At the start of this year I made a pledge to myself. A resolution, if you will. It was simple, and it seemed reasonable enough; make a short film every two months.
Since making that resolution I have made more than I needed. In fact, off the top of my head, I believe I've made around six! Six is a lot of short films. I mean, that's pretty damn impressive, right?
There's just one problem with these films. Only one of them is actually mine.
That might sound a little odd at first, but let me explain. Headlights was a short I made at the start of the year. I am proud of it and I think it's a solid little story. It's entirely my own creation, as in I wrote the script, I directed it and I edited it. The frustrating part is that I can't claim that about the others.
Four of the films I've made this year have been through my work. They're all excellent little shorts, but they're not mine. Sure I helped make them, and I edited them, but I can't honestly claim ownership because they belong to the kids.
I teach Film and TV on Saturdays at PQA, and part of that is making films with the students. When I make a film with the kids at PQA I like to give them final say, give them full creative control. I might try to steer them in a certain direction, I might try to show them certain tricks and processes that will make their films better, but I don't create them. The kids do, and I can't in good conscience claim them as my own (however great they may turn out to be) because ultimately all I really did was supply the equipment and the know-how. The kids did all the hard work.
The other film was made as a group project for my degree. I did a lot of work there. I wrote the script (based on an old idea of mine), I cast the actors and I directed it. I edited the thing too. But again, it was a collaboration. While I may have done the "creative" parts, the film never would have happened if it wasn't for the guys I was working with.
And this has got me thinking more and more about that first film; Headlights. It wasn't really mine either.
Sure, I wrote, directed and edited it. But I didn't star in it. I didn't record the sound. I didn't do the make-up. And the more I consider the more I realise that actually none of "my" films are mine. They belong to each every person who worked on them.
And that's kind of what is so wonderful about film. That's kind of what makes it so special and so unique. Lots of people work together and they come out the other end with a project they can call their own. It's incredible.
So I've made six films this year (so far). I hope to make many more. And while not all of them will be available on my YouTube or anywhere else, I am happy to say that I have kept to my resolution. A short film every two months? That equals six in my book. And I really, really can't wait to collaborate on the next lot.