Cinema and Television ProducingCategory
There is the film you write, the film you shoot and the film you release. If you’re lucky, they’re the same film; but, more often than not..
It’s the last couple of weeks of the semester (wow, that was quick), so my one credit Cinema Studies class just kicked off. We’re watching a number of classic films and analyzing them and one thing we briefly discussed in class is how difficult it sometimes is as a filmmaker to not over analyze films.
I am six weeks away from shooting my thesis film and seem to have reached the point where every bit of good news is quickly accompanied by a setback. It’s a time that’s difficult to process due to how busy it is. In addition to the thesis, I also have classes, an internship, a job and a life (sort of). Time management becomes your end-all and be-all, and self care is definitely important too.
The second year of my MFA program has officially begun. The semester is now in full swing, and it’s very busy. I’d thought my focus this semester would be class, thesis, and internship. I’m realizing a producer is always working on multiple projects and juggling them efficiently is the key to success.
According to knowwithoutborders.org, “Ideate is the space in design thinking where individuals and teams elevate and celebrate the power of possibility. It is the transition from identifying a particular question or problem to generating a wide variety of potential answers and solutions.” For a film student, ideating can often be defined as the few hours spent staring at a blank sheet of paper or word document, trying to come up with a film idea in order to have something to pitch in class the following day.
As a creative producer, getting to come up with ideas, develop stories and work on scripts is my heart and joy. I love it. Another big part of being a creative producer is logistics, which is often not as fun as scripts and stories. Most of the logistical work ultimately gets done by the line producer, production manager, and assistant directors, who are hired by and work with the producer to make sure the production happens as hitch-free as possible. A lot of the time, those jobs are considered non-creative, but I beg to disagree. There is creativity involved in logistics, especially with low-budget filmmaking.
Summer break is in full swing, and school is done. What’s not done is the creative work. That never stops. School or no school, there are still stories to develop, scripts to write, films to produce and footage to edit. The difference that arises with getting all of that done during the summer is routine. During the school year, you have a bit of structure: you know where you’ll be and how much free time you’ll have, so you can figure out when and where you will write or edit or have meetings. In the summer, you have the freedom to figure that out on your own terms.
The last week of the semester was final and work-in-progress screenings for a most people. The graduate students had both. Final screenings for project one and work-in-progress screenings for project two, some of which were producer-led projects. Sharing you work for the purpose of getting feedback or having it critiqued is always a vulnerable and sometimes difficult experience but there are ways to make it a little less painful.