I make movies!

Scary Cow Apologies for my absence the last few weeks. I assure you, the cause has been just. In this particular case, the cause is that I’ve been fulfilling a dream I’ve had for years: Making my own movie. Scary Cow, a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent film-making coop started in 2006 with the simple idea of bringing together people interested in making movies. For a regular monthly fee, paying members can pitch a short film project of their own at one of the pitch sessions held every four months, or work on projects that others have pitched. Anybody in any capacity (writer, producer, editing, sound, music, etc.), at any level of experience, with or without equipment, is welcome to join and pool their efforts with others who have the complementary skills and resources needed to complete a project. So far, the concept has worked beautifully- in seven rounds, over 80 ten to twenty minute movies have been produced. Several of these shorts are making the circuit of film festivals, and so far two feature length projects have grown out of the collective, the documentary Iran is Not the Problem and the forthcoming fetish industry musical Devious, Inc. . Yes, I did say fetish industry musical. Enter me. I remember as a ten year old writing scripts that were shameless rip-offs of Star Wars and Jaws and dreaming of getting an 8 mm camera. I remember wishing that I’d gone to film school instead during panicky “what the hell am I doing?” moments in business school. Even as my creative urges reasserted themselves in my 30s in poetry, short stories and a novel, I spent many late nights watching director’s commentaries with the nagging idea that somehow, somewhere, I wanted to be involved in film. I finally took action a year and a half ago and went online to search for filmmaking groups, where I met Scary Cow through the mutual friend of everyone in the Bay Area, Craigslist. My very first round I was co-writer (and script supervisor, production assistant and actor!) on Carson Larson Gets The Picture, which you can see here. Since then, I’ve worked on projects in various capacities, even including a turn as Best Boy. And now I’ve written, pitched and am producing my own film! It’s aiming to be twenty minutes and features three conversations that happen in a restaurant at the same time, covering weighty matters of what women want, how political opposites negotiate a blind date, and Star Wars plot holes. We just finished two weeks of evening shoots, and are entering post production, after which we’ll screen, along with the rest of the films from Round Eight, on June 7th at the Victoria Theatre. I’ll be inviting all of you! In the mean time, I’m here to tell you that the making truly independent film is easier than it’s ever been. If you have a yearning to try it, it might be time…

About the Author

Chris West is an independent lifestyle advocate!