Art is a gift. Not in the sense of a talent, but in the sense that art belongs to society as soon as it has been created. It is something that has been made to give people a chance to think about something else. Whether that is an escape, where one can forget about their problems, or whether it is a place where one can think about some of the bigger ones, art is meant to take us away for a little while. The way an image or a sound can change reality is remarkable, and some certain works of art are even immortalized by the human race, such as the Mona Lisa, the Smiley Face, and the song “Happy Birthday”. Art defines the way a society presents itself, as well as allowing millions of unique minds to express themselves in thousands of different ways. Because of this, choosing to become an artist in the form of a filmmaker has been quite daunting. But I have realized there are several reasons for why I have to at least try to be an artist.
I. Spreading Joy
Since I was a young kid, I have been telling stories. Many of those stories started out as excuses for why I didn’t have homework to turn in, but by the time I was a teenager, I realized I enjoyed telling stories to amuse people. In high school, I loved to write funny stories to read during English class so I could make people laugh. Over the years now, I have realized how important it can be to make someone laugh. There is a lot of tragedy and stress in this world, but a moment spent enjoying something entertaining is a small respite. I don’t know if any art that I create will ever alleviate tragedy or stress, but I don’t think these are bad goals to aim for.
Another reason why I want to create films is because it provides a way to utilize one’s imagination. I have always loved to play. As a kid, I loved being able to invent my own story, and place myself in another world. As an adult, it has been extremely hard to find places where to use my imagination. Filmmaking allows me to once again invent my own story, and to place not just me, but an audience into another world. That is one thing I really appreciated about Jimmy Joe Roche’s film, “Hilvarenbeek.”
III. A Unique Message
Film makes it possible to give an audience many different impressions, just the same as an abstract painting or an interesting chord might evoke many different emotions. At first, I was hesitant to accept more experimental and abstract films, choosing to favor more main-stream films that laid everything out clearly and simply. But after watching some of the films by Wolf Vostell and Werner Herzog, I learned that it is very possible to evoke powerful emotions and messages from seemingly abstract images and sounds. I realized that no two people could have the same exact interpretation from a film that guards itself a little more. Films that don’t provide a clear message allow the viewer to walk away with their own, which is often times better than what the filmmaker had in mind anyway. This personalized emotion is completely unique, and in my opinion, it is what makes filmmaking special.