Posted by: Chelsea Novak | July 17, 2002

So much information

I took some time yesterday to peruse the Jedi Council questions on the Star Wars site. And I have to say it’s really cool. All those little nagging questions you have about the movies are pretty much answered here. From plot points and art direction to special effects and production. It’s all so very cool. There was one Q&A with producer Rick McCallum about what you should do to of you want to become a producer. People who’ve known me for awhile know that I studied film in University with the aspiration of producing sci-fi action movies. This dream fizzled when I became more immersed in the film studies program, partly because of my own lack of confidence and partly because if there was one building on campus I’d love to see leveled it would be film house. Why did I hate it so much? The dogmatic marxist approach to film making and this snotty pretention that “real” filmmakers only make art films. When we’d all talk about the kinds of movies we were interested in, facutly and students would roll there eyes at me when I said I wanted to make films that were exciting to watch, well written and that had a great number of explosions. This ambiton was apparently very declassŽ and not part of the program. Of course my classmates weren’t excatly aspiring to become Jean Luc Goddard either. “Well it’s kind of like Swingers…” would be how about 75% of their pitches would start. The other 25% would start with “It’s about a women finding her place in a phallocentric, mysoginist society.” Yay, I’m already in line for that one… Flim school really quashed my yen for flimmaking. Instead of learning about the challenges of mixing live action with digital effects or mixing 5.1 sound, I was subjected to watching flims about a Spanish village that has turned to communism and how they’re going to deal with the issues of sharing their one cow. No wonder I hate film so much. I really should have gone to UCLA like Kari, at least it would be in a city where people make more than commericals.

Anyway, I digress. Rick McCallum’s answer to this question actually lit the film spark in my head again…

Q: I’m just graduating high school. What should I do if I want to become a movie producer?

A: Make movies.

Go out and buy an Apple iMac. Get Final Cut Pro and a video camera. Get every friend who’s ever written… or learn how to write. Try to make your own movies to learn how bad you really are. The more you learn about how bad you are, the more you’ll be able to help a director. And just get your friends and start your own little company and start making movies.

Don’t fall in to the trap of working on a film, because that’s not going to help you become a better producer. Making films makes you a better producer.

I worked on a couple of sets (even got paid) when I was in school and it’s true, I learned very little about producing. I learned a lot about the way a set works, like how to shimmy up an electrical wire support pole to steal eletricity and how not to touch the gels, but I was doing so much lifting and the like that I didn’t really get to see the stuff I need to see. Maybe I could get a job as an actual producer’s assistant (not a production assitant, since that’s, again, more with the lifting and less with the learning) and see how it works. The problem is that I have no capital. Science fiction movies require captial, like obscene amounts of capital… Of course I’m pretty good at generating captial and since nerds have all the money, and I’m pretty good with nerds, there may be hope for this plan. I have many creative friends and I’m a damn good organizer. I’m going to get a digital video camera and just start shooting stuff. I think M would enjoy it to. He’s a great theatre director, maybe he see how he’d be in a different medium.

In other news, today is the day that Mogwai leaves us forever… best of luck Kari. Get better and bring back that Buffy Board game. You totally know that I’m going to hunt one of these down when I’m in the New World.



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