Friday, October 3, 2008

Luxurious Filmmaking

I came across an article I thought some of you would enjoy and relate to. It is something of an ethos to work by for low/no budget filmmakers.

Cinema is not a luxury
Pedro Costa describes his low-budget ethos to Kieron Corless

“I now shoot on video, which is very cheap, so it’s very simple for me to make a budget. All I need is enough money just to live every month, me and three or four friend: one for the sound, on to help me with the camera, another to assist me – and the actors of course. We always try to have a balance or harmony, all being paid more or less the same. I want to show that cinema is not a luxury, it’s not just for very rich and glamorous people.

The people I work with understand that. But at the same time it’s hard work every day, like building a house as Ventura says. But it’s something that still has a relation to the real world, which I didn’t find in the films I assisted on, even some films I made with conventional crews. There was too fiction behind the camera, and not enough in front. There were too many games being played behind the camera, and in front of the camera there was a mess.

It took me a long time to find a balance between what happens behind and in front of the camera – I’m talking about human relationship, about politics, about how the money is distributed, how you have to behave every day. For me it’s more about that then the artistc work. There’s a piece of paper here on the wall in my house; it’s a quite by Brecht and it says that the organisation took us much more time and energy than the artistic work. If you can make the organisation fair, simple and human, I think that the film will find its way, its shots, its heart.”

Sight & Sound
June 08

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