Filmmaking “Anyone Can”
About a decade ago, a huge storm had hit my hometown of Harlingen, Texas. It was rounding out the end of hurricane season, and we seemed to always get the forefront of every storm. There were sleepless nights, due to the generator being a little loud, and the storm in general. I spent the night of Hurricane Dolly in the living room with my father. This night made me take a serious look at what I wanted to do with my life.
As my father and I sat through the storm, he flipped through two channels the entire night: The Weather Channel, and HBO Family, which was showing Ratatouille, the Pixar film directed by Brad Bird, and one of my personal favorites. Although I dealt with the small annoyance of Dad flipping through the channels, one part got to me in particular.
“Anyone can cook.” were the words uttered by the character Chef Gusteau.
It was at that moment that I decided… I wanted to be a chef. Needless to say, that dream faded away. But Furthermore, I took the most important words from that phrase: “Anyone can”.
Anyone can cook
That same year, the blockbuster film Transformers, directed by Michael Bay, came out. It was a film, which at the time I was 11 or 12 years old, that showed me how big and cool a movie could be. My brother and I, who were huge fans of the movie, and the franchise as a whole from the 80’s, collected toys and figures. We played with them all the time at my grandmother’s house. Then we discovered the internet, we watched countless videos of Transformers related content. It was here where I also discovered stop motion. Seeing toys and figures moving on their own being the coolest thing ever. This resulted in deciding to make a stop motion film ourselves.
For the whole summer of 2008, we shot a film all on a small camcorder I got from the previous Christmas. We painstakingly moved figures around from house to house, creating a story as we went, with no script. I was constantly editing the film… in PowerPoint. Hand drawn special effects on each frame and stock sound effects on the program. With over 1,400 photos taken, our film was complete. It was also 5 minutes long, yet that’s beside the point.
The reason I tell this story is to show how two adolescent boys could make a film, with enough drive as any professional can have in the industry. And, as proven in the industry, with its catalog of both good and bad films, we’ve seen talent of all calibers come in and create something. Some of these people have become household names; others take a little bit of looking for to become known. With the wide spectrum of character which comes through the art of filmmaking, one thing is certain, filmmaking is not destined to any particular person. Filmmaking can be discovered by anyone, implemented by anyone, improved by anyone, and cherished by anyone.
Anyone can be a filmmaker.
Written by: Michael Davis
Edited by: L.A.M.P. Media Productions