Point Of View

Point of View: the Blog and the Constant Reader

Samantha: I am a sucker for the literary concept of the Constant Reader. Not just that there were regular readers of serial novels, mystery magazines and authors, but that the Constant Reader would be addressed by writers and editors; “…and so, Constant Reader, I will…” A direct and intimate relationship is implied, and it’s quite wonderful. If I enjoy such status myself, it is certainly with the writer Lawrence Block, whom I adore. Is there a professional element there? Definitely, as I learn much about writing by reading him. But I am his Constant Reader; I always look forward to my next instalment from him whether it’s a short story over a cup of joe or a novel curled up in bed.

It occurs to me now, how well suited Blogs are to the concept of the Constant Reader. Since we started writing and publishing this Blog on a heavy schedule and made it accessible through various social media platforms, it has been a surprise and a delight how much and how often readers are getting in touch – by public reply on Twitter or Comments on our site, but also privately by direct message and email.
There’s a Constant Reader in Texas who has gotten in touch to talk shop before a meeting; the festival director and film prof, both from Massachusetts, who requested our films; the indie filmmaker in South Africa who wanted to shed light on the filmmaking community there… it’s been great to hear from you all and we love it and are looking forward to hearing more. Why? Because making movies independently is hitting the heavy bag, that’s why.

Often the difference between a good filmmaker and a great one is what they are willing to settle for…

Christopher: Making low- to no-budget movies is hard and lonely work. I’m always struck by the sheer relentless determination it requires of me, and I’m a relatively easygoing person. Just completing a film is hard enough. Making a movie you are really proud of requires a whole other level of commitment.  It’s not enough to get the shot or the take. You have to get the best one possible. If it feels like you just finally gave up and had to move on to the next setup because of time, then you never got the take. If it feels like you just got an absolutely brilliant take, better than you could have possibly imagined, then it might still be a good idea to go for one more, because, hey, magic is happening. You never know. Often the difference between a good filmmaker and a great one is what they are willing to settle for.  You have to aggressively pursue quality, demand it of yourselves and others – hopefully without being a complete monster.

As a corrective to my sometimes crippling tendency towards “being nice” (not demanding the best from my fellow crew and cast), I carry this quote from Paul Schrader around with me:
“I’m not interested in likability. And you don’t rise to the top by being nice and passive. You have to have the taste of blood in your mouth. Every day, when you wake up in the morning, that has to be your cup of coffee. You’ve got to realize that no one wants you to do what you want to do.”

I try to surround myself with people who care about good work as much as I do, and so should you. So thank you, Constant Readers and Ardent Supporters (hey! That works nicely!). You are not alone.

The glorious work of Mr. Block is available through his own site, and his latest  ‘Hit Me’ is also available on Amazon.

Films like ‘Taxi Driver‘ and ‘Hardcore‘, written by Paul Schrader, are also available on Amazon.

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