Act 2 - Conflicts and Complications
Sometimes, when the pressure of starting this school/centre/co-operative starts to feel overwhelming, I tell myself that everything is just a means to produce five new short films. Of course that isn’t true - the films are just the first tangible result of what were trying to do. But having short term goals definitely helps manage everything. So today, I’m happy to say, the final scripts were due, marking the end of Act 1 in the BFC’s 2010 story - the introduction and exposition section.
Writing is the only stage in creating a film that, if you have the time, you can essentially do for free. Even using a computer is just a luxury, as half the hand-written scripts I received will attest to. All you need is an idea, and usually a little bit of guidance to help you communicate your story. It can be the most creative stage of the entire process, the hardest, the loneliest, and also the most empowering.
When you’re done writing, however, you need to let people in. You need to find others who buy into your vision if you don’t have the means to get everything realized yourself (and who does). That means you need to begin changing, compromising, or let’s just say “sharing” the creative vision. Enter Act 2 of our story - conflicts and complications.
Tonight we began the highly subjective process of selecting the films and teams for this year. In 2007, almost half the submitted scripts dealt with rape, abuse and/or AIDS. So far, many of the scripts we’re reading are about homelessness, people looking for a job or looking for a way out of the country (usually to Canada). Sounds incredibly depressing, but rest assured there are a number of uplifting stories as well. Regardless what we choose, I made the somewhat controversial decision that if your script was selected, you could not be the director. I leaned on equality and experience to justify the choice, also pointing out that the three most well-received films last time (Bigger Plans, Nothing’s the Same and Kivumvu: Basket Boy) had separate writers and directors. Based on some people’s reactions, however, I still expect a little off-screen drama when we make our announcement on Friday.