There are lots of movies made each year. The last study I saw showed that in the almost two decades since 1990, on an average, more than 4,500 films are made each year. That’s a lot of movies. That figure doesn’t even begin to take into account the proliferation of films on the web on such sites as YouTube. But how many times do you hear someone say, “I saw a good movie?”
“A good movie” means something different to almost everyone. Some people are genre cultists and eagerly lap up every movie made in their particular vein of interest. Others are small movie true independent film buffs. Others don’t feel it’s a good flick unless it opens with a car chase and includes massacre and mayhem within the first 10 minutes. Still others pass along YouTube postings like they’ve discovered the next great “classic.” And of course there is the battle of celluloid vs digital.
The phenomenon of digital postings on the web is interesting to watch. Everyone is a potential “filmmaker.” Filmmakers no longer have to wait for a “distribution” deal. Who needs the traditional theater exhibitor when thousands upon millions are viewing your film instantly? But are we applauding film postings because it’s great filmmaking or are we just enamored with the web technology? Are these movie postings promoting a generation of “me” artists; the quintessential hyphenates (people in the industry who work in more than one field, i.e. the writer/director, etc.) who are forgetting that movies are collaborative ventures?
Whether you fit into one of the categories above doesn’t really matter. I think we would all agree that good movies have some things in common. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end connected by a great story told visually. Taking a camera and shooting an interesting chain of events and editing it is a good beginning. It is a way to become familiar with the technical aspects of being a filmmaker…to learn what you can and can not do to further bring a viewer into the scene, to further the plot, and to “make a movie.” But I proffer that no one makes a movie by themselves. It really is a collaborative art form that takes the vision of many artists working together with a common passion and vision.