Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Student Films/AF Tip of the Day

I had the opportunity to judge a college student film festival over the weekend, and I have to say I was disappointed. I really expected more. There were a couple of award categories that I felt shouldn't have been given as the films that we considered finalists, weren't very good. They were just better than the others.

Students are still not grasping that good filmmaking is about story telling. The stories that were being told weren't all that interesting, and didn't always make sense. Filmmakers need to learn about story telling first and technical things second. So many of the films I see are great technically, but have either no story or a story that isn't told well. Teachers, please tell your students to stop watching movies, and start reading books. Read books and learn the elements of story telling.

So many movies that come out now don't have decent stories either, so I can't really blame some of the student filmmakers.

I remember when I was a student, some of my films were too long, which is something you learn over time. All of these films were at least a third too long. The other disturbing thing for me was that the sound was awful. Not just bad dialog recording, but most of these movies had wall to wall music. Too much music lessons its impact, and I'll say it over and over again, MUSIC IS NOT SOUND DESIGN!

And now, your AF Tip of the Day.

I Think I Was An Alcoholic appeared at Sundance and at Annecy, a huge animation Film Festival in France. I went to Annecy and found out that cartoon puking in any language is funny.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in Spring 2008)


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