I'm still in shock over it, but I think I get the rush now. The panic that swells in your belly as your movie is about to play, wondering and worrying if there was anything you could fix and hoping to g-d that everything works out okay.
And then it's over. But it was a hell of a ride. This past week the Toronto Short Film Festival has been running in downtown Toronto at the Carleton theatre. Each night two blocks of short films were displayed, ranging from the bizarre and experimental to sweet love stories. What I loved most of all, was the chance that going to the festival gave me.
I got to experience so many films that I would otherwise have no idea about. I sat in the theatre watching things that I knew people had slaved over, pouring their heart and soul into it, but might only be seen by the audience in this room right now. (As a note, if you want to watch the movie I made so it's not only seen by the people in that theatre, here's a link.)
As an indie filmmaker, that's terrifying. The fear of failure is always so close. But then it's such an intimate setting, knowing that everybody there isn't just a generic consumer, they made the choice to come see these short films. They are filmmakers, film critics, parents, friends, people who just love art. But they are there to watch movies. And that is the best part of it, knowing that there are people there to enjoy what you made.
After the film block finished and my movie had shown, I was standing outside in the lobby waiting for my girlfriend to return from the bathroom. As I stood there, awkwardly looking down at my feet, a man approached me. He was another filmmaker as I saw from his badge. He shook my hand, said that he loved my movie and thought my style was fantastic. As soon as he appeared he was gone, into the crowd of people. It was such a short moment, but so powerful. So what if the movie isn't a critical success or never makes you tons of money, the point should be that you made something. The process is what's the point of it, for me anyways. Touching people is just a bonus.
The Toronto Short Film Festival ran from March 14th-18th. Find them on Twitter at @TorontoShort.
A game designer, producer, production designer, writer and editor, Jason has dipped his toes into many creative fields, perhaps too many. He lives in Toronto, writing, making games and thinking about dogs. Follows Jason on Twitter at @jwestonwong.