Movies, YouTube and Art with Director Rubidium Wu

With the upcoming July 1st release of The Silent City on YouTube, asked director Rubidium Wu to discuss his process in creating films and now a Kickstarter funded web series.

Movies, YouTube and Art with Director Rubidium Wu

You know when someone has their computer clock set wrong and it looks like their emails come from the future? If I had a real email time machine, I would send this advice to to my past self of 19 years ago, when I first picked up the VHS Camcorder my dad had borrowed from work, and started making films.

5 Rules for the Creative Art of Filmmaking

Rule 1. Mash

Creativity has been defined as the observation of previously unseen connections. Putting two wildly different things side-by-side is a great way to force the brain to create a connection; something it does naturally. Film makers do this all the time when they mashup genres to create ground-breaking films. Kung Fu Hustle (martial arts/slapstick comedy), Tropic Thunder (war/action/comedy) and Black Swan (Psychological horror in the Ballet world) are all examples of films that went where none had gone before and were better for it.

Rule 2. Oppose

Most films have a very strong through-line, or theme. “Loyalty is everything” “Family comes first” “Always do the right thing” are some time-honored examples. These can often come off as simplistic or preachy. Many great films start with this, and show the exception. The Godfather tells the story of a man trying to protect his family, and ends with him losing his soul. Was it worth it? Everyone will have a different opinion. The war of ideas powers the story and makes it special.

Rule 3. Shout

To paraphrase Proust, Cinema is so popular, not just because it shows us new worlds, but lets us see with new eyes. As an audience, we love that escape and what we learn from inhabiting the views and thoughts of another. This is only possible if the film is actually the expression of a real person, and not the compromised pastiche of a committee. Insist on making art that feels right for you even while you’re being bombarded by other people’s ideas.

Rule 4. Bleed

The best way to make certain that people get something out of your work is to put something into it. Make films that mean something to you, and things you care about. It truly is the only way you’ll martial the enthusiasm to get through the seemingly never-ending process of pre, shoot and post and still love your movie. There are many films that started as a whim and after months of work lost momentum and ended up as a box full of DV tapes or a hard drive in someone’s closet. The best chance you have of finishing your project is starting with material you give a damn about.

Rule 5. Jump

The corollary to the above advice is to not wait until you have the absolutely perfect project before starting anything. Start small and start now. You will only learn by making mistakes, so go out there and make some. Most people only have snapshots (and lately, the facebook timeline) to mark the years as they pass. Film makers who actually make films have a whole body of work they can look back on and trace their creative development. When in doubt, shoot!

Video:Rubidium Wu’s The Silent City Trailer (Series Premiere July 1st, Only on YouTube)

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