48. Why are we here?

In the midst of all the chaos (controlled chaos) it can be easy to forget why the 72 project was set up in the first place. Why are we all working like maniacs to make a film in 72 hours; is it all a gimmick?

The answer is no.

We are collaborating as one big team to create something that no individual or small unit could accomplish. This gives everyone a chance to network and learn from each other.

As the founder of the 72 project puts it “We are here to inspire film makers, encourage collaboration and demystify the film process” Are we doing that?

The answer is no… … we are doing more.

The 72 is essentially an experimental film making process, testing new methods of filmmaking that are contrary to the methods used in the antiquated, mass adopted idea of how film should be made. This is all possible due to the digitisation of filmmaking, which has changed who, where, when, why and how films can be made.

This all sounds rhetorical… and it is, but thats where the 72 project comes in; it turns the rhetorical into the literal. Me and James met up in Birmingham to discuss the project a few weeks ago. After a few beers we started to (sort of) talk about ‘alternate’ filmmakers.

Alternate filmmakers are often seen as outsiders to the more Hollywood ways of thinking, and often filmmakers (and sometimes musicians and writers) don this outsider persona with pride. But the truth of the matter is that alternate filmmakers desperately do want to be part of the system, we don’t want to be outsiders.

The only difference is that we want to work in a system that works; we want to change the mainstream and peoples ideas and preconceptions associated with it. We don’t just act against it for the sake of it.

Okay, this is starting to sound like a rant against hipsters (which it definitely is).

So lets address what makes the 72’s way of making films better then the old system:

-A fairer gender balance both in front and behind the camera. The balance in film schools are around 50/50, so why is this not the case on film sets?

-A way in which education in filmmaking can be more pragmatic and experience based, something which the industry doesn’t offer. This includes practical training for crew which will help them in further career developments.

-Providing boost to the local economy (Lets face it, the majority of the money made by Star Wars is going to go straight back to Hollywood) -Supporting both emerging and established talent in front of the camera.

-Complete transparency of the filmmaking process,. There are no secrets in the 72, you have access all areas. I’m aware that some of you guys might have only become interested in the 72 in recent days, so I hope I have summed the project up well enough for you. As always, you can comment/email/ tweet/message us with any thoughts, questions and arguments you can think of.

This is experimental; the very nature of the word means we haven’t figured this all out yet. But we like to think we are close.

Take care, Mitch

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