Obtaining inspiration

For the past year I have struggled with making films and anything moderately creative, due to something happening in my life that was out of my control. Many of us go through these periods in our lives where obtaining inspiration is near impossible.

From today I decided to take it upon myself and change my way of thinking, creating this list to help me peruse my dreams and hopefully others to succumbed the slumber of depression and self deprecation, moving onto creative and exciting projects.

I have had over 20 short film ideas stuck in my head and from lack of inspiration I haven’t been able to create or finish these projects. As a creative individual this is greatly frustrating and something needs to change.

Here are the changes that I have made to help keep the inspiration flowing:

1. Music: one of the most important factors in being creative for me is music. It can allow you to fall into another world, generate moods and thoughts of characters as well as totally electrify your body.

2. Watching others work: it is always great to see what is out there, to see what others have created and where they too get there inspiration and ideas from. I find reading what my favourite cinematographers and directors are doing and how they go about trying to create each piece of work very inspiring (via a twitter and Instagram). Independent filmmakers who go the extra mile in their film productions and producing a film that makes others aspire to do the same.

3. Being surrounded by film gear: fortunately I work at a camera rental house, so I am constantly surrounded by film gear both new and old. Daily I have to practise cleaning lenses, carry out maintenance checks and if time have a play with them.

4. Surroundings: I have always been inspired greatly by what surrounds me. Most especially landscapes, waves, skies and sunsets. The natural beauty of the world can be a wonderful starting point in finding new ideas or sitting and watching the world pass you by. The West Hill in Hastings is one of many places I enjoy visiting.

5. Filming: film whenever and wherever you can. This is great to continue your skills in filmmaking as well as thinking of new ideas on how to shoot certain scenes. There is a wonderful app (Artemis Directors Viewfinder) that enables you to see how different lenses will appear.

6. Reading: American Cinematographer, IndieWire, Iris magazine, Sight and Sound, Digital Filmmaker and the BFI are just a few to name.

7. Note books: lots of them. These enable you to jot down any ideas that you have or interesting developments that you overhear or see. Many of my note books (and I have quite a few) include what the weather was like in certain seasons and how that could affect your image, sunrises and sunsets times and length, how natural lighting and sun rays affect objects, tides and peoples mannerisms and body language just to name a few.

8. Watching films: watch films without sound so you can concentrate on other finer points that you may of missed, study the framing and lighting choices in each scene, understand character development and camera movement and how each effect the narrative.

I hope to continue to find inspiration in these works and if necessary force myself to write more about the filmmaking experience and my journey of becoming a cinematographer.

My future blogging (which will be even more possible with my new iPad) will consist of equipment reviews/testing out what images I find are aesthetically pleasing, films I am inspired by, and also continue to write about my experiences on set and any film events.

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