I love films. Not all films. Some of them are rubbish.* However, there are enough films out to evoke a sense of wonder, of enjoyment, of fear, of disgust, of pleasure, of anger and of many other shades inbetween to justify my love. It’s a lifelong thing for me. I can always remember watching lots of films as a youngling and, if I loved it, wanting to watch it again. I know a number who will hardly ever a film again once they’ve seen it – their argument being that once they’ve seen it, they don’t need to watch it again (and besides there are a lot more films out there to get through). I can understand that argument to an extent but, having the need to rewatch deeply ingrained from a young age, I don’t fully get it. For me, it’s the same as an album – you wouldn’t listen to it once and then not listen to it again. (That’s not to say that I watch everything more than once – good grief, no, there aren’t enough hours in the day.)
I don’t want to get the impression that my love of film is somehow elitist, either. I love so many different types of film – even my most hated of genres can, when providing exceptions to their generic crappy rules, provide something great (yes, Romcom**, I’m looking at you and, for everything that should make you hang your head in shame, there are Amelie and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind).
So I guess it was only natural that I’d want to start making them myself. I’m not sure when I first decided to start making films. My schoolfriend Rich (my co-conspirator in things filmic for nigh on 15 years now) and I have discussed this recently and we don’t really remember a moment where we said, “Yes, we are to be filmmakers and, lo, shall the word tremble to our mighty combination of moving picture and sound” (or words to that effect). We went through a phase of watching lots of films like Clerks, Reservoir Dogs and El Mariachi and suddenly realising that these people were just going out there and doing it (sometimes on their credit cards). I do remember that we tried to film an adaptation of the DC comic Hellblazer (the exact storyline which was later adapted and utterly ruined to make the film Constantine with Keanu Reeves – our version would have been better. I’m a better actor. But then plankton is a better actor than Reeves.) Fortunately, only a few scenes were shot and, even more fortunately, they’ll never see the light of day. We may have slightly ambitious trying to film a 90 minute feature in the school holidays with one VHS camera and our mates. Still, aim high and, if you’re gonna, fall spectacularly. Well, everyone remembers an impressive fall.
We re-grouped at university and started again with Trickshot Films. And there I shall leave it for today…
*You may believe that to be a subjective, qualitative statement but it’s not. It’s true. Some films are rubbish. Like Batman and Robin. It’s rubbish. That’s a fact. No, no, a fact. Well, I see what you’re saying. But you’re wrong. Anyway, go back to the top.
**Eurgh, even the term makes me feel all sour and grumpy.