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Independent Filmmaking >> Back to the Beginning

“There’s nothing quite like the idea of failing spectacularly to excite a filmmaker.” – Mike Figgis

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Across The Pond TV Pilot, UK, 2009


Exactly, Mr Figgis, and thanks for the Figrig, an indispensable piece of equipment that Mike Figgis designed to help him get the shots he wanted with a smaller camera, we use it on every shoot.

Necessity demands innovation….brilliant!

So what are you waiting for?

The perfect time to make a film is always and never and trying to get all your ducks in a row before someone shouts “action!” is just going to delay it forever.

Believe me, I have suffered through some pretty terrible and potentially disastrous complications before, during and even after a film shoot, and I am still alive to tell the tail, hopefully somewhat the wiser!

It can be paralyzing and certainly creative suicide if you worry about what could go wrong, and I think sometimes its much better no to know…..

If something’s going to happen, then it’s going to happen, no need to waste your time and energy on it. There’s a big difference between being prepared and looking for every turn in the road to derail your whole endeavor!
Being aware of ruin is a good thing, but just don’t let that be the spirit with which you embark. Or disasters will seek you out, and you will crumble and get nothing done….at least nothing done well.

But thats all part of the ride….man…

If you think you have to be prepared for everything, you will never start, and if you don’t start then of course you’ll never finish and then you will have no one but your self to blame.

At least if you begin and it all goes horribly wrong you can point at someone else and say it was their fault..this makes far more sense and is a thoroughly useful crises managing tool, the ability to blame someone else is the primary reason we surround ourselves with others, after all!

But it won’t go horribly wrong, because every time you get out your camera, press record and remember to take off the lens cap, you are doing the right thing.

Simply by beginning you will succeed,(Confucius say).

So begin!

June is the perfect time to shoot something.
Its warm but not hot, everyone is itching to get outside and do something, we’ve all spent our tax returns and are looking for something else to do, other than shop.

Write something small, something manageable, something you can shoot around where you live, or around where someone you know lives. Don’t think too small though, otherwise you’ll get bored, but consider the story to be your master.

Too many short films have no story, its surprising what you can get into a few minutes of film. We made 52 mini features of 3 minutes each in 2011 (http://www.52films52weeks.com/52films52weeks/Welcome.html), and many of them feel much longer when you watch them simply because of the intensity of the story.

Get your story together, set a shoot date, cast and find locations and equipment, or someone with equipment and you are off!!

Just writing about it makes me anxious to be out there filming something myself!!

But whatever you do don’t talk yourself out of beginning…its hard enough to get other people to work for free and make something, without having to keep convincing yourself you aren’t being ridiculous imagining that you can make a film, short or otherwise.
I’m working on a couple of ideas myself, for short films and a web series and if I didnt ignore that voice in my head that says “why bother, its too much had work and for what” I would never get of the couch!

And if you need inspiration, and a reason to reveal in your 0 budget then just remember what another great film innovator once said:

“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” Orson Wells

So I’ll see you at the side of the road, a couple of bucks in your pocket, camera in one hand, hot dog in the other and having the time of your life!

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceroshttps://www.imdb.com/name/nm4303729/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.