By Tyler Immel
An element I think that has been too well attributed to filmmaking culture is the classic trope of the starry-eyed kid trying to make it big. Making an impact that’s big; that’s what it takes to set the bar; to appease our youthful sense of wonder and our limitless dreams of grandeur.
As a boy or girl you grow up watching the fantastical worlds of Tolkein, Miyazaki, Scorsese or Welles come alive on your screen and you exclaim to yourself with phenomenally little forethought “I’m going to do something like that!” Then you do like me and spend the next ten or so years of your life trying much too hard to emulate all the idols of your youth and failing every time. And as a young filmmaker I have a message for my peers: it isn’t our job to make great things just yet. To some that may sound quite obvious and to others that may be laughably laissez-faire. But, I assure you, it isn’t.
To be a young filmmaker is to frolic in the beauty of new beginnings and pride one’s character with even their most own simplistic endeavors. It is not a battle to create something you can tell all your friends and acquaintances rival the early work of Godard and Tarantino. It is the forefront to an escapade down the long and arduous path undertaken by every bold new filmmaker. It is an opportunity to shoot lightsaber battles with your 14 year old classmates on your Dad’s old Super 8 camera or make fake trailers for zombie flicks with your family. It is only too late I think we realize how fruitless it is to try and touch the greats when in fact art is not a matter of relativity, but creativity. It is being able to make your friends laugh at all the hilarious awfulness you can bring to the screen or give your parents the opportunity to show all your embarrassing fifteen-something year old films to your new girlfriend or boyfriend. It is a chance to be shameless and proud.
And really, that’s what all young artists must accept. To make mistakes is not simply to learn from them, but to accept the sting of humiliating oneself. It is a chance to learn true humbleness. For certain people this may come easy. Being able to laugh at yourself and your mistakes is the mark of success, because there is a good chance it will allow you to put all that behind you and focus on the goal of bringing your ideas to life as effectively as possible. For others, this may be a gift earned in time. But, that is not something to be ashamed of. In truth, youth is just a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers to get a taste of what it means to be an artist and what it means to suck at being one as well. I feel as though there are bigger hits to come. Having more to lose later on is a sign of greatness, and while that also means you have a wider repertoire subject to criticism or spite, in the end, the fun is in the sacrifice, not the gain.
My name is Tyler Immel. I’m an 18 year old filmmaker from Hollywood, Maryland but will soon be attending college in Hollywood, California to get my degree in film production from Loyola Marymount University. I’ve been making films since I was very young; everything from a GI Joe fan flick with my brothers to a cheesy fake B-movie zombie trailer with my family to mini-futurism documentaries on YouTube. I hope to continue writing, directing and producing my own films in the time to come, and to support all the young filmmakers whom I meet in the future.
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