Why I Appreciate All Films, Not Just the Good Ones

I appreciate all films I see. I don’t think they are all good or enjoyable to watch, but I appreciate every last one. The reason why is because I know firsthand, as all filmmakers do, how difficult it is to make one.

It’s hard because most notable films cost a significant amount of money to make, that’s first. So when a filmmaker ventures off to make an ultra-low budget film, they’re really saying to the world and everybody else, “Hey, I’m living my life regardless of how much you think this project, or I am worth.” Most of the time those films are small stepping stones and learning experiences to move toward what all filmmakers strive to become. They strive to make something that is both good and also seen by a large audience. In the process of making films on a shoe string budget or working on someone else’s low budget projects, it becomes apparent why films cost so much money. The cast and crew are so valuable, and they have to be paid and usually paid a lot. Then there are the locations, the equipment, all the pre-production and post-production costs, distribution costs and so many other expenses. I really appreciate all films because so many filmmakers are out there trying to make it and many of them never will, or at least not in the way they envisioned. That’s just sort of how life works, not just with making a film, but in every career where a lot of people are trying to make it.

I appreciate every film because of how hard it is to make a good film. Plus I prefer to be an encourager, rather than the pompous bitter failure that we all have met, maybe you even happen to be that person. So it’s about more than just how hard it is to make a film financially speaking. You can get all the money in the world and it’s still hard to make a good film. It’s hard to make half a good film, or even just one good scene in an entire movie. Was there even one good scene in the script to begin with? Did they accidently cast actors so unnatural all the audience could think about is how bad they were? Was the director able to put the scenes and sequences together so the audience really felt what the story was conveying? That happens both while shooting the film and also in post-production. It’s hard to do any of these things right and they really all have to be done right, plus a few more other things, for a movie to be considered ‘good.’ So when we go to the theaters and see a movie that a studio spent $300 million to make and it’s hard to stay in your seat 15 minutes into it, it’s so obvious why filmmaking is an art and not just a business.

That’s why I appreciate every film I see. From the 3-minute shorts my filmmaking acquaintances have sent me where they used onboard audio and literally no set design, to the box office disasters where enough money to fund a developing countries whole economy for an entire year was spent. It’s just so hard to do and I appreciate the process just as much as I do the greatest films of all time.

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