How (Why) to Make a Movie

It was 1969, I was 22 years old, and all things seemed possible. Yes. Possible. I didn’t know all the nuts and bolts to making a good movie at that time but I should have made the attempt anyway.

My cousins and I wanted to make a movie. The theme escapes me now. Today, the production from that time would have been laughable, considering our level of expertise.

We had none. Now, forty odd years later, it is too late. While it isn’t too late to make more movies it is too late to make that one. For starters, not everyone in the original cast is still alive. No, we can’t travel in time to our past, but, if planned properly, we can bring the past to our present.

Well, we had not planned properly. That window was never opened. Our technology back then would have been an 8mm camera and a tape recorder. Synchronizing the two would have been difficult. Yes, it would be laughable today, if only we had made it.

Isn’t a camera a type of time machine? Doesn’t it bring the past to ‘life’?

Have you ever found yourself engrossed in an old movie, when, all of a sudden, it hits you?… ‘No one in this movie is alive today’. But they sure are ‘alive’ on the screen.

Whatever your aspirations, whatever level of competence you strive for, remember that even our most base attempts at film making are a ‘time machine’, a way of once again seeing the past unfold before us. Moments captured in the lives of our families, our children, our aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents, can be relived. These precious moments can ‘live’ once again.

My mother was no ‘movie’ maker, but she sure made a lot of home movies over the years. All soundless, all in 8mm, and all my most prized possessions today. Sure, I wish I could hear the voices of my departed family members again, but she made do with her times technology.

Today, especially in the realm if video, she could have captured so much more. Her limitations didn’t stop her, however, and her amateurish attempts with her old 8mm camera, which I still have today, are for me, priceless.

Take a look around you, at the colors and sounds of your life. Capture some of them.

Open a window from your time to the senses of future generations of your loved ones.

I have, on my refrigerator door, attached by magnets, an old picture of my great grandfather, lifted from an old newspaper from his time when he was around 25 years old. That’s all I have of him, just one very poor photo of a man I wish I had known.

Wouldn’t it be marvelous to hear your great grandfather’s voice? To see him move? To bring his time to ‘life’?

You have available, today, the tools to turn these dreams into reality, for not only yourselves, but especially for your grandchildren. What a gift to leave him or her. If a picture is worth a thousand words then perhaps a ‘moving picture’ is worth a thousand stills.

Today, this choice is open to you. Amateur, intermediate, or professional, film making is possible. Each day you hesitate to act is another day lost forever to time. Whatever your aspirations may be; whatever level you wish to climb on the ladder to professionalism, get started today. Pick up a video recorder and hold a ‘time machine’ in your hands. You can achieve what you desire, open as many windows as you like, become a family chronicler or reach for the silver screen Anything is possible. The most important step? Getting started.

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