This is a new age of filmmaking, there is no doubt about it we are living at the birth of the future. In the last five years video cameras have become accessible to almost everybody in the world, and I mean everybody. From the booming film industry in Nigeria’s Nollywood, to grandparents filming and editing on their iPads and Tablets. These days everybody is a filmmaker and a photographer, which is both exciting and concerning for way too many reasons to cover in 200 words. In these monthly columns I want to focus on the cultural benefits of storytelling as well as trials and tribulations that I experience month to month as an emerging filmmaking here on the Sold Coast… I mean Cold Ghost… Oops I mean City of Gold Coast.
It’s a tough place here for professionals in the creative industries, its a rat race, or perhaps its more like a cockroach race dodging a boot from the Man… Actually that’s a little dramatic, working in the creative industries is more like surfing at Snapper Rocks than a rat race. Picture yourself starting at Snapper on a 4-5 foot day, glassy conditions, sun shining, the water is beautiful and clear. Then you have to battle hundreds of guys and girls for an opportunity to ride 3-4 waves every 20 minutes. But you love it, so you do it.
The sweep is really strong when the surf is really good, so you have to continuously paddle to stay in the line up. If you stop you’ll be out of position and miss out. But luckily, Snapper isn’t the only place to surf, if you can catch one good ride a snapper you’ll end up at Greenmount, another point break. Catch a wave here and you’ll keep riding until Kirra, another excellent wave. This is the same for all the point breaks on the Gold Coast. You catch waves, some might be really good and some will be average, but if you want to get the good ones, you’re going to have to do a lap and walk back up to the start of the point break and battle for the opportunity all over again. Its kinda the same for working in the creative industries, if you want the good opportunities, you’ve gotta battle the crowd, but when you finally get a good wave, its definitely worth it… So, in this column I’m keen to let off a little steam as I battle through the hurdles this city throws at me on the path of ‘following my dreams’.
I have two major aspirations: 1. To become a feature filmmaker and revamp Australian genre pictures for our own cinemas. 2. To produce a TV show about youth leaders and their cultures, the food, the music and their community resilience. These are my dreams, yet I’m not really working towards them… actually I am 100% but not in the way I thought I would be when I decided I wanted to become a filmmaker.
At the moment I’m a small business owner, I run a little production house called Digital CinematiX, we rent a studio space at Rabbit+Cocoon in Miami. Currently we have 11 projects on the go, and I’ve gotta be honest, it’s doing my head in, I’m paddling up against the sweep for sure. I collaborate mainly with 2 blokes, Owen Novello (Camera Ops/Editor) Rob Barbuto (producer/editor) and a couple of other dudes learning and keen-as for the work experience, Tuan (Aka: Ghengis) and Pablo (Bond Uni Student). With the help of these guys somehow we manage to get through the workload. Some of the projects are exciting to work on and some, not so much… But we are making a living out of our craft and our clientele are very happy with the work we produce. Although financially it’s still very sketchy month to month which I believe does limit the motivation to do our work.
I’ve recently that the business model we use, or lack of, isn’t really working as part of the creative industry here on the GC for lots of reasons that I’ll cover in another post.
Long story short, things need to change drastically in order to keep my sanity. I am not going to give up on my dreams and I can feel great things are coming around the corner, I have some brilliant projects on the go, but I need to do something to realign myself with my original goals, keep my studio and make a living. Oh and I didn’t mention that I need to save for a wedding and honeymoon this year as well. I am inviting you on this journey with me to dream big, reach for the stars and ‘make it’, although a friend of mine said to me once, ‘I’m not really sure what ‘it’ is’.
Month to month I’ll share filmmaking tips, reflect on conversations that I’ve had with amazing people and artists which I meet project to project, let you know how business is going and fill you in on how chasing those dreams is coming along. Sometimes I tend to get a bit dramatic when its hard to see the other side, but I figure it might make for some interesting reading.
This year, we have documentary projects in India and about the Australian Light Horse Brigade of World War II, we are covering the Bleach Festival, and taking a cinematic look at resilience and the 2011 Brisbane Floods. It’s all happening. So grab your camera, make sure your batteries are fully charged, bring a tripod, sunscreen and hat, the sun is flaring, now get ready for guerrilla filmmaking in the 21st century.
My name is Salvador Emilio Cantellano. I’ll catch ya between the lines. Peace!