As an independent filmmaker, I often have to answer the question, “What’s your next film going to be?”
Experience has taught me one thing about choosing my next project: make sure I love the project so much that I could live with it for a long period of time. Low-budget productions can take months or even years to reach completion.
As a storyteller, you are going to experience the invention and evolution of characters and story arches at a “handmade pace.” You will not have the budget to move at Hollywood’s pace. You will be a filmmaker with many roles besides Director. You will uncover the craft of filmmaking through necessity, ingenuity, and jerry-rigging. Use the tools at your disposal and bypass the dollars. Invent.
“The cinema language happened by experimentation – by people not knowing what to do. But unfortunately, after 15-20 years, it became a commercial industry. People made money in the cinema, and then they began to say to the pioneers, ‘Don’t experiment. We want to make money. We don’t want to take chances.’ An essential element of any art is risk.”
-Francis Ford Coppola, 2011 interview with 99u
-Filmmaker, Gus Aviles Jr.