If you want to get filmmakers worked up in a hurry, talk about film school. Opinions are as varied as they are impassioned. As they should be. Film school requires a lot from a person. It takes a lot of money, a lot of time, and, ultimately, a lot of trust.
Much like the myth of overnight success, the idea of “finding your voice” implies an unrealistic immediacy. As if your voice were something you might stumble upon one day, fully formed, just lying on the ground. Something you’d recognize if you saw it. In our experience, that’s not how it goes. Instead, your artistic voice is something you build through incredible amounts of time and tireless effort. It’s a slow accumulation of influence, work, and discernment. It takes years and there are no short cuts.
Danny Madden (a.k.a. Ornana) has one rule: Make films the hard way, or don’t make them at all. “Sometimes it’s easy to look for tricks, or to want to master your craft to the point where you know what you’re doing and it gets easier. But if you get to that point, where what you’re doing is easy, then you’ve really lost something.”
Deciding to not make a film is hard. We’re living in the golden age of people making films — thanks to new technology and an increasingly low barrier to entry — and so often the ball starts rolling before we ask ourselves if we should roll it in the first place. In a craft that ultimately amounts to a series of impactful decisions, the first hard decision is whether or not to commit to your film at all. There is nothing worse than getting to the middle of a project, only to realize you’ve been making the wrong film.