Fun fact: Last week I got to act in a movie. Not a major blockbuster obviously, but in a student film directed by a friend of mine, Sam.
“But Jonny, you have like 0 acting experience! Why would anyone seek you out for their movie?” Well, I happened to be available. Right place right time sort of thing. The actor Sam had previously asked to play the role had dropped out on short notice or something like that, I didn’t get a full briefing on what happened and needing to fill the role quickly Sam contacted me and I readily accepted for a number of reasons.
First obviously was that I thought it would be fun and it certainly was, but I also really wanted to do it because by participating in the filmmaking process I could gain valuable experience that could inform and enhance any future reviews of movies I make. ( yes, I haven’t done a review in a while I’m lazy and I’ll get to it.) Even just taking a small part in a student film took me right into the belly of the beast of film production. Getting to watch Sam making directorial decisions about what he wanted me to say, how things should be lit up, what angles he wanted things filmed at. Also when there were scenes I wasn’t directly involved in I got to help out on the production side doing simple stuff like holding a boom mic in place. I was dressed in a full suit for it so I think I might have been the most well-dressed mic operator in history. Holding the mic was just as much fun as acting to me though, so I guess that reaffirms that I am just a huge dork for movies.
The point I’m trying to get at here is that I had a lot of fun working on Sam’s movie, but I also learned a fair bit about the film, not about terminology or technique, but about what the decision-making process looks like for a filmmaker and that’s something I think will help me be better at reviewing movies as I take that sort of thing into consideration. It also emphasized that there really isn’t a limit to how much you know about film and filmmaking so I should be taking more opportunities to work on movies even to just hold mics and watch the process unfold. Also, I need to get way more books on film and filmmaking and delve into them… Ya know I really thought summer was the time of year you took a break from learning, but I guess that’s over now. Later.