A Film is a container

I have been thinking more about Film lately — what it is and what it isn’t to me. This line came to me one night while thinking about it: “a Film is a container for artistic ideas.” Or in other words, a Film is a container.

What is a container?
“anything that contains or can contain something, as a carton, box, crate, or can.”

What does it mean to contain something?
“to be capable of holding; having capacity for.”

That’s both what Film is and what it can do. It contains ideas, visual objects, music, aesthetics, beliefs, morality, photography, characters, animations, choreography, fashion, architecture, insecurities, mistakes, arguments, vision and of course, hope. It’s why approaching a new Film project feels so exciting. It feels like a new relationship or a new apartment or a new job. It’s the chance to fill an empty container with something new again.

Film is such a powerful medium because if done well, it can contain, package and deliver important ideas and feelings with every human on Earth. But the power of this medium can also be distracting. Sometimes we can become too focused on Film itself only to realize much later that we have become obsessed with containers and not the ideas that fill them.

If you want to make great Films (great containers), you need to push to extreme lengths to uncover ideas, feelings, views and every aspect of the human experience to find things to put in your Films. This has more to do with how you live your life and the kind of person you are and less to do with Filmmaking itself. Or perhaps that’s what Filmmaking is.