On sacrifying everything for filmmaking and doors to Paradise

I remember one morning we were going to the shoot somewhere in Marina Del Rey, me and a guy from the crew. While getting through the morning traffic we had a conversation. He was also a foreigner and we were talking about LA life and what it takes to actually follow a filmmaking path and try to take your voice out there. We all sometimes come to the moment of contemplating our life decisions and I guess that was one of his. So he said something like: “All that life here and what I have to sacrify for it and what I will have to sacrify for it, I’m just not sure that it’s worth it.” Meaning of course life of a filmmaker and everything that goes it’s way.

That wasn’t actually the only one of such conversations I heard in LA.

My thought was what is there to sacrifice? Is there actually anything you sacrifice for THE life of filmmaker for a filmmaker? Childhood friends, university friends, parties, family, future children, relationships, sex life, your youth? Normal life? Nice car? Boring job? Being like everyone else? I mean, what is there to sacrifice? If you’re filmmaker you’re nothing without your art, you are filmmaking, filmmaking is your real life, you’re nothing without it. It’s not a sacrifice it’s a blessing. It’s a hand of God on your shoulder. It opens doors to Paradise. It doesn’t make you sacrify anything, it saves your life, it saves your existence, it gives you to yourself. By thinking that you’re sacrifying something you’re comparing yourself to someone who’s not a filmmaker, which is understandable since most of people aren’t, but there is nothing in a life of non-filmmakers that is worth more than filmmaking to a filmmaker. People lead the life they lead, do what they do because they can’t do what filmmaker can. But who knows what their life would look like if they were the ones with the keys to Paradise…

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How the hell do you make it in the film. Filmmaker on the road.

First of all I’m originally Russian but spent many years in Los Angeles, so nevermind my English language mistakes, I do what I can, it doesn’t effect the quality of the information though.

So here is the deal. Through the years of being a filmmaker I found out that there is almost impossible to find out just the right information on how you actually put it together or how you actually make it. I mean, okay, I did a film school, I supposedly know how to make a movie, I have freaking talent, I have a great script, so now what? Okay, I need money. Where do I get an investor? How do I approach them? What I tell, what I don’t tell? How do I find a star for my film? Okay, I found an investor, how do I write a contract? Do I write a contract? All these stuff, what works, what doesn’t work?

I mean they’ll tell you everything in those blogs, books, articles, seminars etc., except the very essential thing that really matters, some detail that may not seem essential for the professionals but could be the put-it-together moment for you or for me. All this information is mostly the same, too general, misses out the details and most of the time too professional to the point that you can’t use it or even understand it. Which I think leads to those filmmaker struggles of looking for an answer (it least it did for me) that could actually be avoided.

Most of film answers are either too professional written by professionals for professionals so you have to be already somewhere, or something or already know something to even be able to use it. Most of such answers miss thousands of tiny details that actually for those who make their first, tenth or hundreds steps on their filmmaking road are the most essential information on how you make it, how you begin to make it, how you at least enter the space where you’re making it. So here I’ll try produce some answers for those questions for tiny details that were important for me when I was figuring out those ways myself and for which I couldn’t find a proper answers whatsoever or it took me some time to get to them.

I’m still on my way of making it “filmmaker on the road” how I call it, so I’ll also keep on learning things along the way and sharing them with you. For now I share what I’ve got for you so far.

And… “There isn’t an answer on how you make it, each case is different!” – f* that!

Next time will tell you more about myself, so you would know who the hell you’re dealing with here.

Yours Truly

Maria

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Febril – another winter month in St.Petersburg, Russia

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Well, I’m sure aware that I’m not in Africa and sometimes it can get kinda cold and nasty out here, and surely I expect no mild climate. But still by that time there should hardly be any snow lying around, the first greenery should already appear on the trees and the air should be full of spring freshness and annoying birds singing that don’t let me fall sleep every morning when I’m going to bed after exhausting night of writing. Meanwhile… it’s probably too white…

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Me on “how the hell you make it”

When I was in film school, from the very beginning we’ve been told that in order to begin it and to make it you need connections and in order to make connections you have to mingle. I wasn’t too crazy about the idea of mingling with people at the first place, don’t like to spend my energy that I could use towards my art. Really with how many people you have to mingle to find at least one that could be more or less useful for you, for your art or for anything at all. You’re happy to find a few through the whole life.

We’ve been told that people that we’ll meet in film school are people we gonna work and try to start our careers all together. I’d rather die that would work with any of those people. I don’t know about your schools but mine was mostly full of rather disillusional species not only about their abilities but about anything, I’m not even talking about any form of art there. Teachers too by the way. But that will be a separate chapter I think. So I mean not the kind of mingle that could do any good.

Though I tried it at first and as you already understood I didn’t like that much what I’ve found. But as from most of the things in our lives I’ve carried something out of it.

First of all you don’t need people to start you filmmaking career, at least people are not exactly what you need, in order to make it you need TALENT and MONEY. And that’s basically it. If you don’t have talent nothing can help you. As for money, well just mingling won’t help you either, and what can help you isn’t really called mingling, I would call it getting to the right person in the right time and say the right words. But it got nothing to do with talking with a bunch of dreamers majority of which overestimate their abilities in pursuing their dreams. Besides a dreamer and an artist are two rather different things.

So in fact you don’t need to connect, you don’t need to share, you don’t need to spend your time in useless talks, you just need to get to the right people in the right time and that’s not something that is reached by mingling, that’s something reached by strict, exact and disciplined plan.

And those who mingle will continue to mingle, maybe they can put together a fun party after all.

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As much as I hate it, the whole life of a filmmaker consists of constantly asking for help.

As much as I hate it. The whole life of a filmmaker consists of constantly asking for help. Mostly people you barely know or don’t know at all. Which, may seem, is supposed to produce a major disappointment about human nature and people in general but interestingly enough it manages to nurture right the opposite. You begin to believe in people, their good side and the ability to sympathize with others. And when you believe in them they begin to believe in you.

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When film characters are born

Even though some writers/directors may think that movie characters are born in their heads, the way the character is in your head, it doesn’t exist. The character is how the actor will bring it to the world. It’s born from your vision of the character and from the way the actor will materialize it through himself. Actors are the ones who bring life to them and define who they are, without their soul the image in your head is nothing but an imagine in your head.

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Half way through the year of 2012. Are you where you wanted to be?

Half way through the year of 2012. 182 days before it and 182 days after it. And since my birthday is not far before New Year’s this question goes and for my own personal year as well. Am I where I wanted to be?

Well, not exactly, to say the least. In my perfect predictions I was already supposed to be half way through the filming of my movie with my head deep into work, stress, lack of sleep and an unbearable pleasure of doing the finest thing you’ve got for yourself to do on this planet.

So, where am I instead? First of all, sitting thousands physical miles away from where the action should take place, got literally nothing physical prepared for it to take place, got no actors, no workers, no people interested in it to take place except me myself. Though good to find me myself still in the category of interested.

Ok, now what the hell I was doing the whole 182 after the New Year’s instead of doing what I should be doing? Hmmm, I was rereading the script from time to time, rewriting word “film” for the word “movie” in the dialogues of characters and the other way around, I wrote some other different words and sentences on white pieces of paper lying all around the room that I’ll never read again. And why would I clean this up after all? Let it lay there making a rather impressive entourage of a busy writer.

I got a subscription to the gym. So, now I have some press done though no one including me can see it under the layer of fat it is under. Well, it’s not that bad actually, but I can’t tell you I have a nice press, can I? It will stand out of the convey of the story.

I enriched my knowledge of cinema by rewatching Critters, Critters 2, Critters 3 and Critters 4, half of the seasons of Charmed, five I think, right till the episode where they actually kill Balthazar. And in that desire of continuing to watch Julian McMahon I’ve also seen all the series of Nip/Tuck that I hadn’t watched before though.

And of course I’ve also started this Blog, in which I even post something from time to time with a month breaks since I’m a very busy writer and director, get a lot done in my life and supposedly don’t have time for blogging among other important stuff that I write and that lies all over the room.

And the most important, of course, among other pleasures, I’ve got a gorgeous boyfriend with a nice big penis that makes me scream every night till I faint in my own bed. Who needs porn anyway?

So, am I where I wanted to be? Hmmm, let me think. I’m a gorgeous woman, with a great deal of talent, explosive temper and a genius screenplay on my hands… And I have 182 days to go to make it sound even sexier this year.

Now, coffee and masturbation I guess.

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