It’s been a while…again. Yes, I know how bad I am at maintaining this site. But in my defense, my focus recently has been on other projects, one of which I’m going to share with you now. I feel like people who only know me for one thing that I do–whether that one thing be this blog, my podcast (which is on temporary hiatus), my music, or whatever else I cook up in my head when I’m feeling inspired–probably think I’m incredibly unproductive, but honestly, it’s just that my attention and investment are constantly being shifted back and forth between all of my various endeavors. I’m pretty much always doing something creative or artistic, but I’m the sort of person who likes to focus all my energy into one thing at a time, so whatever project I’m working on tends to consume me to the point that I’m liable to ignore everything else for a spell. I’m terrible at balancing different aspects of what I do. I’ll admit that.
But my recent article about how digital cinema has thus far not really made any big strides towards fulfilling its potential for democratizing filmmaking and distribution kind of made me want to put my money where my mouth is (or rather, my complete lack of money where my mouth is) and start making films of my own. Not to imply “you won’t get it” or anything, but I do recommend reading that article before watching my movies just to get an idea of where I’m coming from. These are homemade, no-budget short films that I made with my wife and cat in our one-bedroom apartment. I don’t expect to garner any attention from them, so that’s not the point of me sharing them. I suppose this is a sort of follow-up to the aforementioned article in the sense that I’m just doubling down on my conviction that you can make your own movies if you want to. It’s never been more accessible. Lack of equipment or funding need not hinder you.
In fact, when I was feeling a bit fired up about this project just before I started, I even wrote a little manifesto in the same vein as Dogme 95, but of course I called it Catme 20 because, ya know, cats. Here’s that (admittedly and perhaps purposefully idealistic) manifesto:
So anyway, I directed four short films recently (actually seven, but three of them didn’t make the cut as it were), and I’m presenting them together as a collection rather than individually because…well, I don’t really have a reason, it’s just what I chose to do. And you may view them here if you so choose:
Thanks for watching, and even if you didn’t watch or decided they weren’t for you, I encourage everyone with even a passing interest in filmmaking to make your own movie sometime. The end goal doesn’t have to be landing a gig directing for some big studio. You can literally just make small, no-budget movies for the sake of making small, no-budget movies. I mean, I’ve been making music since I was 13 years old, and I never approached it with the mentality that it would lead me somewhere; I just loved doing it. I can’t believe it took me this long to realize I could have been doing the same thing with movies all along. But of course, with current technology, it’s much easier now than it would have been back then, so maybe the wait was necessary in this case.
My point is: make your own movies. If for nothing else, then just for fun. Despite people’s weird obsession with box office numbers and awards, not all movies have to be made for money or acclaim. Be a local filmmaker who maybe gets to screen a short film at a bar or coffeehouse (but don’t do that during the pandemic; please wait for it to be safe to do so). There is honor in that too. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a “real” filmmaker or that you haven’t “made it” if that’s as far as you take it. Remove money and recognition from the creation and distribution of art, and art feels a lot more meaningful and personal. (Mind you, I’m not saying that to hype myself; I’m saying it to hopefully encourage you to also give it a shot and create something even if you don’t have the resources the money men tell you you’re supposed to have.)