Filmmaking is hard. No, that’s not quite right. It’s nearly impossible. “Movies aren’t made,” said Spielberg, “they are forced into existence.” Even a small, zero-budget, short film made with friends and family is a huge effort.
I know, I’ve made shitty short films. I have poured myself into my own projects, having expended massive efforts and my own resources, so when I criticize or make fun of Hollywood I am in no way denigrating the efforts of the people involved.
But too often the level of effort and the desire of the filmmakers is held up as a shield to deflect harsh judgments. You’ve heard it a thousand times. One of the actors or the director will say, “Everyone involved worked really hard. We all wanted to create the best film possible.”
I don’t fucking care.
Effort is not the goal. Everybody works hard on their film projects, at every level, from the lowest budgets to blockbusters dwarfing the GDP of Spain.
Results are the goal. Hollywood has been generating fucking awful results for decades and they know it. You can tell because they consistently blame everyone and everything except themselves.
One of the things I had to admit to myself was I had no clue how to tell a good story using moving images. Film schools can teach you how to shoot, and the basics of editing (the single most important job on a film) (after the writer) (of course), and how to format a screenplay, but almost nobody is teaching storytelling.