I wish people would stop TALKING about support and actually SHOW it. Go to each others screenings. Hit the “like” button, the “♥” on Vimeo, or the Thumbs up on Youtube. Say something nice about someone’s getting into a festival or winning an award. These simple, quick demonstrations of support have a tangible effect. There’s nothing more full of shit than saying “I don’t have time” because we all know the incredible amount of time it takes to click the mouse or the inconvenience of having a smartphone that can also be used anywhere anytime. By more people clicking on, liking or commenting on posts, the way social media works is this; the algorithms of the sites tend to feature the posts with more activity. They call this “trending“. If Central Ohio filmmakers wanted to support each other, all they have to do is click with their mouse or their phone, and we all help each other out. We ALL get more views, better exposure, and everyone wins.

It is my opinion that the smart filmmakers already know this. It’s why they seek out the clicks, but don’t always return the favor. They get popular and their alleged competition doesn’t. And THAT is the route of the real problem – viewing film as competitive.

Even at its most commercial, film is still art. I’m reminded of Robin Williams poking fun at J. Evans Pritchard’s “Understanding Poetry” at the beginning of DEAD POETS SOCIETY. Most people watching the film understood the analysis to be ludicrous – to rate poetry, and yet they don’t apply this same logic to the art of film, especially when they are desperate to have people like their art MORE than someone elses. It’s why I detest contests like the 48 Hour Film Project.

Film is not competitive. Especially in Columbus Ohio. We’re all a few thousand miles from the real industry. Squabbling over movies shot with camcorders or still cameras seems very petty to me.

Allow me to adapt Pritchard’s scale to Columbus film:

‘Understanding Film,’ by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D. and adapted by Peter John Ross

To fully understand film, we must first be fluent with its editing, directing and writing, then ask two questions: 1) How artfully has the objective of the film been rendered and 2) How important is that objective? Question 1 rates the film’s perfection; question 2 rates its importance. And once these questions have been answered, determining the film’s greatness becomes a relatively simple matter.

If the film’s score for perfection is plotted on the horizontal of a graph and its importance is plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area of the poem yields the measure of its greatness.

Thus far, there are NO FILMS measuring on the vertical, my own included. No one has made an “important film” in Columbus, Ohio because there is no greatness here… yet. Sure, someone can do that, and I believe eventually will in our homeland.

Until such time. Shut up and MAKE the great film instead of talking about it.

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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