After the existential question I wrote last week (you decide if I’m ironic or not), it’s time to talk about my promo/short film Introducing Lilith once again.
I wrote ‘my’, but I should have written ‘our’: a film is seldom made by one single person, although it’s difficult for a writer/director to acknowledge that, sometimes (I’m being very honest).
When I decided to shoot the video, I was lucky enough to have a pretty large number of people willing to work for nothing, basically. Personally, I hate asking people to work for free, and I really believe that every artist/technician should be paid for what he does, but the crew was composed by some of my former classmates, and I thought we could actually help each other by making something that would eventually become a feature film (I made it clear that everyone involved would eventually get a paid job).
Some of my readers (according to the stats of this blog, it seems they/you really exist, and I’m particularly happy about it!) may know this already: a crew is basically divided in a series of departments that work on different aspects of the film. The camera department, for example, is in charge of the images, while the people of the too often underrated sound department think about the audio.
Now, the job of a director is, in a way, very simple (if we don’t consider the artistic side of it, at least). He basically needs to give a series of inputs to all the departments in order for them to create a portion of the audio/video organism he has in his mind. Of course, a wrong input can undermine the entire work, and I think this fact is one of the main causes of stress in so many film directors: the pressure can be overwhelming.
I have to say that, fortunately, it never happened to me to have major problems during a shoot (maybe because I’ve only directed short films and music videos, who knows?)), and Introducing Lilith was no exception. At the same time, my work as the director of the film was far from perfect.
The main shot of the film was meant to be a sequence shot. My idea was: we see Lilith while she is shaping the statue, we follow her as she gets up, reaches the couch, sits down and notices that someone’s in the room with her. Pretty simple! The problem is that, although the camera people were pretty experienced and the art department had done a great job finding the right props, the camera movement I wanted just didn’t work well with the pieces of furniture we had chosen. The camera and the art departments were disconnected, and it was my fault. I was meant to be the connection between them.
I could have chosen to shoot a series of brief shots instead of the long one I wanted, but I was afraid the crew would understand that I had made a mistake. What a stupid thing to do! I put my ego before the work of art we were making: one of the greatest sins for an artist.
I was lucky because I was able to fix the problem in post-production, and I think the film itself doesn’t look bad at all, but the feeling of having betrayed my inspiration and the crew is still with me.
Thanks for reading!