Filmmaking is an artform like painting or writing. In our times, most people who want to have a creative pursuit write or paint. Why is that? Because its an accessible art form. Filmmaking is a bit more difficult. It involves more resources, like a camera and an editing system. Also it may involve hiring people, like cameramen or actors. So often people feel this creative endeavour is not within their reach. But painting or writing one can easily do on own's time and resources, a pen, paper, easel and paint is all one needs.
But really the process of creating is the same. Filmmaking is an art form like any other. It starts off from the vision of the artist or person who wants to create. The filmmaker typically wants to "show" a story. He/she is not satisfied with an image - like in a painting or by telling a story in writing, he wants to show a story unfolding in images. There are two main forms of filmmaking: fiction or documentary and now more than ever the lines between the two are disappearing. Fiction filmmaking requires setting up and shooting a scene and then another scene until all scenes necessary to tell a story are shot. Documentary making is different in that you film reality as it unfolds.
So a preconceived plot or script is not in place and often the story reveals itself as it is filmed and the entire film is created in the editing room where the director will chose which parts of the filmed footage will be included and in what order.
Filmmaking is the art of storytelling. Good filmmakers tell their stories with beauty and grace. They try to capture an aspect of life that they feel is worth telling and they labor over this storytelling process often for months and years. Good filmmakers very artfully disappear in the process of their art and although their vision is there, the audience never really sees them and is duped into a reality that has infact been created or manipulated by the artist.
The filmmaker's thirst of telling his story can only be quenched by an audience. He/she will only be satisfied when the largest number of persons see their film. Often filmmakers will refuse large sums of money by broadcasters or film distributors if they feel this will limit the number of eyeballs their film will get.
Hopefully this little piece gives you an insight into what a true filmmaker is about. Please share experiences, comments, questions.
Farheen Umar is a