as pasolini once noted, cinema is largely built on ordinary, everyday signs we learn to identify as we grow up: “this is a bus stop”, “this man is jogging”, “that’s a supermarket”. places, events, and artifacts are therefore recognized in film as easily as in life. along the years though, cinema has added its own language on top of the older, more primary signs. for instance, a car chase shot by paul greengrass adds to the physical pursuit shockingly diverse points of view and extremely fast cutting. these features, superimposed on top of the speeding car, intensify our response to the film. today, when we go to the theater, we expect these signs of cinema to contribute significantly to our experience of the film. the underlying signs produced in the world end up as mere catalysts for the flashier discourse.
if a turbocharged film language is a requisite for commercial filmmaking, it is not essential in small digital projects. let’s go back to basics rather. as the early soviets once pointed out, you don’t need to draw perspective to create art. collages, for instance, could be made using ordinary materials, paper, glass, wood, metal, etc. not only that, do not be afraid to be called an amateur. from its latin root, amare, the word implies that you love what you do, as opposed to professionals who do the work only as a job, for money. leave therefore behind the idea that you need to make a “film” with all the prescriptions the notion involves: an impressive production design, great cinematography, sharp editing, etc. you do not need glorious aesthetics at all. use the change in technology to discover new ways to relate images and sounds. above all, don’t hesitate to challenge film language. create your own dialect (bakhtin). doing things that are “wrong” can thwart the paradigm that imprisons the production process.