I love films. I realise that might a dumb statement to make, anyone who reads this blog, check out my Letterboxd, listens to my podcast or has ever met me in person know that I love films. I have done since I was a little kid. In fact, films have been both a source of absolute pleasure and of absolute frustration in my life. Like, seriously, there have been times where my love of films has caused me trouble with people I'm close too.
My love of films is why, of course, I want to make films. There's something about telling a story visually, through the medium of film, that really gets me excited. I can't help myself. Only today I met with an actress about a short I'm working on to find the conversation quickly turning to films. As soon as it had I was off, I spoke and spoke and spoke. It's something that just really invigorates me in a way that nothing else quite does. I love films, I can't help it.
As a film-maker (which I suppose I am, although it always feels a little odd calling myself that), I find that having a good working knowledge of film, the language of film, the history of film, helps me when it comes to working on my own films. I often call upon my influences. I see things from certain films that I love, and things that I dislike, and I draw on them all. Whether it's a short or a feature, or even, as it turns out, a stage play, films are constantly influencing what I'm doing within my own work.
Which is why I find it so baffling that there are so few, or at least there appears to be so few, film-makers that I come in contact with who have the same passion for the medium. I meet a lot of film-makers in my day-to-day life. I meet student film-makers, pros, amateurs. I meet talented film-makers, not-so-talented film-makers, average film-makers. I meet good film-makers, bad film-makers. And I like to talk to all of them. Why wouldn't I? I love films, and I want to talk to as many as I can.
And yet, so very few of them seem to all that interested in the medium they want to work in. So many people have never bothered with a Hitchcock. So many people don't really care for genre pictures. So many of them don't know the "classics". I met a film-maker once who just announced that they don't get horror, while at the same time citing Alien as one of their favourites... How? How is this even a thing?
I'm aware that for a great many people of my generation and below cinema appears to start in 1977. Star Wars is often about as far back as some of these people have ever considered to go, outside of maybe Mary Poppins when they were kids. But what's the deal with this weird lack of interest in the very thing you want to work in?
And it's not even people you would necessarily expect it from, assuming you'd expect it from anyone who wants to make films for a living. Some of these people actually do make films as a living. How is that happening?
I love films, and as a result I struggle with people who don't. It's not because I'm trying to be awkward, it's simply that I'd happily spend several hours discussing the ins and outs of any number of different films. I'll happily share my views on the Universal Monster movies, or The Greatest Showman, or Fast and Furious. I love films, it's what I do. But when someone has no interest in them, that's fine. You're not a film person, awesome. We'll talk politics or music or... I dunno, the weather. That's fine. But when you want to make films? What's going on there? It's weird. Or maybe it's just me.