Filmmaking Is Hard!

I came into Film 10 with expectations similar to what I expected with my Film 100 class: a greater appreciation for film.

I don't know how much of it was Film 10, but the interest and appreciation I have for film right now has definitely increased. Just less than an hour ago (a little past 11pm), I got home from shooting our final project for Film 10, five to eight-minute short horror film which goes against drugs.

It was a tough combination to make a film out of, like putting a Ferrari on EDSA, or a pedicab on the SLEX. Coming up with a coherent and creative story was hard. Writing the script, harder. Filming it, hardest.

I took on the responsibility of writing the screenplay/script for my group since we discussed this somehow in Film 100. Writing the script was hard, but it was fun. Or maybe that was so because someone thought of the story already, and I only had to translate it to moving pictures.

During the filming, I don't think the whole screenplay was followed, not because we wanted to on purpose, but because of constraints in the venue, the lighting, and the lack of equipment.

I also took the responsibility of handling the camera. Too bad it was only a digicam. Selecting where to shoot shots from, at what height, in what side, they were all challenging. A shot may seem right from one angle, and look better at another. Cinematography is no easy chore. Sometimes, scenes are shot from different angles just to see which works best.

I also got to direct some scenes. Telling the actors what to do, where to position, when to say what, how to deliver lines, and even how to shoot some scenes.

This five to eight-minute film was shot in over six hours. That's an average of over an hour of shooting per minute of film. Imagine how long a 90-minute film is shot. 

So for this project, I experienced being a script writer, a director, and a cinematographer. None was easy, all were fun. Well, at least I had fun making this short film.

But through all this, I learned one thing: film making is no easy task. It's hard to make a film. It's harder to make an indie film. Mainstream films have the luxury of using studios. Indie film makers do not necessarily have this privilege. Shooting on location is harder because a sunset scene for example, cannot be done at snail's pace because the sun will set soon. A few minutes of delay can ruin the whole scene.

It's not easy making a film. And after this project, I have a better outlook at the filmmakers' efforts to make quality cinema, especially those with not much funds to work with. This learning, I believe, goes hand in hand with the saying that not everything important can be learned in the classroom.

The experience of filmmaking made me see this fact. Whether it's Enteng Kabisote or The Godfather, one thing remains: making them takes a lot of time and effort.

All thanks to Film 10 (and also Film 100).

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