Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: The Top 10 Reasons Why It's a Great Time to be a Filmmaker

By Tanya Klein

We’ve come across a little e-book, The Top 10 Reasons Why It’s a Great Time to Be a Filmmaker (2012, 124 pp., Michael Wiese Productions It’s a compilation of essays by industry professionals and, best of all, it’s free.

If you’re looking for a how-to book, this certainly is NOT it. If, however, you’re suffering from the dog days of summer syndrome, then it’s well-worth checking out because it might just lift you out of your funk. How can you tell if you’re afflicted with the aforementioned symptom? Nobody’s bothered to read one of your scripts in ages; therefore, you haven’t bothered to write one. The person you proudly called “my manager” hasn’t returned your emails in a year. Facebook just clued you into the fact that the dude who cheated off of you all the way through high school recently bought his second mansion while you’re subsisting off of Ramen. In other words, if you’re reading this right now while taking a break from contemplating suicide (or a career in Law) then this book is for you. What you need is a good talking to and, most of all, a reminder that these can be great times to make your own movie. (Editor's Note: we, too, have covered this topic in several articles for both Script and Creative Screenwriting magazines. Click here for one of them.)

The overarching theme of The Top 10 Reasons Why It’s a Great Time to be a Filmmaker is the dissolution of entry barriers. Most of the essayists agree that in the olden days, you’d write your script and wait and hope and wait and quit hoping you’d ever see it made. Enter the advent of new technology and DIY. The Internet has created a paradigm shift. Firstly, you have access to a wide and diverse knowledge base, as well as collaborators next door and two continents over. Secondly, the digital revolution has made moviemaking affordable. The ubiquity and affordability of DSLR’s and home editing software make it possible for everyone with the right drive to get his or her movie made without winning the lottery. Thirdly, fundraising has taken on a whole new dimension with sites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Crowdrise. As a storyteller you have new and exciting ways to find and communicate with your potential audience through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once your movie is finished, you can elect to self-distribute via global online distribution platforms like YouTube or iTunes and with any luck – and a lot of Internet savvy – go viral. This technological revolution has also created the fringe benefits of whole new avenues of employment opening up: Webisodes, mobisodes, games – they all need content, they all need storytellers. In other words, they all need you.

So if you’re feeling sluggish, wondering if you’ve made the right choices in life while you’re sharing your last can of dog food with Fido, then this book is for you. And hey, it’s free with sign-up for MWP’s mailing list. 


Tanya Klein is a Los Angeles-based writer/director and story analyst for Coverage Ink. 


No comments: