Cooking is my penultimate passion, which is why I have my three primary knives routinely sharpened. Dull knives are dangerous, ineffective, and downright frustrating.
Filmmaking is my ultimate passion, which is why I must have my brain routinely sharpened. Like my knives, my creativity often goes dull with use. I get tired, lazy, and develop bad habits. Cliche begins to abound and, worse, I begin to believe I’m a lot better than I really am! This is dangerous, ineffective and downright frustrating.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to sharpen the filmmaking mind these days. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Criterion DVD commentaries: unlike most commentaries where the cast and crew simply think out loud and share inside jokes, Criterion DVD commentaries feature eminent film scholars, critics and thinkers who have almost always thought through what they will discuss.
Insightful Blogs: There seems to be more blogs than humans; nonetheless, there certainly are diamonds in the rough worthy of your email inbox. My favorites are Robert Genn, Seth Godin, Ted Hope, and fellow filmmaker/cook, Tom Provost.
Revival Movie Screenings: unfortunately not available everywhere, revival screenings of classic films truly inspires. You get to see films on the big screen, the way they were meant to be seen. My beloved theatre in LA is the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
Seminars: though filmmaking seminars and panel discussions have become a dime-a-dozen, some remain to be the real deal, full of insight and wisdom. My two favorites in LA are Thomas Ethan Harris and Mark Stolaroff’s No Budget Film School.