Making a Feature Film

I must admit; had this been written during those early months of 2020; filled with hope and personal futurism, a decidedly different tone would be struck.

In those early months of this historic year, my life was rapidly changing. After increasing commercial success as a freelancer, I started my latest venture: Visia Studios. I was immersed in the manic process of filming a feature length independent film. And by no means least: I lost someone important too.

Indeed, it was only the feverish activity of the first two; that made the last of the above physically bearable.

Dreary sentimentalism aside, this post focuses on my experiences filming Vimal Reddy’s 5th feature film. Perhaps, another time, I will talk more about the other events that so impacted me earlier this year.

After production began, it became crystal clear what the business of feature film making is all about. Hurry up and wait. Make your own light at the end of the tunnel.

But I loved it.

I had worked on countless video ad projects prior to this and even short films. However, the striking thing about independent feature film making is that neither the beginning nor the end are anywhere in site for the vast majority of the time. Mostly you are in the reeds, trying to eek out something meaningful through an extremely practical and hands on artform.

Arts cliché tropes do not apply here. One cannot be neurotic, isolated, or introspective when working on a film. It is about constant communication, expressiveness, decisiveness, and swiftness. It takes up 100% of your mind.

So, one can imagine the almost comical contrast that comes when an entire industry; one that works at a feverish pitch; is shut up so completely.

A filmmaker cannot skulk back into their bedroom and create a masterpiece such as many songs, paintings or poems had been created in the past.

In any case, I must not complain; as business is still good; something not all have been so lucky with. However, it is only editing; a process with its own creative rewards; but something that grows tiresome if not punctuated by the intensely social process of on-location motion picture shoots.  

Published by michaelfirus

Cinematographer, Director, Editor

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