In 2010 I met Jason Reitman at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, where he was speaking for the 48 Hour Film Project’s Filmapalooza.
He talked to the group of filmmakers about what it was like to grow up with a famous dad (he’s the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed classics like Ghostbusters and Kindergarten Cop). You could tell that he was trying very hard to make his own name in the film world, and not just ride in on the coat tails of his father.
He freely admitted that he couldn’t really relate to the struggles of what most independent filmmakers go through when they’re first getting started—things like not having money for projects, and nobody knowing who you are. Being the son of a famous director, he just never got to experience that part of filmmaking.
But I’ll never forget what he said next, it’s something that has stuck with me years after I met him.
He said that when he was growing up, he had an advantage because his family had money and a name in the film industry already. That gave him more opportunities to buy film stock, have camera equipment, and play director with his friends when he was growing up.
But if he were growing up now, none of that would have mattered, because the technology for filmmaking has become so good and so accessible that a middle class family could buy a DSLR that shot video, not have to pay for film stock, not have to pay for processing, but could just go out and make these movies and download them to their computer.
And what he said that stuck with me was this:
There’s no excuse to not be going out on the weekend making films with your friends.
And he’s absolutely right.
Do you want to be making films?
Do you want to be acting?
You could literally be out this weekend shooting a film on your iPhone or a DSLR or whatever you have laying around the house.
Don’t you want to get better?
The way to get better is to make more things. You’ve got to do more.
Some will be good, a lot will be bad.
The most important thing is that you keep making it, that you keeping getting out there.
We’re living in a time where we now have the same technological advances in filmmaking available to us as the son of the guy who directed Ghostbusters.
That’s freakin’ awesome!
There’s never been a better time to get started in filmmaking, because ANYONE can get started now. You just have to do it.
So I ask you–
what are you doing this weekend?
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