Filmmaking: Tips, Sources & Tools — September 23, 2013 at 10:38 am

Albert Pyun: Most of filmmakers I knew have long disappeared

albert-pyun-3Cult director Albert Pyun whose health problems have increased during past several months, has shared some thoughts with his fans.

Pyun in particular said that most of the filmmakers he knew, have long disappeared.

“As I reflect back on my career, the one thing that’s always perplexed me was how many people have wanted to be directors or make their movies. Of these likely less than 1 percent ever did,” he said. ” It perplexes me because I was one of those with big dreams of making movies when I was young.”

Pyun went on to recall that he would be telling everyone that he was going to become a filmmaker of feature films, and people would mostly laugh at him and dismiss him.

“But I worked and studied the business very hard back then from soup to nuts,” Pyun said, adding that it was very difficult in pre-internet days, living in a small town in the middle of the pacific.

“Nowadays everyone can make a movie or video and the true test is whether then can find longevity,” he said. “Most of the people I knew who were making films have long since disappeared the ones who survived were those who understood the business aspect as well as the filmmaking.”

He said that in a sense, the business is as much about filmmaking as filmmaking.

“today’s filmmakers have to use festivals to avoid limited careers”

“I think what you will see in the future is more filmmakers who might make a film or two but then slowly vanish,” Pyun said.

” I think it great that everyone can now make a movie if they want to. Lord knows I know hundreds from my time who never got the opportunity,” he said.

He went on to note that it is almost easy to make and distribute films now, saying: “… back in my early data I think there were only like 300 feature films made per year worldwide, and now it must be in the hundreds if not thousands.”

He then outlined the importance of using film festival for promoting film. Pyun believes lack of interest in film festival would limit the careers of starting filmmakers.

“The thing I see thought, is the new generation of filmmakers seem more fixed on gear, social networking and film fests than in the fundamentals of how the film business operates and thus how films need to be created and made no matter how personal or edgy,” he said.

“The first 25 years of my feature career, I never gave a thought to film festivals, instead I focused on the distribution mechanism of each territory. I just think that aspect is lost on many filmmakers today and it can limit their careers if they don’t get a hit,” Pyun noted.

“I don’t think film schools give students fully rounded real world education”

Pyun went on to say that another rule of thumb that he always followed in making movies – is to always try something different, challenging.

“I tried to avoid easier genres that many of my com temporized were doing like teen comedies, “t and a films” and horror films,” he said.

“My first ten films were all unusual like The Sword and the Sorcerer – sword and sorcery genre, Radioactive Dreams – Sci Fi post apocalypse experimental, Vicious Lips – Sci Fi musical, Dangerously Close – thriller, Down Twisted – romantic adventure, Alien From LA – family adventure fantasy, Cyborg – Sci Fi martial arts, Deceit – experimental performance art black comedy, Captain America – comic book, Kickboxer 2 – martial arts action,” Pyun noted.

Pyun went on to say that his next 6 films (Bloodmatch – martial arts mystery thriller, Arcade – teen Sci Fi horror, Dollman – action comedy Sci Fi, Knights – futuristic action, Nemesis – cyberpunk, Brainsmasher – romantic comedy), were also weird as well.

He then underlined that he always had tough time with film schools, which, as he believes, do not do “a good job of giving their filmmaker students a fully rounded real world education”.

“Perhaps because many of those who teach film, don’t have a lot of real world feature film experience,” he said. “It’s a completely different animal from the academic film world.”

“Many filmmakers I meet who are recent film school graduates have big holes in their know how. Most don’t know what a film’s QC report looks like or know much about deliverables and dialogue lists,” he said.

“Most haven’t a clue what’s involved with completion guarantors or banking foreign contracts or in so many aspects of real world filmmaking,” he said. “It’s a shame they pay so much for so little.”

Previously, speaking to BZFilm, Pyun said he was glad he is “at the end of his career”, adding that he looks forward to “teaching and holding seminars” to pass along what he himself has learned. With the health issues to deal with, it is unlikely the director will be doing any seminars in the near future.

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