Saturday, January 5, 2013

My manifesto

Here's my manifesto. I couldn't think of any ideological basis for it, so it's just a checklist with nothing to justify it. I couldn't think of a good name for it. Dogme 95 had its "Vow of Chastity" so I was going to call this a "Vow of Impotence", but thought better of it.

The idea is to make very cheap movies, and not as stepping stones to bigger and better things. Take the pressure off. Make movies that will make small sums of money. Be a filmmaker, but do so unencumbered by any hope for success:

1. No fund raising! No investors! Especially family members! Don't make your parents suffer for your art!

2. Film only with consumer camcorders that cost less than $150. This would include used or refurbished camcorders even if they cost more than this when they were new.

3. Use only the built-in mic on the camcorder. If it's inadequate, use subtitles, inter-titles or voice over to take up the slack.

4. Never get permission. Film where you want. Just don't make a spectacle of yourself and people will assume you're just some jerk annoying his friends with a cheap camcorder.

5. It's none of my business, but make genre movies. Serious dramatic elements should be in the subplots

6. Use music, but never pay for it. Either use music you think you can get away with stealing, use public domain music if it exists, or look for music from the Soviet Union or some other country that wasn't part of the International Copyright Convention.

7. Edit on whatever free software came with your computer.

8. It's not mandatory, but movies should be 50 to 65 minutes long. Long enough that people think they're getting their money's worth, but don't over do it.

9. All videos must be distributed either as internet downloads, on community access television or as dvd's burned on a home computer.

10. Sale price on dvds should be about $4 plus postage and handling. The postage and "handling" charge should be enough to cover the cost of burning and mailing the dvd and the $4 will be pure profit.

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