Control and purpose. Yup, technically three if you count the ‘and’, so let’s not, it’s two…
Control in terms of filmmaking and Purpose in relation to filmmaking and writing. Those are the two tenets I keep in the forefront of my mind when making stuff.
Control could be anything from decision-making on which shots to use in an edit, how long the script should be etc. In an ideal world you – the maker – would have ultimate control over your work. You won’t – lots of things come in to play – weather, budget, crew, time, clients (either in the traditional corporate sense or else stakeholders/commissioners) – all of these people and factors wrestle control away from you, from the initial vision and ideal that you have/had. But, always try and retain as much control as possible – that doesn’t mean stamping your feet until people give way to you – that won’t happen in the main and you’ll look petulant! Also – try that with weather…! So, it’s a case of being flexible and adaptive whilst retaining control of your concept – you maintain some control that way.
Which feeds in to Purpose – why are you making this film, who is it for (which audience)? Purpose is paramount – you need to know why you’re doing something before you go and do it. Both writing and filmmaking benefit from having a clear purpose. That seems like common sense, but it’s sometimes hard to focus on that when you’re in the belly of the beast wrestling with 2nd Act issues. Likewise, when some control is lost on a shoot – terrible weather, change of budget etc – think again of what he original purpose of this film is – whom is it for – what can we do to hit that?
Control and Purpose.