People always ask me what advice I would give to other filmmakers and I always wish I had something better than 'Just go and make films' to say... Well after pondering on this for months on end trying to figure out the perfect thing to say to aspiring filmmakers I managed to sum it up in the 3 words that my inner voice screams whenever I see anyone ask a film related question "Use. Your. Brain'.
It sounds fucking stupid, I know. But honestly I've seen people ask the simplest of questions or even asked me directly and I answer whilst all the time thinking. Blooming ek, just think about it. Just use your brain.
(The following situation has been changed to protect identities, but you get the gist)
A few years ago a guys said to me, where can I get some guns for a short film from,
I said "well where do you get guns from?"
He said "a gun shop" looking pretty pleased with himself.
I said "Well yes, but you don't need real guns you're making a film, you need prop guns"
at least at this point I hoped he was asking a film related question.
"Ah right do you know any prop shops?"
"Loads" I said "Every shop is a prop shop"
A twisted confused look appears
"Where do they sell guns?" I ask again
"A shooting shop"
"Very good, But where do they sell fake guns?"
"A... Prop shop?"
Okay at this point I just thought, right, just fucking say it.
"A toy shop" I said and look smug and clever and pleased as fuck with myself.
"But they have orange things on the ends, I can't use that"
"cut it off" and the amazing phrase that I love comes out the guys mouth.
"Wow I never thought of that"
I know... I know.
The guys who want guns head off to get their guns and I think,
'Did I just teach someone something?'
Something stupid, but something nonetheless.
That evening I'm sitting at my computer and I get an e-mail from this guy, he said, we went and they had guns, but they were green. So we couldn't use them. I can't find any real gun shops in town.
"Why is it a problem with them being green?"
"Well they need to be black" he replied
"I understand that, what makes things black?"
A few minutes of silence before my next message, I assume well used google time.
"Dye?" was his fantastic response.
"Paint." I replied.
And then the words came again "Wow I never thought of that"
"Where do I get paint from?"
"Wilkinson's in town, they have a two for one special on"
I sigh and think, well 14 hours later we got here. However he then informed me that we now have to go back and get them and then paint them before their 9 o'clock call time in the morning.
All it takes is to think. Use your brain. For just a second. Filmmaking is about solving problems. You have the best problem solving device known to man in your skull. USE IT.