Posted by: michellemuldoon | June 12, 2015

Story: Nothing Else Matters

tech-and-movie-industry-comparison(picture originated from The Popcorn Society-End Credits)

The easier it becomes to make film, the more important it will be to understand story. It sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but I’m not.  Technology is putting the ability to create film in the hands of everyone. The proof is in the cell phone. With many options in Android technology able to record in 4K, the quality of what you record using your cell phone or tablet as a video recorder is improving significantly.

If your phone isn’t your camera of choice, then why not 4K on your DSLR? You could choose to use the Samsung NX500, the Canon 1DC, or perhaps the Panasonic Lumix GH4 or maybe a Nikon. While none of these shoot raw footage yet, I can only wonder if that isn’t on the horizon.

While the growth of professional cameras has moved beyond 4K, it’s the democratization of 4K in cell phones, tablets and DSLR’s that fascinated me, and horrifies me all at once.

I should mention what I know about cameras is minimal. I know enough to know what my needs might be for my shoot, and that what I want more than anything is a good camera in the right hands.

What I wonder is, why doesn’t anyone feel the same way about story, and screenwriting? If anyone can make film, then, and here’s the scary part, anyone can flood the market with bad film. All the boo birds are going to fly out now and tell me there is no such thing as bad film, but in my view there is. Bad film has no story. Bad film has cookie-cutter characters with unrealistic, wooden dialogue that is on the nose and loaded in exposition. Bad film doesn’t let you discover something, it hits you over the head with it.

If shooting film is easy, then perhaps we should spend more time on the story we tell. Perhaps we should respect the people who spend the time to learn how to tell a story. Maybe, just maybe, at some point, the people with the camera might start realizing how much more important the screenwriter is.

After all, what’s going to stand out when everyone has the ability to make pretty pictures. Let me answer that for you;

  • The pretty pictures that have soul.
  • The pretty pictures that has a theme running through it.
  • The pretty pictures that take the audience on a journey.
  • The pretty pictures that are united by story.

This is my hope, that ultimately we’re going to come back to placing importance in story. Technology can only take us so far. Film is a very human medium. It touches us, inspires us, and transports us. Once the democratization of film has unleashed everyone’s dream of becoming Scorsese, let’s hope they also remember to go find their Mardik Martin, John Logan, or Nicholas Pileggi.





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