Team REFUGE recently participated in a Twitter talk hosted by the magnanimous Seed&Spark, purveyor of all things crowd funding for independent film. Seed&Spark's model is interesting - rather than offering their tools to all, they review every film project on a case by case basis before making them a part of their family. They employ, foster and reach out to true lovers of the craft and we were honored to be invited to take part in one of their talks!
We are just beginning to stretch our legs into the world of social media, and the concept of a hosted talk on Twitter was brand new to us. The topic was simple: What makes a good movie? And the question was posed to hundreds of people in the film and social media worlds, along with more specific questions to drive the conversation: is there one element a movie needs to be considered "good" and how has that criteria changed over time?
For us, the questions were easy. The heart of any good story is its characters. Interesting visuals should push character and emotional development throughout the story, but as time has marched on, visuals have started to overpower character. This creates a feast for the eyes but is often devoid of emotional connection. A "bad" movie is usually because of characters we don't care about, poor pacing and unmotivated actions.
Seed&Spark then moved on to topics more related to this new age of social media, asking with so many voices able to be heard, which metrics of how films are judged are most important for filmmakers to consider? Our director Leif had a great insight to add, saying that you have no control over how your work is viewed, just that you need to make something you're proud of, tell your best story and the rest will come.
The group closed with this question - with so much out there, how do you find great new voices of independent cinema? This is a question that we pose to ourselves regularly: how do we make REFUGE and its team known as one of the great new voices in the crowded world of independent film? Social media is an incredibly powerful tool, one that can be harnessed to make helpful and meaningful connections with people who share your passion all over the globe. We were fascinated to read the responses and conversations of all the other Seed&Spark chatters and even made a few connections ourselves. We look forward to participating in more of these chats and finding like-minded filmmakers in the weeks and months to come!