filmmakers job to figure out what to write and how to space it. You can even say something like “cutting” is the equivalent of  “periods” and “exclamation marks“ in writing.

What a good filmmaker tries to do is create a rhythm or a flow to his or her movie. We need to not only have a good story but also be able to express it in a way that is interesting and unique. Literature has many different ways of expressing itself. There is plain factual writings (text books), fictional and non-functional writings, poetry, journalism, ant etc… All of these types of writings can take a subject and express it in completely different ways.

One of the beauties of filmmaking is we have many ways to express ourselves. In fact the tools for film are getting more extensive every day. It is like we have paint brushes today that filmmakers in the past could only dream of having.

The extensive amount of tools we have today to express ourselves do not make the films of the past look like armatures however. It is good to study the great filmmakers of the past if not for the sole purpose of understanding how they could express so much with so little.

It is a common mistake for most young filmmakers today to care more about the tools then the actual subject matter. I have worked with many fellow students who seemed so caught up in making a cool shot or pulling off a cool effect that they forgot about the core of what filmmaking is about. In literary terms it is like writers who are so interested in using sophisticated words that they forget to think about the meaning behind them.  The core of filmmaking is and must always be the story. The meaning behind the effect or cool shot is what matters. Everything should be done to support and express the story in the best way possible.

Even if your story is just some factual information that you want to get across to the audience (News), the first question should be, “how can I best communicate this information to the audience?”. The cool shots and fantastic special effects should only be used to make the information more clear and more acceptable to the audience.

Figuring out the different ways we can express ourselves in film is like looking into the different ways people express themselves in writing. Even if something like poetry is not your thing it is a good idea to try to understand it. The ways filmmakers can express themselves is endless. The more I look into film the vaster the medium seems to get. I personally think this is a good thing.

I want to be a great filmmaker like any writer wants to be a great author. I think that the similarities between the two mediums are fascinating. Looking at the camera like it is your pen is a good analogy. We have the potential to make mistakes and create masterpieces. However, nothing will happen until you are able to build up the guts to put pen to paper.

(By the way, this is post 100! Thank you so very much for everyone who has been checking out this blog. I will try my best to continue to improve my writing and push my dreams forward. I am glad you are can share in my experiences. Do not be afraid to comment and tell me what you think 🙂 )

One Response

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  1. Minnow said, on January 16, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    100–WOW!! Nice analogy. You indeed are getting better and more concise in your writing. But like the best writers a quick read through by fresh eyes will catch at least a few of the type Os or working issues. Loved the line: “nothing will happen until you put the pen to paper.”


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