An account from founder Terry Lee on how the first filmmaking society came to fruition.
THE SAINT: What inspired you to create this society, especially as you are now entering your fourth year of uni?
Terry Lee: Though creating a society specifically dedicated to filmmaking was never really in the works until the second half of my third year, I think I could probably trace its beginning to two distinct sequences in my life; the first of which was in one of the lectures I attended for film studies in my first year. It was a lecture on French New Wave, and how passionate young men had defined what it meant to be a filmmaker, as well as what it meant to be a critic of the cinematic medium. Of course, I confess that I do not possess even half of the talents the founders of the Nouvelle Vague had, but I admit to having been hugely impressed and inspired by the history of the French New Wave. The second event which inspired me was probably during the earliest production stages of The Darkroom, when the film was initially being planned as a theatrical production instead. Due to a variety of reasons, The Darkroom as a manuscript was rejected. It may have been a bit petty in the end, but remembering Tasnim Siddiqa Amin’s independent production The Death of The King, I decided that I too would make The Darkroom on my own terms. The process in which The Darkroom transformed from a play to a film led me to realize that I loved making films as much as I loved watching them. So, I created the society to share that experience. It is a shame though, that I would only get to see the Filmmakers’ Society at my last year in the University. But as they say, better late than never, right? Perhaps my society will create more dedicated cinematographers, as well as more technically accomplished films.
THE SAINT: So how can students get involved, and what level of involvement can potential members expect?
TL: Students can get involved by simply coming to the workshops. That being said, we are looking at a pretty high level of involvement from our individual members. Filmmaking as a whole is a fairly work intensive activity that requires many of its members to be passionately involved.
THE SAINT: Does that mean that students who don’t have previous experience with filmmaking can join the society? And how can they participate in Filmmakers’ Soc?
TL: The answer to that question is most definitely yes. After all, considering that The Darkroom was my first film, to put an experience barrier would be hypocritical and obscene. We will have workshops from members of the committee for those who are new to filmmaking, specifically cinematography, editing and script writing. Filmmaking is, as much as auteur theory may deny it, a group effort. It requires a group of individuals who make a proficient whole over a wide variety of artistic disciplines. Through coming to our workshops, meeting fellow aspiring filmmakers and focusing on their interests, there will be ample opportunity to both learn and participate in the filmmaking society. Also, for those who wish to dabble in filmmaking, there will be opportunities for actors and actresses. Auditions should be happening in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled.
THE SAINT: Will there be collaborative projects that the society produces together, and/or collaborations with other societies?
TL: I personally believe in the idea of a society of equals, so that would be decided by the individual members of the society rather than a committee member such as myself. Still, as the first semester will focus mostly on 3-5 minute short films to accommodate new and less experienced filmmakers, I imagine intersocietal collaborative projects will be far more common in the second semester. I also do have planned what would be a voluntary society-wide effort for a short film in the winter break after Christmas. For now, that’s all I can say for inter-society collaborations. In terms of working with other societies, The Filmmakers’ Society is working on a group collaboration with Film Society, and will probably ask members of the Mermaids to join us as teams within my group begin asking for auditions.
THE SAINT: Do you or the society have particular goals for the coming year?
TL: For this year, the society is looking at easing students in for the process of creating short and feature films. If things go well, it is our hope to do a showcase for the first semester, and a full-fledged student festival for the end of the year. On a more personal level, beyond seeing the society prosper, [one of my goals] is to make another feature film in the winter break, one that is more technically accomplished and grander than The Darkroom.