Film: A Collaborative Art
Most of the time, the only person who seems to easily get that ultimate right to be called a filmmaker is the director. But come to think of it — film is a collaborative art, an audio-visual medium created out of moving pictures. This means to make a film requires the director to work with producers, artists, artisans, and technicians from varying fields in order to translate the script and the director’s vision into a moving picture. Each has his/her own expertise that becomes an asset for the film project.
On a personal note, any person involved in a film production are filmmakers, regardless of the specific work s/he does in the production. Since “filmmakers” are the people behind making films, this supports my conviction that everybody involved in the filmmaking process earns the right to be called a filmmaker: whether the utilityman, the members of the art department, the lighting crew, the production manager, the actors and actresses, the producer, just to name a few. All of them are filmmakers, just like the director.
With advocating the conviction of calling film workers as filmmakers, it’s a matter of perspective and respect. This is not to say that I am making an absolute statement of what’s right or wrong in this culture- and art-driven industry. This particular concern simply means living up to a particular stand in an industry I am part of.
Unlike professions requiring professional examinations and getting licenses prior to practicing, the filmmaking profession primarily depends on the outcome of one’s work in order for the person to have the “guts” to say that “filmmaking is my profession — that I’m a filmmaker.” Yet, at this time and age, anybody who has a video camera or even a mobile phone camera can come up with a film and put it up in Youtube… Ergo, “I’m a filmmaker.”
Claiming oneself as a filmmaker is really a matter of perspective and paying respect to the work. Like the issue that anybody who can play the guitar who can easily call himself/herself a guitarist or a musician, there is often that issue of some people branding themselves as a filmmaker in a manner that is more appropriately utilized by serious film students, amateurs, and professionals. Actually, being called a filmmaker is not about being an amateur or a professional. Either way, one can be a filmmaker. It all boils down to paying respect to the craft, being sincere about the profession, and being confident of one’s work.