Normally when I sit and try to write a Pursuit of Grace blog post, I attempt to make it as formal as possible. I try to do some research and sound educated while discussing my experiences. I want to leave a good impression when talking about this project. But sometimes that can seem fake, like I’m trying to be something I’m not.
I’ve fought so hard to make sure the Pursuit of Grace wasn’t just another amateur film by someone who didn’t know what they were doing. I was sure I wouldn’t make all the mistakes beginners normally do. I watched so many videos about mistakes others had made, hoping I could eliminate them. I worked crazy hard on my script. I thought I had my shooting week planned out fairly well, until it whooshed by.
Behind my mask of faux professionalism, I was clueless.
I wrote long emails that said nothing. I revised my script repeatedly, not fixing the real problems, pretty much like putting a new coat of stain on a rotting fence.
But I refused to admit I didn’t know what I was doing. So I watched more and more informational content, trying to soak in as much information as possible. I have to say, I know quite a bit about the theory of filmmaking.
But knowing the theory is entirely different from having the experience.
One of the mistakes that I made was putting so much focus on the script and little focus on a shot list. At one point I made a basic storyboard, but that was tossed aside after the big re-write. I think a shot list would have not only streamlined the shooting process but also would have made me think of story even more. In film, cinematic language is just as important as (or probably more important than) dialogue and action. And I’d heard this, but my script was something that I knew. I was comfortable with writing screenplays. I had no clue how to turn a screenplay into a shot list. So we worked hard during shoot week, coming up with shots on the spot. This put more strain that was necessary on me, the cast, and the crew. At one point Kenneth, the Director of Photography, just took charge and organized an entire scene.
As I read through this post, I realize that I made more mistakes that I wanted to make. Now, after this project is nearing completion, I realize I needed to make these mistakes. You hear this everywhere, but just going out and making is way more important than knowing the techniques or having the gear.
And this post may have been a bit negative. Filmmaking has its highs and its lows. But I’m still super excited to show you the finished product. I’m really proud of all the work everyone has put in to make this a reality. I’m grateful to God for giving me these abilities. I’m thankful for everyone who has donated to this project.
Thank you for allowing me to make these mistakes.