Here’s a recent assignment from Cinema Studies. We had to write out our own manifesto – a sort of call to action – that delineates certain personal guidelines and ambitions.
WARNING: The following is intentionally bold and bombastic – not a reflection of my megalomaniac mind:
– My Manifesto –
I am not this body. I am not this fleeting heartbeat. I will outlive the few years God intended for me through the alchemy that is cinema-making. I want to drain the life out of it, by sacrificing myself to it, like one parasite feeding another.
But my obsession with the celluloid has left me blind to what I can be, to what cinema demands of me. I have shackled myself to the endless cycle of work, applause, work, applause and forgotten that my time is running out. The small details have seduced me and taken my attention from what I must become, from who I was always supposed to be:
Not a filmmaker, but an Engine :
My films are catalysts that create jobs for myself and fellow collaborators. They give us a place to invest our energy and creativity. They create industry. Their success is invested into other filmmakers through mentorship. I share. I lend. I teach what I’ve been taught. I steam-roll through my handicaps, limping ahead, creating solutions to problems without being distracted by them. I am Cicero, stoic in my journey. I am Gandhi, inviting you on the path. I am a force to be reckoned with.
Not a filmmaker, but a Tycoon :
I realize that to make a film is to start a business. Therefore, I must take on the mindset of an entrepreneur. I must own my means of production even if it means settling for less than stellar results. We must not only take ownership of how we create but also how we distribute our work. Yes, we are small and young – but our strength comes in the fact that we stand for something. We are selling a product. We are selling a brand. We are selling our soul, bit by bit, and we should be proud of that fact. We must slowly weed out the middlemen and find the profit that will sustain our work.
Not a filmmaker, but an Architect :
I am not a storyteller, but rather a builder of worlds. I realize that audiences no longer sit passively in their seats, but rather want to participate at all levels and in many forms with the creation of my stories and characters. They want to be part of a conversation that starts in the theater, that continues into their homes and infiltrates into various forms across various media platforms. We must not be scared of such participation – we should harness this force.
Not a film-maker, but a Propaganda-Maker :
My films remind us of what has been forgotten. They play tribute to the small and what we’ve chosen to lose. They are more than a ledger or record – they are propaganda. They don’t shy away from the fact that they are messages that bypass the intellect and appeal directly to emotion and hopefully inspire action. They express anything from the mundane to the divine. But for causes less transient than political – they are an attempt to save who we are, to cherish our beauties and ugliness, and to narrow the gap between what we see on the screen and the real world around us.