You, sir, are correct. 4 pages a day is completely reasonable. Hell, it's a privilege. I wish I was given 4 pages a day on my films. That would mean 26 days to shoot 110 pages instead of (a proposed) 13-15 days... 26 is a dream.
Okay... I'm not gonna' lie. I scrub through NFS's main page everyday then I jump on over to NinjaMonkey's page to see who/what he's antagonizing next. It's a f**king addiction. And I know he's got his 'own thing' going on 'up there', so I feel a bit guilty in being entertained by his ramblings... but does that make me a bad person?
And, to be completely honest, the only reason I haven't reeaaaaalllllly leaned into this fellow (besides the 'up there' issues) is my fear that if I ever gain notable popularity my public posts will come back to haunt me. I mean, sure, it only takes people a glance to see what and who I'm reacting to, but all the same it's in bad taste.
Nick, Clark... you guys seem like cool cats and I'm sure you both are producing cool stuff (or intend to), but think of your careers and save yourself the embarrassment of dealing with a sick person's ramblings. I mean, if he cares THAT MUCH about what camera strangers are using then something is amiss. Hell, if Blackmagic cameras are so awful (yesssss.... I know that a 'leading rental website' doesn't find them fit for production. We aaaaaaalllllll know this now...) wouldn't you encourage your competition to use it all the more? Of course, that's if you believe that a camera is what will get you work or substitute for a lack of talent in other, more essential areas of filmmaking. I've literally read dozens of posts where NinjaMonkey kicks open the door to tell everyone how unprofessional, amateur, stupid and jealous they are of his knowledge and skills. To that I say to everyone, "LET. HIM." As much as I find it entertaining it really pains me to see legitimate filmmakers give him attention and their precious time. Yes, I know it's like having antelope leap right into a lions mouth. So easy. So savory. So... so... unnatural. Instead, have a Coca-Cola. Embrace a loved one. Shoot some wicked films with a drone (or not), a God-awful Blackmagic (I ADORE my BMPCC), a cellphone (Galaxy S7... mmmm) or even a fancy-ass Alexa. Just don't bother with NinjaMonkey.
I think many people 'legitimize themselves' by using these buzzwords like it's an accomplishment in and of itself. People, generally, tend to to grow out of that at some point. I know on my own journey I had a moment where I thought, "Hey man... I've actually made something... what have YOU made that makes you think you can use the word X, Y or Z? Stop being a wanker and create something." Eventually that 'calling out' phase passed and you learn to grin and bare it. People will say what they say and all the people actually working on their craft can see right through the cheap-talk.
So is it wrong for you to want people to step up their game? Well... no, but also yes. Only because you shouldn't care about others and their self-given labels anyway (IMO). Let the talkers talk, sort of deal. Also, if moving other people to improve their work is truly of interest to you, I think you'll stand to achieve more by providing positive insight rather than derisive insight.
As I said, I totally get where you're coming from. I think everyone has felt the same way about this topic at one point or another. The only reason I cared to comment is because I think it'd be beneficial to encourage creators like yourself to, "Let the children play," and spend that energy on your craft instead.
This has developed into an entertaining thread. Some interesting perspectives from both camps.
First off, I have to say, Nick, you certainly seem to be 'passionate' about your disdain for the word 'passionate.' I respect that passion.
But seriously, is the use/misuse of the word 'passion' (or its derivatives) consequential to anyone or anything whatsoever? As stated previously, whether you're 'passionate' or not is inconsequential. Is your WORK passionate? Have you expressed yourself through your chosen medium? I get what you're on about, Nick. I truly get it. I was once annoyed too when 'artists' spoke of their passion (or: craft, storytelling, etc) until something changed... I became too busy to give a f**k what people said let alone the words they used.
My theory is that the busiest guys/gals in the business are usually the most easygoing, supportive, carefree and accepting of the bunch. They're simply too invested in their own work to pay mind to anything else. The one's that are jaded, out of sorts and bitter are the one's that have the time to feel that way. As others have noted before, your words project an image that tend to exhibit the latter qualities; I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're just in it for the friendly discussion (despite the odd belligerent tone, here and there). All the individual's in this thread have been just as open-minded as you claim to be. At least respect their right to ask their own questions/contribute their thoughts in return.
To contribute to your original post, I'd agree the word passion or passionate may be overused. I also agree it's most prevalent in amateurs... which makes total sense. Would it be fair to say all pros start as amateurs? Would it also be fair to say that all endeavors begin with passion (or at least the seed of passion, ie. keen interest)? It only makes sense that amateurs say they're 'passionate' about films/filmmaking the most -- they likely are (not to mention the sheer volume of amateurs vs pros make this a given)! I don't think its a misuse of the term at all nor do I find it annoying (anymore, at least) or threatening. Filmmaking, as you've said, is an incredibly romantic vocation (not unlike every other artistic pursuit) and attracts 'passionate people.' The irony is that if passion doesn't evolve into pragmatism and action then passion only it shall remain. That, I find, is what decides whether you are a creator of art or an admirer of art. Of course the best artists are both, but that's a whole other topic. The epitome of passion is Nikola Tesla. If recorded accounts are correct, Tesla slept only a few hours per day (whether by design or by insomnia; I suspect the former led to the latter) and was sexual abstinent for his entire life in order to concentrate on his work. Tesla's antithesis is that cool kid at my film school that spoke of wonderful ideas he had, acted on none of them and got all the ladies anyway. I suppose the takeaway is, "Be like Picasso. Do your work AND get the chicks."
Thanks for sparking the conversation, Nick.
Completely right, Kenneth. I had a good belly-laugh when I read the '25hrs a week' part. If Franz Kafka could be a full-time lawyer his entire life while writing then surely we all can suck it up and make it work too. New filmmakers should consider 'a 40hr/week, non-film related job' as their first year of university; a weeding out process to see if you're in it for the long haul.
Ah, the eternal question of whether or not to go to film school. A better question is: to be working filmmaker, does one have to go to film school? The answer is a resounding: NO. You never have to set foot in a classroom to be a filmmaker but you MUST make films (shorts, commercials, corporate, features, etc) to be a filmmaker.
I'll try and be brief in explaining my rationale. **Note: Yes, I have gone to film school. VFS. A one year intensive program. I'll get into that later.**
Pro's To Film School (with a little bit of honesty in parenthesis):
- Like-minded peers. (A fraction of which will stick to film and a majority that will move onto other pursuits. Few, if any, will assist in making YOUR project before THERE project.)
- More direct education and tutelage from teachers. (Some teachers will have a wealth of knowledge. Some teachers will have been graduates a year prior to you. Find out which is which.)
- You'll produce work. (But you can also produce work by your own means without a school to tell you what to do.)
- You'll have access to filmmaking tools. (With a bit of saving and networking, cheap tools are all around you... unless you live in a town with 54 people.)
Conclusion: You will pay premiums to have an institution streamline, organize, educate and monitor your development. In other words, you're paying for someone to tell you what you need to know and hold your hand as it puts you through the paces.
- Expensive. (I paid 29K for 1 year of intensive training. This is an insane expense but a drop in the bucket for many 4 year film schools that will leave you in debt to your eyes.)
- False expectations. (So what if Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas, etc went to film school in the 60's. Back then there wasn't readily available equipment, nor sky high tuition. It was a closed system with very few outlets to self-educate. Ironically enough, all of these individuals hold one vital thing in common ---- they're all self-driven and took the initiative to create their projects despite lack of funding or support.)
Conclusion: If your parents will bankroll your journey to film school I say take it. If you're not the type to teach yourself, seek answers, make mistakes, gamble on your own project or otherwise 'feel in the dark' for the answers then consider film school. I recommend an intensive, technically focused education. Who gives a sh*t about what your professor thinks about the peacocks on the wallpaper of Charles Foster Kane's bedroom. Learn how to use editing software, what an F-stop is, how to white balance a camera and what phantom power means.
I could get more into it but for those considering film school without the financial means (rich parents), go to Amazon, take the 50K+ you would have spent on schooling and spend $1000 on books. If you stick to it and shoot with whatever means you can afford, you WILL NOT need film school. I promise. Here's a few books to start you off:
BEST OVERALL BOOK:
- From Reel To Deal. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446674621/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s...
This book alone will do more for you than you can ever imagine. I f**king kid you not. I've done the filmmaking thing, made a self-financed film that sold/got large festival exposure,etc. If My word is worth anything it's that this book is worth your time.
- Writing for Emotional Impact. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1595940286/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s...
The cover is God awful, but the content is unreal.
Your new bible. Warning: a dense read and will derail you if you try to abide by every principal therein. I recommend reading this first, then, as Yoda says, unlearn what you have learned.
- Save The Cat.https://www.amazon.com/Save-Last-Book-Screenwriting-Youll/dp/1932907009/...
Formulaic? Sure. Cliche? Sure. Over-simplistic? Sure. But it works. Wrap your head around the skeletal structure of screenplays (at least the traditional 3 act structure) and you're miles ahead.
- The Coffee Break Screenwriter.https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1932907807/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s0...
My personal favorite. This will literally, step-by-step, guide you through the screenwriting process. WAY more valuable than any screenwriting class I attended.
- The Reel Truth.https://www.amazon.com/Reel-Truth-Everything-Making-Independent/dp/05712...
The side of filmmaking I enjoy the least. Nevertheless this is an important book on the non-creative side of filmmaking. Avoid the pitfalls and read it.
- Directing: Film Techniques and Aestheticshttps://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0240818458/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s0...
The most comprehensive book on directing I've ever read. Fantastic stuff.
- Directing Actorshttps://www.amazon.com/Directing-Actors-Memorable-Performances-Televisio...
Read it. Just do it.
- Rebel Without a Crewhttps://www.amazon.com/Rebel-without-Crew-23-Year-Old-Filmmaker/dp/04522...
Non-technical but a necessary read for the indie filmmakers in all of us.
The exact book provided by my filmschool.https://www.amazon.com/Cinematography-Third-Kris-Malkiewicz/dp/074326438...
Of all things, cinematography is best learnt by doing. The internet has a ton of filmmaking blogs that specialize in cinematography.
- The DV Rebel's Guide.https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0321413644/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s0...
I ran into this as I was making my first film. TONS of little nuggets of gold. It may be a tad outdated but immensely helpful.
There you go. Read those and you're all the wise (and richer) for it.
Next step is: Get your gear.
Rent it. Buy it. Do whatever is economically feasible for you. Hint** You DO NOT need the best camera on the market. No, you don't NEED 4K. Be smart and spend 1000 bucks or less on a DSLR (or capable camera) that won't leave you buying a thousand accessories. If you need only one piece of gear, buy a cost efficient camera and shoot, shoot, shoot. Next find a editing software (Avid, Final Cut, Sony Vegas, Davinci Resolve) and learn it. Once you've gotten a handle on that research sound (I'd suggest renting first) and practice making projects with sound. Once you've done that educate yourself on lighting. So on and so forth. Bonus points if you have acting friends.
Expenditures so far:
Books = $500 or less.
Equipment = $5000 or less.
Rentals = $2000 or less.
Now that you've only spent less than 10K to learn and practice your craft, get a job that will afford you to live. NO not a PA on a movie set! I mean a real job. An average Joe job. Something that pays $20 bucks or more and requires you to show up 40 hours a week and bust your ass. Within the 4 years you would have been in school you're now working full-time and have built up equity and savings. Cool! Now you can take a couple weeks off (holiday pay!) from your job and shoot that project you had in mind! And the best part is you've spent less than 10K, have worked full-time for 4 years (with savings) and saved yourself 100K+ in debt!!!
That's it that's all. Now go make projects until you're filmmaking full-time!