Some people define themselves by their titles as writers or directors or editors or producers. Others like to broaden their scope and take on additional titles to maintain creative control or as often the case in indie films to fill a gap that may be missing. These folks use hyphenates like writer-director. Others take that it even further by combining titles like Producer and Editor into new hip sounding titles like “Preditor.”
Ever increasingly as the tools of our trade become more and more accessible, writers and directors (or writer-directors, or Preditors, or what have you) find themselves picking up the camera and shooting, or buying some inexpensive editing software and cutting their story themselves. They might dabble in creating their own special effects. They might do their own color-correction. Then there are the up and comers who have never even conceived of what Hollywood might consider “film crew” and are comprised only of these jack of all trades people who just get it done. So what do we call these people who can do it all? I call them story-tellers.
As I said before, film-making is about collaboration with other story-tellers. Whether you wear one hat or many. Whether you tell your story through words, images, wardrobe, or special effects, we’re all there for a common goal: to make a film. So don’t get bogged down by titles. Let your writer try his hand at editing. The edited film is the final re-write after all, and they could bring something new to the table you might not have guessed. Listen to the ideas from your special effects technician. Talk over character with your wardrobe person. Try your own hand at an aspect of film-making you’ve never considered. Let everyone cross pollinate their thoughts with the common goal of telling your story, and watch as it blossoms.
I am a story-teller. What do you do?