The word ‘process’ can be misleading for our own creative processes. It implies that it plays out the same way every time, that we have a formula for working our ideas out. Well, if you’re reading this, then you know that couldn’t be further from the truth. You know creative breakthrough can be hard to come by, and Director Salomon Ligthelm knows it, too.
If you we were to list all the reasons why you should listen to Lenore DeKoven’s advice about becoming a better director, it would take a long, long time. So we’ll just list a few: Lenore has worked as a director and producer in theater, film, and television. She has taught at UCLA, NYU, and Columbia, and has been a member of Columbia University’s Graduate Film division for more than 20 years. And on top of all that, she wrote a book, Changing Direction, that has been recommended by everyone from Ang Lee to our good friend Salomon Ligthelm.
If there’s one thing filmmaking is not, it’s not a solo act. Sure, every once in a while you can go off on your own and create something beautiful; but for anyone who’s wanting to make a career of their craft, collaborating is nonnegotiable. You’re going to end up working with a crew. You’re going to end up working with actors. We’ve talked with dozens of filmmakers over the past year of the Community, and one topic that almost always comes up is collaboration. As you’ll see, it cuts both ways. While collaboration can be frustrating at times, it’s also almost guaranteed to improve your creative game.
Salomon Ligthelm is literally all over the place: all over the world, all over the Internet. And when we Skyped with him recently about the exclusive Musicbed release of the ANOMALY soundtrack, he was all over Defacto Sound’s studio. Outside briefly, inside briefly, popping in and out of various offices and stairwells. Salomon is frenetic in the best possible way. And that energy comes across not just in his conversations, but in the things he creates. It all feels very human and very alive, which, he told us, was exactly what he was after with this latest score (composed by Ryan Taubert).
What’s a more accurate term: passion project or obsession project? If you’re talking about Variable’s latest film, Rocket Wars, then obsession is definitely the right word to use. And not just for the filmmakers, but for the subjects of the film too.
Our recent conversation with Philip Bloom got us thinking: How do other artists find balance in their lives? We scoured our archives and pulled out the best pieces we could find. While a lot of the thoughts here are consistent, they’re certainly not uniform. Balance is something everyone has to find for themselves — and usually through a painstaking process of trial and error. There’s not an easy answer.
One question that always comes up when we’re talking to filmmakers is how they got started making films. We love hearing about the first time someone picked up a camera, the first time they attempted to tell a story, the first time they saw their ideas come to life. There’s something important about remembering those early days. As the years go on and your hobby becomes your career, it’s easy to lose sight of what drew you to this work in the first place.