With the proliferation of media channels available to an entertainment craven public, there is always a new show or film being made. A look at any of the media subscription services throws up a vast array of programmes and films, known and not so well known. Every genre is catered for, every conceivable taste covered, films that look like they cost one hundred thousand to make, to films that cost upwards of one hundred million and everything in between.
If like me, you take an interest in films, you no doubt have seen some of the many trailers that the array of YouTube film trailer channels shows. There is so much evidence of the old adage, ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, with any major blockbuster you may have seen in the past decade, pastiched with minor adjustments at a fraction of the cost and quality.
With the advancement of technology, the cost of equipment needed to get going has dropped to a level where even a spendthrift film student can scrape together enough money to create their own little film studio. A camera shooting in 4K can be bought for under a thousand pounds, Final Cut editing software is under three hundred, Da Vinci Resolve colour software is free! There are also free editing suites – Da Vinci again – that are more than capable of editing to a professional standard.
The rest is time and good people. Once you have a script and if you can get some actors – easiest part, though not if you want really good actors – a camera person if you’re not doing it yourself, a good sound person – way more important than people realise – interesting locations and be organised, you can get a film made. There are a lot of poor looking films, judging by the trailers, that are being made annually. Stilted acting, bad dialogue, horrible shot selection and over eager action sequences. When I say poor, I do not mean visually, except from an editing and shot selection point of view perhaps, but aesthetically a lot of the films look great. As mentioned before, ever more available technology makes getting a good image, with a competent camera person and good post, a bare minimum.
Obviously, there is a market for these films, especially horror, as thousands are made every year and that’s just in the English language. The mind boggles at the thought of how many films must be being made in the African and Asian markets. This does not even take into account the many made for television movies and special occasion, Valentines, Easter, Christmas films that are made.
When one looks at the market like this, it is almost embarrassing to ask how do you break into film. There really are so many films being made. Obviously, many of us would like to believe that we have the talent and wherewithal to hold our own at the very top end of the creative markets, headhunted by Disney for the never ending Star Wars franchise or tapped up by Marvel to script one of their array of interesting characters, maybe get really lucky and be given free rein by HBO to create a television serial. It has to and does happen to somebody, so why not aim high?
Still, if one wants to get noticed, as opposed to waiting and wishing for one’s extraordinary talent to be discovered, would it not be better to make a film of some sort? If you make a film, as many have, you get to choose, within reason, the production values. A schlocky horror, a road movie, a picturesque romance, whatever you want to aim for, as long as you are surrounded by like-minded people, you can make the kind of fare you want to see.
It is so easy to look at the output of some and think that you would never do anything so poor or haphazard. As much as none of us wants to produce rubbish or embarrassing works, one still learns more by doing than studying. Go make something.