Why the Low-budget Filmmaking Glut will be Good

Some people complain that filmmaking is becoming too inexpensive, and now anyone thinks they can make a film. They say this will result in a glut of bad films.

Well, what did we have before? Too many good films?

Anyone who says this is an elitist arse. When they complain about too many people making films, they most certainly do not mean themselves. No, they have surpassed some mystical benchmark of divine birthright, involving a combination of ‘natural’ talent, intelligence, and insight combined with superior upbringing, and they therefore have a right to consider themselves an artist.


Money, of course, is what separates the men from the boys in the human meat grinder we laughably label ‘civilization.’

Films with big budgets must justify their cost: not in some artistico-mathematical proving ground of the mental cosmos but on the desk of either a cynical studio exec or an elite art administrator. These people have agendas, basic human prejudices, personal taste and an infinity of other elements in their social makeup that affect their decisions. Even the best of these officers are under a mandate of some kind; in the current anti-arts, pro-commerce atmosphere the type of projects they fund is increasingly narrow. To propose that any artwork not promoted by these processes is not worth being made is to insult the human spirit.

Maybe we should make auditioning expensive so that not everyone thinks they’re an actor! Or we should increase the price of pencils and paper to ensure only qualified writers, poets and sketchers are able to turn out product.

Cheap filmmaking means more films, and the cheaper the film the fewer people must approve it before or after production. Power to the people. If you think you have the right to dictate how others express themselves, please line up against the wall. Bullets are cheap. Har har!

-Pat Harrison

VANCOUVER, Dec 7, 1999

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