My path as a filmmaker and why the Movement Film Series

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As a full time lecturer in film production, my main aims everyday are about teaching and learning about filmmaking. Creating interesting and inspiring education about film is my day.

 As you know from reading this blog and seeing my films on my film annex pages. I also make films as well. This is a tough balance to do. I make films when I can.  I find it is important to do this.  For my own personal expression and my teaching.

Many years ago I started making films these were short drama based films with actors in. I went to university and continue to make films that were complicated stories, influenced by Jim Jarmusch and Jean Luc Godard. 

I left uni still with the idea of making films for a living. This is where I realised that my films were not conventional films that followed a normal structure. 

I was lucky that people supported me in my films, the filmmaking world started to make sense to me about 2 years after graduating.  I was an experimental filmmaker maybe. My fiction films were experimental maybe. Still to this day some 13 years on I just make films not experimental films though, I make films. I think you shouldn't ever categorise yourself. Let others do that. You should always just make films.

 So about 13 years ago I noticed I was making something different. I didn't really set off to do it just happened.   This was all compounded by the fact that I decided just after this point, to try to do some storytelling without any actor’s just locations, camera movement, text on screen and sound.  Godard influenced this. And really if I’m to be honest was working with what I had to hand. I have this burning desire inside me to create art, to create films. I can’t get away from it; I have to do it to be happy.  I was also in a place where I wanted to try doing different types of filmmaking.  This also happened at a time where I was working full time in television so I didn’t have time think about actors, locations and crew. It was just a camera and I.

This ending up with me creating the films, Artificial light and Plastic decay.  They were mostly shot on super 8 film and it took me about 2 years to shoot, get the film developed and edited. The main problem was getting access to editing facilities.

Which in 2001 was fairly hard and expensive.

Here are the films. They have been some of my most popular films. Shown at a variety of film festivals and screening events.

 

One thing I have learnt over the years of doing this is be pro-active with your work. Send it out to film festivals.  I didn’t do this as much as I should have done.

 Since then I have made films in parallel to my teaching career in the university.

 In 2006 I was influenced by Richard Fenwick and Peter Greenaway to start a series of films that could be purely experiments. This series now called Movement, and is something I intend to do throughout my life or until I want to stop. These films are about what I see visually when I am travelling. They can also be many things from subject matter to experiments with technology.

The Movement series is basically my place to experiment in filmmaking. I discover ideas and topics for other films within these films, and they also keep me active between commissions and university commitments.

 

These films these experiments have been partly down circumstances I have been in.  But it did prove to me a style of filmmaking that could be successful, and something that I could do again.

It comes down to one thing, you as a filmmaker are key to filmmaking, and you can make an interesting film out of anything. And yes it might be experimental in genre, but it is filmmaking.

Next blog will be on the actual movement films starting with movement#1

 



About the author

daniel-hopkins

Daniel Hopkins (b.1976) is a Filmmaker, Sound Artist based in Warwickshire, UK. Daniel Hopkins work is concerned with the landscape around his everyday life. Current films and sound pieces have been about the environment, noise pollution and travel. His Movement series of films are about travel and the landscape whether…

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