Sunday, October 15, 2006


Independent digital films are very much celebrated these days for having been produced at very low costs.

After watching a few indie short films last night, I have come to the conclusion that to stay within budget, the first that their producers have to rid themselves off is the camera tripod.

After watching 16 shorts in one sitting, I found myself sitting some more outside the cinema waiting to regain my balance as I got really dizzy watching too many hand-held shots.

But it’s a dizzying kind of joy living in this age when one actually bears witness to how this new way of filmmaking is stealing the thunder from mainstream cinema. I’ll be beaming with pride telling my children someday how their dad actually made it to the days when Mother Lily & friends used to oligopolize the business and then later, witnessed how indie filmmakers soon gave them a run for their money. More joy still that many of my friends are actors, writers and producers of indie films. Oh, and I got to act in one of them too! (Wait for the day when MTRCB lets the ax fall this time entirely because of bad acting.)

I must admit that some of the shorts I saw that night were not many of the finest this cinema movement can offer. Oops… hold your horses! Before you ban me from future screenings, let me reaffirm that I am an advocate of the indie phenomenon. But I must acknowledge that the relative ease of shooting in digital video has open the floodgates for those who are still on denial that they’re just not meant for this kind of art. But if practice makes perfect, I must at least say that the less finer shorts that night were “praktis lang po.” Since much of the support group (emotionally & financially) of indie-makers are naturally their close friends and relatives, I blame these groups when they don’t honestly give constructive feedbacks to people in the production. Please don’t patronize them; if it sucks, give it to them as it is and then support them to do more but better films next time.

I am sincerely calling on more and more people to get into indie film-making as did many who excelled in photography when consumerism & technology permitted more snap-shooters who eventually became masters in the craft. And to people like my friend who said she avoids indie films because she too gets dizzy from the hand-held shots, just try to bear with it some more (you’re the same girl who enjoys roller-coasters, ahah!)

Yeah, there are really some lousy shots (add to that: plots, scripts, acting, etc.) which the cinematographer &/or director would simply pass-off as a matter of taste and self-expression but it is in supporting all these indies, be them good or bad, can the ultimately best come out of the rest. Let’s watch as many of them as we can, better still if we can dabble at least once in the actual production. Hey, we are actually democratizing cinema here, don’t let it just pass you by 24 frames per second.

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