Filmmakers and fantasies…

Posted on December 10, 2010 by Mike Riddell

Well, not that sort of fantasy – but might get this blog on a few lists :-)

Went to a meeting hosted by the NZ Film Commission the other night, where they reported on the state of affairs in the wake of the Jackson/Court review. It was a good session and lasted a couple of hours with questions and discussion. But the gist of it is: the film commission has bugger all money, they’re not likely to get any more, hundreds of projects are looking for funding, and the sky is generally falling. Nothing we haven’t heard before.

Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that everyone wants to make a film. But for a lot of them, it’s a fantasy. It’s the idea rather than the reality. And of course the only thing (they think) that stops them is that no one will pay for it. Well peeps, time to take some responsibility. To make a film, you need to, well, make a film. People made films before the film commission was invented. It was bloody hard to do, and it still is. But the message coming down the wires is that if you’re into filmmaking, you need to make it happen through sheer determination.

Tom Burstyn (and partner Sumner Burstyn) are putting together a book called Simple Cinema, which will talk about how to make films with minimal resources. Tom was our DOP, and they’re using The Insatiable Moon as a case study. Keep an eye out for it – it’ll be a hugely helpful resource. What it won’t provide is the bedrock passion and determination to actually make a film. That can only come from the inside.

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