Finding My Voice

I am two years into this filmmaking journey and even though I was well aware of the things I didn’t know about making movies, I guess I never realized just how much I didn’t know. Being a first time director and hiring a crew it was very easy (and tempting) to rest on the laurels of the crew to carry you through the production but that’s a surefire way to invite disaster on your set. Thankfully I was able to resist that temptation because I’ve been blessed with very competent crew members so far and have actually learned a lot more working with them than I could have watching tutorial videos or reading a book.

Every short film I’ve worked on I’ve tried to learn more about how my camera works, what sort of look I like, and how I can design a shot to be more compelling to help visualize the story I’m trying to tell. After all, filmmaking is just visual story telling, without a story there is no film, just a series of pictures set to motion. That can either be boring or self indulgent. I would like to be neither.

Through making short films, sketches, and music videos, I’ve been trying to focus more on my directorial voice. What is it that makes a DJ Remark film – a DJ Remark film? Do I use specific color pallets? Do I recycle shots I like? Do I use the same actor over and over again? Or is it in the writing? Do I write a specific way that makes my movies a “DJ Remark” movie? This still remains to be seen. I have yet to make a feature length but I have started to make more conscious decisions in the look of my films.

  • I really like blues and greens so the final look of the shorts I’ve put out have a cooler color to them.
  • I like camera movement. Static shots are fine but I start to get really bored really quick and when there is just static shot after static shot films start to look really indie to me.
  • I like single shot reveals. I first designed a shot like this in the movie Chill: The Killing Games

Click the images to enlarge

Which I used again with a little more motion and camera magic in Good Works

I obviously don’t want to overuse this technique but I really like it and I think I can tweak it enough for some good scares. So far that’s about the extent of what makes my films, my films. I can’t wait to start on my first feature. It’s almost like waiting to go to Disney World 🙂

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