The 10 Commandments of No -Budget Filmmaking with Anurag Kashyap

Anurag Kashyap is a Bollywood filmmaker with over 39 credits to his name, and is reputed to be a master of producing high-quality work on the cheap. (He has won 7 film awards, and had 19 nominations, so it’s fair to say he knows what he’s talking about.) He did this short series of talks on no-budget filmmaking for MTV India, and if you’re someone who wants to get into filmmaking and has no money, these are a must watch!

This is the first of the nine clips (they’re missing #10 for whatever reason, which sucks), a playlist with all of them can be found here.

Enjoy!
Rob

D.I.Y.O.F.S. Culture

D.I.Y.O.F.S. Culture

(Warning! Incoming rant! Warning! Explicit Language!)

So yesterday, the new 12th Doctor Who was revealed. A Scotsman named Peter Capaldi will replace Matt Smith, and by all rights Capaldi is a fine actor who will do credit to the job. However, this being the internet, what almost immediately followed was a cascade of whining.

He’s too old!

He’s too male!

He’s too white!

And infinite variations of the above.

To this, I have two responses. One, fuck you. He’s fine, and you’ll probably think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread after you’ve gotten used to him. Stop killing pixels for your self-indulgent pointless chatter.

Two, if you want to see your socio-ethnic-cultural group of choice become The Doctor- Do It Your Own Fucking Self! Make your own Stories, Videos, Movies, Comics, Audio Dramas, or whatever else, with the Doctor of your choice and stop being a lazy fucking consumer who expects to have anything they want handed to them.

You live in an amazing age, when the ability to produce quality media of all kinds, and get it out to literally the world, can be done at almost no cost. This wasn’t true even 20 years ago, and a lot of people still act like it’s the pre-internet age, but right now the only thing stopping you from making your dreams into reality and having your voice heard is YOU.

Now, you might whine- What do I know? I’m just some guy mouthing off on a blog, right? What have I done?

The answer is- plenty!

In 2006, I decided I wanted to create a full-cast Audio Drama Podcast (Audio Drama = Radio Plays in the old days.) because I wasn’t hearing the kind of shows I wanted to hear and I thought it would be cool. But, I had a few problems…

  • I had almost no money.
  • I had no microphone.
  • I only had one aging laptop.
  • I had no production software.
  • I had no music and no musical talent.
  • I had no sound effects.
  • I had no idea how do make or post a Podcast.
  • I had written exactly one script in my entire life.
  • I had no contacts or connections online that could help me.
  • Very few people had done this kind of thing at that time.
  • I was sitting in the middle of Taipei, Taiwan. On the other side of the planet from all my friends and personal resources. (And people who spoke English.)
  • My job took about 60 hours a week of my time.

All I had was a desire, a will to do it, and my own creativity.

  • I studied scriptwriting and learned how to do it properly.
  • I found a cheap iRiver MP3 player with a decent Mic on it.
  • I found free audio editing software like Audacity.
  • I found sites with Creative Commons Music and Sound Effects that others would let me use for free.
  • I made contacts within the internet audio production and audio drama community.
  • I found the Voice Acting Alliance forum where amateur voice actors would do recordings over the internet for free.
  • I taught myself audio engineering.
  • I learned how to work with and manage actors from across the planet.
  • I taught myself how RSS worked and how to get a podcast out. (Now it’s super-simple, but then it was a little more tricky)

And I produced my first show, and it was total shit!

Then I produced my second one, and it was better.

In the end, between 2006-2011 Kung Fu Action Theatre would go on to produce 47 shows, averaging 20-25 minutes each, and has had around 400,000 downloads to date. I’ve made contacts, friends and fans. I’ve become part of many online communities. I developed skills I never thought I’d have and it’s helped me both personally and professionally.

And, I’ve made the shows I wanted to hear.

I didn’t whine online and ask someone else to change the world for me, I did it myself and then used the incredible tools this modern age offers to get my stuff out there. I Did It My Own Fucking Self, and it’s a badge of honor I’ll wear for the rest of my life.

So, in a time when you can make HD movies with a cell phone, when Youtube lets you reach millions of viewers (and get a better viewership than some TV stations!), when the software to produce and edit audio and video is free, when the knowledge to do anything you want is just a Google search away, and when you can get people to help you just by posting on Reddit- I have no sympathy for those who want to sit there and whine instead of trying to DO something and put their effort where their mouth is.

You want the world to be different? You think we need an epic tale of a Mixed-Race Lesbian Mormon Vampire Hunter? A Transgender Action Hero? A Native American Superspy? A female Doctor Who?

Do It Your Own Fucking Self.

You have more power and ability to change the world than anyone had had in the history of mankind. So stop whining in comments, get off your lazy ass, and use it!

Rob