I've been having a somewhat ongoing conversation the last few days with a couple of friends at work....
Right now I'm knee deep in Genesis development. The idea has always been to try and do more than "simply make a film". At my end of the budgetary scale, there's an awful lot films that seem to be made just because, well, the guys and gals involved want to make a film. I can respect that. I want to make a film. That's one of the driving forces.
I'm going to end up investing years of my life into this project. It's already been years in development. It will take an enormous amount of effort to get the film finished. It will take blood, sweat, tears, hardwork, and more than a little luck. So for all those who have got a feature film out there, with nothing but a passion to make their film, I salute you! Until a year or two ago, my whole goal was to "simply make a film". ZombieZ was very much a project built around that desire.
Yet over time my aspirations have changed. I like to think I've grown artistically, without that sounding like I've crawled too far up my own arse. ZombieZ was the film of a young man. I'm pushing 40, there seems something juvenile about pursuing a zombie blood and gore film. And then there's the simple fact that there are seemingly a million new zombie movies each year.
This churn of films isn't just limited to micro budget homemade efforts. I see the majority of films as Churn, regardless of budget. There's a pile of new films every week. You go into the cinema, and 2 hours later you come out. Job done, I've been [hopefully] entertained. Yet can't there be more to a film than that? Filmmakers put their hearts and souls into each and every one of their films, spend years of their lives making them, and it boils down to 2 hours in a darkened room and that's it. 2 hours of entertainment. To my mind, the quantity of work, and for many films, the huge budget..... there should be more than 2 hours of pay-off at the end.
The solution? To make something more than A Movie. Something that stands up beyond the viewing time. Something that lives with the audience, makes them ask questions, maybe even makes them see things in a different way. Such films exist. The work of Malick and Kubrick immediately spring to mind. Films that live beyond the medium and talk to us.
The understanding that I may only get one shot at making a film, and wanting that one shot to have some meaning. I want to create something away from the churn. I want to create something that resonates deeply from within.
Without crawling too far up my own arse.