211. Filmmaking and Me

After waking up at a record early time of 4.25am yesterday morning, this morning I perpetuated the early-waking spell by climbing out of bed at 6.55am. Mostly because Elliot made me.

Also, update at 10.27P.M.: Day 2 and still no Char Kuey Teow. I’m still holding onto hope.

On the subject of the conference: today marked day 1 done. In descending order of importance, I will discuss matters pertaining to the conference of interest. Let’s begin with breakfast.

It was mediocre. Next.

I kid. It was a good day of learning and relearning: many of the concepts, rules, and tips about the craft I have already learned over the past 2 years or so. But there’s always something about hearing it from the mouth of someone who knows what he’s talking about. Also, after many years of searching, I have finally been enlightened on the mystical thing called 3-point lighting.

(I do not kid, however, about the mediocre breakfast)

What intrigues me is how the course managed to keep my attention throughout the afternoon, despite the workshops stretching on for 5 straight hours between 1.30P.M. and 6.30P.M. I didn’t pay as much attention to my psychology lecturer – not even when I had a double dose of caffeine before that. Yet I sat there, stomach filled with lunch, paying attention to what was being said and taught.

I guess that’s how we define passion these days: the class that you stay awake in without the help of caffeine.

When the workshop was over, we were invited to share within our own group about the things we’ve learned. After some rumination, I decided on a politically correct answer: that filmmaking isn’t about a single genius auteur making the project work. It’s about a group of highly skilled, highly passionate, and highly dedicated people coming together to make movie magic happen.

For most of the last few years of me trying to break into the world of film and television, I have been the only one among my friends with enough free time and measure of insanity to make videos. It’s tedious work: planning, shooting, editing… Work that people should get paid for. Unfortunately, it’s also a hell lot of fun, so by rule of fun, people get paid less than they should to do it. I’ve been the only one among my non-working friends to obsessively pursue after knowledge of the craft.

(well. Except for the parts that involve money. In other words, the important parts)

But it’s about time that I realize to realize that to make a film happen, I have to let go of the notion that only I want to see the film get done well. Frustrating, heart-wrenching, nerve-wrecking, but it has to be done. Trust must be forged.

I look forward to another day of learning tomorrow. This time, about the most overlooked major aspect of filmmaking: perfecting the sound. I think tomorrow will be a good day.

Now if only I can find myself that elusive Char Kuey Teow.


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