How Not To Make a Film (Part One)

By Matthew Hammett Knott | The Lost Boys November 14, 2011 at 5:13AM

I am in the process of trying to make a short film. I thought it might be interesting to write about it from the very start, when nothing is really certain, nor anyone particularly sure how or when any of it will become any less so. My natural instinct would be to narrate the whole experience in a manner that casts me as some kind of inspired and inspiring auteur, driving my uncompromising artistic vision to the screen with guile and panache. But it would surely be far more interesting to force myself to be honest. And the truth is that the whole process is bound to be a severe learning experience for me more than anyone, and that 90% of it will be spent sitting in front of my laptop drinking coffee and wondering when I can next masturbate.
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I am in the process of trying to make a short film. I thought it might be interesting to write about it from the very start, when nothing is really certain, nor anyone particularly sure how or when any of it will become any less so. My natural instinct would be to narrate the whole experience in a manner that casts me as some kind of inspired and inspiring auteur, driving my uncompromising artistic vision to the screen with guile and panache. But it would surely be far more interesting to force myself to be honest. And the truth is that the whole process is bound to be a severe learning experience for me more than anyone, and that 90% of it will be spent sitting in front of my laptop drinking coffee and wondering when I can next masturbate.


In order to dispel any notion that I offer this as some kind of guide or manual, I have opted for the wilfully perverse title displayed above.

I won’t go into too much detail in this initial post (though you may beg to differ given the closing line of the first paragraph). Suffice it to say that this will be my second short with a professional cast and crew, having made several of the no-budget variety from adolescence onwards. I have written a fifteen minute script and my intrepid producer has found a production company willing to commit a four-figure sum and some 35mm film stock towards the making of it. So we have, as they say, got further than nowhere. But not much further. Nowhere's howling winds are still nipping at our coattails (I don’t know why I wrote that sentence either).

The next stage is finding a cast and the second half of the budget. And persuading my sister to let me use a word she invented in her childhood as the film’s title.

Should you have any interest in witnessing me attempt the above and other ham-fisted cartwheels en route to cinematic glory, tune in to Part Two…

This article is related to: Matthew Hammett Knott, Filmmaker Toolkit