How do you know you live in a communist country?

Check out this poster for a film workshop. The first thing on it is a workshop on how to extract money from the government for whatever it is you want to do with a camera. Before even, how to work a camera. Also #3, women making film is different enough to require a separate course.


About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

4 Replies to “How do you know you live in a communist country?”

  1. Whoh. Getting money to make films has ALWAYS been a neccessary part of filmaking. A student filmaker does not have the knowledge, experience or proven status to get funds the way an established filmaker does. The only difference between a good filmaker and a bad filmaker is that hte good filmaker has made more bad movies then the bad filmaker. But how to get from being a bad filmaker to being a good one if you have to get investors who are only motivated by profit?

    If there was not a system of grants available then young filmakers would have to compete with the likes of James Cameron for funding. We would only have movies that would guarantee a large profit being made. That is how all hollywood movies are made. Do you want only hollywood type movies made? How many hollywood movies that are made each year don’t make you want to puke?

    A proven filmaker can get investors. A student cannot get access to those same investors because they are not proven. People drawn to the arts are not as adept at the promotional, red tape, beurocratic side of life as say, somene drawn to finance or the law. Artists in general are well known to be poor at self promotion and navigating beurocracy. There are some artists who are shameless self promotors but the fact that they stand out shows they are the exception to the rule.

    Grant money for the arts ensures that films can be produced that would not be if they were just dependant upon the market. Would Guy Madden have made any movies if grants didn’t exist? (He’s a canadian filmaker who makes films that are excellent but extremely idiosyncratic.) I can guarantee you every single canadian movie you have ever loved was made with grant money of some kind. Especially all those film board of Canada animated shorts that are famous around the world.

    A communist system would mean the filmakers would only be allowed to have a set amount of reward from the films. A filmaker who made a bad film would be rewarded the same as one who makes a good one. THAT is the difference between a grant and communism.

    A seperate class for women is a regrettibly good idea. Very often women, through their own very real condtitioning and thoughts (not having to do with the teacher at all) take a back seat to men. This is especially true with young women and in classrooms. Studying film requiers active participation.

    Sounds like school of frankfurt bullshit I know BUT I have known more than one occasion where a woman head of a womens club on campus got a boyfriend and then the boyfriend eventually took over the club.

    And, seriously who the F**k would want to learn super 8 filmaking? Now that inexpensive DSLRs can be used to make hollywood feature film footage, what kind of fool would bother with learning how to use super 8? Women who take that class are being ripped off.

    A better angle would be to investigate if there is a political or ideological difference between films that get grants and films that do not.

    Create some proposals. Some right wing and some left wing.

    Use given examples to make the left and right proposals as identical as possible. This will also mask that it is a put on.

    Then if the libral proposals get responded to while the conservative ones don’t THEN you will have made an excellent argument that ideology is a factor in the success of a grant proposal.

  2. Well, I was being a little tongue in cheek when I said communist, but certainly I object to government funding for the arts and more, government funded workshops on how to write grant applications for government grants.

    There simply is no way to have a jury that is reasonable. The market and an individuals talent has to make it happen. I could make a specious analogy to your argument using yacht racing. I mean it is unfair that I can’t race yacht’s just because I can’t afford one so the government should buy me a yacht so I can compete except thats nonsense.

    If I really wanted to yacht race I could work my way up the skill set until people with yachts hire me to work for them on theirs. This is the fairness of the free market. It rewards skill and hard work by necessity. I might add, I know a lot of people who have government funding for their art, some of whom just went to Europe and hung out in Cafe’s till it was gone and then came to canada (I won’t say home because some aren’t even Canadian) and applied for more grants.

    This doesn’t seem very fair to artists who actually earn their own living plying their skills. Frankly, I am even against the NAC orchestra and any other orchestra that are essentially civil servants. I think they should pay their own venue fees, rehearsal costs, and make money from ticket sales like any other musician. The system as it is now is elitist and biased and brutally unfair. Let the free market pick who makes it and who doesn’t and let the arts be an industry that generates wealth like the USA instead of one that sucks it in.

  3. All very good points. However:

    1) There are also many priviate funds that provide grants, not just the government. You still have to learn how to write a grant to get a grant from a non government fund.

    2) Working your way up the ranks is not a great way to become a filmaker.

    3) And what about documentaries? How many documentaries have you posted clips from that were not made with private or public financial assistance gained thru writing grant proposals?

    A problem with only using the market to to be the arbitor of culture is that it leads to the lowest common denominator determining what the culture is and this is partially what leads to the dumming down of society and the creation of an instant gratification mentality. The Frontline show called The Merchants of Cool is a pretty good documentary about this.

    On these sites I am always hearing people say our governments need to support and promote western culture. Government funding of the arts IS the promotion of western culture. Would you rather listen to a symphony or the latest American Idol muzak? No classical music would have been made without those eras equivalents of government grants.

    The market is good arbiter for practical things but not culture. Tom Clancy is nowhere near as good as Alan Furst but guess who’s got more money in the bank.

    If you think the market is a fair judge of artistic value just look at the work of Jeff Koontz.

  4. Now that I think of it. You have a unique voice. You would not be wasting your time by taking some video produciton classes. I do not mean that as a poke at what you have done, it is meant as encouragement.

    If youtube won’t post your vids then as they say in hollywood, go indie.

    And I am not being a smart ass in suggesting a grant writing class (though I am sure the information is available for free all over the internet). There are conservative groups that will give funding for conservative productions or documentaries.

    And who is to say you could not get yourself a nice little grant if you wrote your proposal extra carefully (heh heh). That would be choice. Get a grant then use it to produce a documentary lambasting the grant system.

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