Need for the craft and greed for the technology are paradoxes in filmmaking. Neither one of those is enough to tell better stories.
Craft is the specialized skill to awestruck audience with storytelling expertise and the technology is the tool with which you visualize that expertise to tell better stories and make better films.
Cinema – being the dominant art form of storytelling, has radically changed since its inception both in technology and in craft, so are the perceptions of audience to perceive a story. It is quite challenging task for filmmakers to tell stories in these changing dynamics.
At this juncture, there are few questions to ponder:
Is technology alone enough in filmmaking?
No it’s not, in the era of digital technology, rapid innovations are empowering filmmakers in every possible way providing them with tremendous power. To put in a simple way, nothing is impossible with technology to tell our stories in the most profound way.
Anyone can operate the camera provided he had training for few days, anybody can edit the film if he had a training for few months, but what also requires for a film technician is how to use that technology in synchronous with the craft – a craft that holds audience in awe, which is pain staking and requires years of dedication and passion to accomplish. Be it an editor, be it a cinematographer, and be it a director, despite of one’s own technical interest, one need to have understanding of craft to be a better artist.
“Car Jung famously says – Men are slaves to their own fictions. It’s true, we all search for answers from outside, the soul cannot exist in peace, until its finds it’s other, and the other is always you. Once you find that, whatever you take up, it is clearly evident in the work you do. Filmmaking is not just about making films, it’s also, and “Why we make films” it’s a journey to discover your true self. Strive for that.”
At this point, the paper explores the importance of craft along with the technology by quoting some examples like:
•It’s not enough to know, “What is telephoto lens? One has to know the impact of it in storytelling.
•It’s not enough to exercise on the latest editing software; one has to know how to use it to give satisfying movie watching experience.
Then comes the question,
Do we actually need craft to tell better stories?
Yes, but there would be no means for us to express if we lack technology.
Apart from having fair knowledge in technology, one has to have considerable understanding of the craft too.
What do we actually need?
Finally, I conclude the need of both technology and craft to tell better stories. Filmmaking is not just about making films, it’s also, and “Why we make films” it’s a journey to discover true self. If one strives for that world will be a better place.
According to me, every filmmaker has to answer some basic QUESTIONS:
Why? – All men are capable of reason; find your own reason to make films.
Whatever the reason might be, you got to have it or else you end up making clichés.
What? – What to make? Kind of films you want to make; completely depends on your sensibilities. Do not worry about the genre; just make the films you believe. Analyze any successful filmmaker in the world; they made films that they truly believe in, including RGV. Just make your statement.
How? – “How” has two divides, one is “CRAFT” and the other is “TECHNOLOGY”. It’s just not merely enough to master one of these; you have to master both, period.
If you constantly search and research for answers to these questions, you may gain considerable expertise on craft. You just need to learn how to do it and you only learn by doing.
Have authentic life experiences, listen to people, read books, observe the situations, watch films and respond. Conquer yourself first, fight with your own demons. Car Jung famously says – Men are slaves to their own fictions. It’s true, we all search for answers from outside, the soul cannot exist in peace, until its finds it’s other, and the other is always you. Once you find that, whatever you take up, it is clearly evident in the work you do. Filmmaking is not just about making films, it’s also, and “Why we make films” it’s a journey to discover your true self. Strive for that.
However, one needs to have persistent passion and years of practice to gain expertise in the “CRAFT”. There is no shortcut to any expertise worth gaining, whatever gives light, must endure burning.
This is all I wanted to say to all the aspiring filmmakers who just think technology is enough to be a filmmaker, no it’s not, technology with craft is all you need to be a filmmaker. Or else you simply perish.
Kamal Sucharan Burri is a Filmmaker by conviction and Entrepreneur by choice. Being an avid reader, Kamal loves to explore topics on philosophy, life and Cinema. He is also the founder of Newlight Cinemas which strives to carve niche with sensible storytelling. Check out NewLightCinemas.com here.