Don’t shoot – your story needs more work!

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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James Bond seems to be everywhere these days. He has stormed the cinemas, brushing aside competitors like the bully who’s hit puberty long before everyone else on the schoolyard. Whole chat shows have been dedicated to him. Over the last few weeks I’ve even seen him try his hand at selling beer and laptops, as swashbuckling and well-groomed a salesman as you could ever wish to meet, or to avoid.

Aspiring film makers will not have access to the funds lavished on Skyfall’s director Sam Mendes. Students on film-making and film production courses (as always, see for what’s available!) may one day hope for the chance to make similar blockbusters of their own, but they must start out with lesser means – perhaps using digital cameras, or even mobile phones to shoot their productions. Such limited resources ensure that technique and story become the vital elements of a noteworthy movie.

The IFI’s French Film Festival, which runs from 14 to the 25 November, should be a source of inspiration and encouragement for all students of film. Many of the movies on offer show that it is possible to make a stirring or memorable feature without having access to funds large enough to run a small nation. The subject matter of many of the films being shown tends to focus on familiar themes in unfamiliar ways. Issues such as family disputes are covered (You will be my Son); the possible complications of naming a newborn child (Whats in a Name ); and the knock-on effects that childhood incidents can have(Hidden). Imagination surely trumps all else as a movie’s most valuable resource.

Frank Bolger

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