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THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

by
in Filmmaking
on Aug 26, 2009


Over at the new IFP Independent Film Week 2009 blog, Danielle DiGiacomo sits down with Independent Film Week ’08 veteran Bryan Wizemann, who has a number of promising projects that might just be about to go… and then he’s got a short film that questions the wisdom of it all. At Wholphin check out Film Makes Us Happy, a short in which Wizemann interviews on-camera his wife and asks her whether he should give up film. It’s a painful watch, although one with a lot of relevance to many filmmakers trying to balance work and family needs. From the interview on the Wholphin site:

How do you think the film will affect other struggling filmmakers?

Many have come up to me after various festival screenings, and the conversation starts like this: “I’m a (insert creative occupation here), and my girlfriend and I went through (insert difficult situation caused by said career choice here).” What struck me most is that it’s not so much a film about filmmaking or all that brings, but a film about the sacrifices involved in any relationship, so w hen people talk to me about the film they end up talking about their own relationships. I wouldn’t have known this to be true if it wasn’t for those who sought me out after a screening.

As far as how it’ll affect other filmmakers, here’s an excerpt from someone who commented about FMUH on IMDb:

“…This video was embarrassing to watch, he exploited private moments with his wife, which really put him and his wife in a really negative and non sympathetic light. This is the kind of stuff you know you will see at film festivals, but still when you see it you walk out upset that you paid money to sit through such crap. I blame the programmers for allowing such low quality stuff in their programs as well. Makes me want nothing to do with this art form.”

So…, it may actually turn people off of filmmaking in general, which would be unfortunate. My hope is to just illustrate how working in a country with unsupported arts on dark and personal work in a very expensive medium in an economy that only favors commercial work might be a bit tricky. I don’t want to dissuade people from making meaningful film, that would be a crime.

Check out the IFP blog for more on Film Week filmmakers past and present, and visit Ballast Films for more on Wizemann and his projects.

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