Making movies at home

If anyone has ever written a book with background, characters, dialog, editing, they know what I’m talking about.  I was just watching how they make The Hobbit in the youtube – which is thank you! I love you for that! – and a passing by girl snorted “Why watch how movies are made, doesn’t it ruin watching it?”

From my hill, I have very firm look on things – magic explained doesn’t make it mundane. Being big fan of all the artists, craftsmen and writers behind the movie, I can’t even fathom, why would anyone never want to know how something is made? Perhaps because creative minds work the same way – they enjoy the process just as much as the end result. If enjoy is the right word, considering all the stress involved, but in the end it usually is fulfilling joy that remains.

This got me thinking how similar the processes of making a movie and writing a book actually are. How little consumers know of the background of them and how they often never see the work that actually goes into making of the end product.

Let’s take the Hobbit:

Actor is a name until you build fat suit around them and create the character that is then covered with clothing and details. Then the actor pushes air in the character and make them move and act according to the need. When you take up creating the character, it works pretty much the same – including the actor, who is often cast to the role by writers to make the character more vivid.

Background begins with simple ideas at first. You search internet for the right places like director searches right places where to film, then you add what you need to the scenery (houses, flowers, trees, flying mountains – you name it) and finally let the characters run while you film them. Detail adding in literature is kind of like creating mood. First the action and then you add the details where necessary to complete the full picture. So in movie sense it would be the light added in the end to give the entire show the effective mood it needs.

It helps to see how movies are made to get more insight to our own writing process. Sometimes it sparks the imagination that you’ve lived without, sometimes it just relaxes to see someone else put just as much work into their product as we do. With other writers you can only sense it, feel the stress they go through and nod with them that yes, you do understand what they are going through. With movie-makers you can see it visually. Only, if they have the entire crews put together, then you just have to be everything at the same time, taking up the tasks of hairdressers, costume makers, chief artists, background builders, chefs… ok, perhaps you can get away with the latter by simply living on pre-cooked meals for a change.

What I mean is – don’t be afraid to see where the meat grows. Anyone, who is a writer should be able to appreciate the wonderful world of movie making. Already seeing others work just as hard should be inspiring.

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