This summer I am making a Zombie Movie. Or at least I should be. I've written the script and I'm heading off to The Arts University College of Bournemouth (http://bit.ly/dakhGz) to go on their eight week summer school directing course.
Now one might ask why a man of my experience actually needs to go on a course for directing? And even more so when one is bound to be at least thirty years older than most of the other participants! The answer is simple... actually it isn't simple at all. It's complicated and messy. But I think it's something to do with never having been to film school and always thinking it a drawback, especially when I see how many film school students of no particular enthusiasm or obvious interest manage to get work "directing". I put that in quotes because some directors direct while others just turn up.
Now I might actually teach screenwriting and already direct, edit, shoot, and generally do everything there is to do regarding making films, but I do it in my own way without reference to any industry standards. And true, a lot of people are doing this, inspired by cheap cameras and Robert Rodriguez, but we've all seen the results and although my no budget films look like works of genius in comparison to most - hell, in comparison to everyone's! Even so, a little humility might be useful especially since I'm itching to go do a feature. Quirky little shorts are one thing, but features have to be fully budgeted or they suck. And if you are spending other people's money, being completely in command of the industrial system is a must. You can try do a feature for nothing, and i know a lot of people who are doing it, but unless they are lucky, or exceptionally talented, the end result will always look like amateur dramatics and only friends and family will appreciate it.
For myself, I personally think I spend a lot of energy re-inventing the wheel and have a tendency to do all the jobs myself because I lack the vocabulary to explain myself clearly. And I'm stepping back from being a guru, and becoming a student so that I can take my game apart and put it back together with a few extra moves to my repertoire. Then I will have no excuse for not making a feature next year. You can follow my adventures over summer in this blog.