'The Films of J.P. DiSciscio (duh-sizzy-oh) At Weirdo Records' -- November 1st @ 8PM

'The Films of J.P. DiSciscio (duh-sizzy-oh) At Weirdo Records' -- November 1st @ 8PM

  • Posted on: 29 October 2010
  • By: JP

Three short films by J.P. DiSciscio will be showing at Weirdo Records (844 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139) on November 1st @ 8PM (and its free)!

CCTV intern Sean Keane interviews J.P. (for his English class) about the world of an independent filmmaker in 2010:

1.) What’s your experience with independent filmmaking?

Well, I think to justifiably answer that question we must first define the meaning of ‘independent filmmaking,’ or at least, how I myself have come to define what it means to truly be an “independent” filmmaker.

In its simplest definition, an independent film is a film funded entirely without the financial support of a major studio. But I think those lines have been somewhat blurred in recent years. There are subsets of major studios (such as Sony Pictures Classics) that release low profile, Oscar contender pictures that pose as independent films. So, not only do the major conglomerates own the blockbuster market, but they also own the supposed independents. It’s like Starbucks owning all the indie coffeehouses in town (which they are slowly starting to do, by the way).

So, where does that leave an independent filmmaker such as myself? Broke. Desperate. Angry. Creative.

I make films in my basement, I turn my apartment into a set, I borrow equipment from friends and never return it, and I spend every last dime I have to make a 22-minute movie that nobody will ever see. Sounds depressing, and it is, but there is real satisfaction when you can stand back and see yourself in every fiber of that 22-minute picture.

To me, that’s what it truly means to be an independent filmmaker. Just ask George Romero (‘Night Of The Living Dead’) circa. 1968. He’d probably tell you the same thing.

2.) What are some of your favorite independent films?

Since it’s the horror film season: Martin, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead...

3.) What is some of the best advice you can give to an aspiring filmmaker?

This might sound strange, but don’t go to film school. It’s a waste of money. Watch films, fall in love with cinema, and just make a fucking movie. And after you make a movie, make another (always challenging yourself to outdo that last one). And if you ever find yourself doing the same thing, then you might be doing something wrong. Don’t make the same picture twice.

4.) Why did you decide to become an independent filmmaker?

I never really decided to become an independent filmmaker, I just am. I don’t have the means to be anything but independent. I think the romantic vision of the maverick filmmaker getting scooped up by a major studio is somewhat unrealistic in today’s economic climate. Of course, it happens, but so does winning the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. But Ed Mc Mahon has still yet to show up at my door (sadly, I think he’s actually dead).

5.) How do you find funding for your films?

For the most part, I pay for everything out of pocket. The last project I set out to make (which has still yet to be made) I held a fundraiser with live music and food, and was able to raise some of the funds through donations from friends and family. My next step is to look into websites like Kickstarter & IndieGoGo, where you pitch a project to potential donors, and offer rewards for their contributions.

6.) How do you feel about the new hybrid, DSLR HD cameras?

A camera is just a tool to tell a story. I think people put too much importance on the quality of an image, and often disregard character development and emotion. So, it doesn’t really matter what you shoot with. My next film is being photographed with video cameras from the 1970s.

7.) Where do you see the future of independent filmmaking?

It’s hard to say. The current trend of 3D movies makes what I do seem so insignificant, and that’s a pretty scary thought. I think the independents get their kicks at film festivals, and hipster bars and coffee shops. My dream is a fusion of live performance, music, and film (where the soundtrack is provided by musicians playing for the audience), as well as the sound effects, and perhaps even actors appearing for certain moments to interact on the stage, then the lights fade down and we’re back on the screen. People need a reason to step away from their HD screens to experience something unique, something that can’t be bottled and sold in mass production. Each performance must be its own thing.

I believe Francis Ford Coppola has talked about this being an interesting movement for filmmaking and storytelling. It’s a great idea, and I think its slowly taking shape. Somewhere.