From mind to screen: a conceptual art form

conceptual bresson
Robert Bresson  breaks down the boundaries between physical and mental space

So much of film making is conceptual, I have never really thought about that so much as now.

Making for many arts and crafts practitioners of course involves conceptual design and theory.

What makes film so interesting is the process that brings about the film, As a filmmaker I do use external means of communicating conceptualising I use story boards, photos scribblings in my note books, and sometimes I record myself talking about the film ideas.

However, before any of that I see the shots in my head, and I play those shots like a movie continuously through in my head, as things in the external world affect and change the film the screenings are adjusted to fit.

Film is often said to be the closest art form to dreaming, I would say for me that the process itself is most interesting in that it allows us to see at least internally a version of the finished film complete with cuts camera moves and all the intricate and complex elements that go into a film.

“My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, placed in a certain order and projected onto a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.”
Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer

Our problem as makers is taking this into the world and through the various filters of script, camera, actors, these processes all have an affect and if not the dying as Bresson suggests then I believe that the technology of the camera in some way is the bottle neck that all these ideas and visions have to pass.

To get to this stage though, to be there on set with crew and cast assembled ready to shout the words Action, this is the journey that takes up so much of our time and energy. This is the making that so often gets little or no consideration, it is more than the words pre production assume, It is not merely project management, or assembling of people and locations and permissions, it is not even just planning on paper with story boards and shot lists or perish the thought scripts!

No, What it really is, is making, making with the imagination, it is believing that this crazy idea in your head can live outside of it, it being brave enough  to even  others about it in the first place, this is film making in it’s most delicate and pure form, long before the camera rolls.

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