Every course I have taught, or been in as a student, over the last—at least sixty years—has shown me that the heights people can reach by the conceptual passion they carry within them are just a breath away from revelation.
I love making shorts, and writing shorts more than feature–length screenplays, even though I wrote 3-4 feature–length screenplays years ago. But with the short films, it’s more fun and creatively fulfilling. Shorts challenge you to create an engaging, fun and clever story within a short amount of time. Shorts to me, are like riddles that you write and give to the audience to solve. Shorts are like a punchline. Shorts are fun; they’re like the short stories I used to read in English class that, when I got to the end, I smiled and thought “Ah hah….clever.” Not to say you can’t do that with a feature, but it’s much more difficult.
To get there, I had to do a lot of learning. A lot of listening, collaborating. Taking workshops.
If a script doesn’t make sense to me, like if the vision isn’t clear in my head and I don’t understand the point of the story or the goal, or the motivations of the actors, or where it’s going, then I definitely can’t expect the actors to understand. If I feel in my gut that the
script is just not right, then I know it’s not ready to be shot. But if I can see the vision clearly and confidently, and I understand the motivations and the goals and the point of what I’m trying to say and how I want to say it, I definitely will shoot it then.
I also love honesty in work. Not fake deep or fake honesty, or “trying to be honest but not really”. I like fearless, honest–as–hell honesty. Like if I leave the viewing feeling like, “Damn, that’s how it hurt you huh?”, or feeling like I want to cry from sadness or happiness, or in deep thought, then it was great. Or, if I have an amazing time watching it and I’m very much into the story and characters and don’t even remember that I’m watching a movie, like Grease .
And never stop learning.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO ATTEMPT TO BE VULNERABLE IN A FILM, THEN GO ALL THE WAY AND DO IT, OR DON’T GO THERE AT ALL.
Tackle that problem you’re having with your family or friend. Fall head over heels in love. Make love. Beautiful music has come from electrifying romances. Don’t be afraid to get your heart broken. There’s beauty in that pain, believe me. Some wonderful art will come out of it. Like damn. Just live. And if you find you’re bitter and jaded, move out of your surrounding area and go find your happiness. Challenge yourself and see if you survive being a little fish in a big pond. Go see for yourself. Go grow. It makes for great art.
That to me is how you keep going.
Mt. Washington (2016) is a short film written, directed and edited by Raeshelle that was given a Special Mention award for an indie film at the LA Film Awards in 2016.
The feature photo at the top of this post was taken in a field in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Leah Astore Photo.)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. As the sole author of the Penitent – Part I, and the Penitent – Part II, and as the sole proprietor of Copper Beech Press, I have a material connection to these books, as well as to the publishing press, I have just listed. Other than my previously stated novels and publishing press, I have no material connection to the brands, products or services that I have mentioned here. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
© 6 February 2019 by A. Keith Carreiro
For information about my series, The Immortality Wars, please go to my home page: https://immortalitywars.com/