Filtering by Tag: creativity

Random Thoughts On Introducing Lilith #03

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!

 

On the set of Introducing Lilith...

On the set of Introducing Lilith...

Random Thoughts About Art: #03 Artistic Freedom

In an ideal world, artists would have complete creative freedom, and this would be a good and a bad thing. It would be good because, simply, they would create art without being supervised by publishers, labels, production companies etc. etc. That’s easy to understand. But it would also be a bad thing, and that’s because creativity often thrives on pressure.

I often wonder about the implications of being an independent artist, and I wish I had a pros and cons scale.

Thanks for reading! 

Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome, Kenneth Anger, 1954

Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome, Kenneth Anger, 1954

Random Thoughts About Art: #02 Life and Art

In my humble opinion, art-life balance is something that doesn’t exist. You can choose when to make your works of art and when to rest, but you should always be ready to let yourself be inspired by life itself.

It’s not an easy task.

If you decide to become an artist, and you’re serious about it, be prepared to sell your soul to your creative muse.

The most frustrating aspect of this is that most people will never understand that you’re working even when you speak with them about the weather.

Thanks for reading!

The Passion Of Creation, Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, 1892

The Passion Of Creation, Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, 1892

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

‘Songs Of Fear And Agony’, the album I’m recording, is a very personal project. I wouldn’t call it autobiographical, but there are many, many elements that come directly from my own life.

That was not my plan, though. I love songs based on stories about specific characters, and I wrote several of them during the last two years. Unfortunately, there was no space for them in my first collection of songs.

What will happen to them?

Well, that’s simple: they will have a place in my next album. I’m already working on it. It does not have a real title, so I just call it ‘Devilish Cabaret’.

As I already said, I have a bunch of songs which are (more or less) ready, but I’m also writing some new lyrics. I finished one yesterday: It’s called ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’. I’m pretty happy about it, although not completely satisfied.

I’ll work on it, again, later...

Thanks for reading!

La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Rose Cecil O’Neill, 1905

La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Rose Cecil O’Neill, 1905

Random Thoughts About Art: #01 Writing Songs And Making Films

For many years, I tried to choose between writing songs and making films. I thought I would never have time to do both. I wasn’t right, but it’s true that it can be hard, sometimes. I find myself writing lyrics, editing scenes of my screenplays, recording music and trying to find funds for my films during the same week.

I tried to stop writing music a couple of times: the first time when I was around 20, and the second time when I was around 26. Of course, it didn’t work. If you feel you need to do something (that is, something legal and morally correct... yes...), you shouldn’t stop yourself. It’s that simple. There are compromises you need to accept, yes, but if you really want to do it (and you know it if you really want to), then, do it.

Personally, I now know that I can’t write films if I don’t write songs. Why? Well, although the answer is right above these lines, I usually fool myself saying that...

Songs, being closely related to lyrical poetry, are naturally more personal than films, which are closely related to dramatic poetry: I need to use my voice in order to create voices for my characters.

Does that make any sense?

Thanks for reading! 

Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits

Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits

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