Our filmmaking library is bursting at the seems. With a new stash of books purchased this past week, we have 65 film related books in our collection with a few more making their way via the USPS. Fred and I have each read two or three of those this past week and skimmed three or four others. We’ll continue reading throughout the filming process as we work on The Good Book. Right now Fred is focusing on lighting and camera techniques and I’m working on visual and staging techniques. Next week we may switch to acting and editing.
In addition to reading about filmmaking, we also watch two or three movies each week, studying what works and what doesn’t work. Even when watching sitcoms or reality tv, we find ourselves pointing out to each other the camera angles or the lighting effect or the blocking.
And every chance we get, we’re attending workshops or visiting online forums or reading helpful articles online. It seems 24 hours a day, we’re engrossed in learning how to take our films to a new level.
With each new book, movie, or workshop we realize how much information there is to learn in order to create a truly great movie. The more we learn, the more we realize how little we know. And it inspires us to study even harder.
Honestly, with today’s equipment and technology, anyone can grab a camera and pull off a movie in a very short amount of time. We’ve done it ourselves. And you have to start somewhere. But if we’re content to just shoot and whip out movies at an alarming rate without ever working to improve, are we truly serving God as filmmakers?
We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that whatever we do we should do for the glory of God. Is it glorifying God to produce second rate product that requires no real effort? Or should we stretch and push ourselves to new levels? To go beyond the easy and onto the challenging, less travelled route. That way, even when the critics tear us apart, we can stand strong knowing that we’ve offered up our firstfruits to God and He will take our humble efforts and use them for His glory.