2018 was a milestone year and one I will remember fondly. It was the year of the birth of my daughter and the year I embarked on my filmmaking journey. 2018 was focused on her and it. If wasn't changing nappies, I was experimenting with my camera. If I wasn't reading children's books, I was writing essays. If I wasn't spending time with her, I was living and breathing the craft of filmmaking.
I had a goal in 2018 to do something related to filmmaking every single day. This is something I've carried on to 2019 so far. Between watching, reading, writing, shooting and editing my biggest challenge is to not spread myself too thin. I have been making my way through Mark Cousins', Story of Film: An Odyssey. A comprehensive documentary series which covers the evolution and innovations in filmmaking throughout its history. I love that it is not so Hollywood centric and highlights the success and influence of women and other pioneers from around the world.
I also treated myself to a multi-region Bluray player. It turns out that geographical regions are still a thing which I find quaint in the digital era. Thankfully, a Chinese made $99 model bought from BigW has enabled me to watch a bunch of movies from the Criterion Collection. Satyagit Ray's Apu Trilogy is on my list (I loved Pather Pachali). Recently, I watched, Akira Kurosawa's, 'Seven Samurai'; a masterful film in so many ways. A wonderful story with every frame a picture and an example of how the different elements of filmmaking can be interwoven in such a sublime and elegant way. In the era of streaming, I've enjoyed watching the classics on physical disc and appreciating the special features, none more so than the commentary attached to 'Seven Samurai'. I plan to do the same with Kurosawa's film, "Rashomon".
In 2018, I entered the short screenplay I wrote in school, 'Call Me Lina' , into the Screencraft Short Screenplay contest and opted for coverage which was helpful. I didn't expect it to go anywhere as far as the contest was concerned but was surprised and happy to learn that it made it to the top 25. I enjoy screenwriting but it is a lonely, all encompassing pursuit and having my work acknowledged in some way has given me the impetus to keep going.
In addition to fatherhood, my focus in 2019 will be screenwriting and I hope to write at least a couple of shorts and a feature. To that end, I've been doing more watching and reading than writing so far in 2019. Below is a list of film related books which I've read or plan to read.
I hope you find a nugget of inspiration to pursue your own creative projects; here's to a creative and collaborative 2019.