Consciously Respecting the World Around You
Think about all the things you are passionate about. Playing ball. Being with your friends. Living your faith. Making movies. Now think about what makes you feel compassionate. Animals in shelters. Homeless people. Sealife covered in oil.
People may look and sound different, but they are similar, too. For instance, everyone eats, sleeps, works and plays. Think about the connection you have with others. Do you realize that what you do to a person, an animal or plant can affect other people, no matter who they are or where they live?
To be a Conscious Filmmaker means you are a trailblazer. You are passionate about change and compassionate about the people or places affected by the current situation. Take a look at your world—a real look. Is it everything it could be? What are its good points? What elements could be improved upon?
Finding the Courage to Demand Change
Do you feel strongly about the environment? Are you against bullying? Do you want to stop world hunger? Would you like to take away all the guns in this world and force people to “play nice”? Put your feelings into a movie!
One of the most conscious and influential documentary filmmakers is Michael Moore. Born in 1954 in Flint, Michigan, he is known for his fearlessness and devotion to tackling subjects that make people take notice.
Many people do not agree with Moore’s politics (or even his aggressive, bulldog tactics) but it is difficult to ignore the fact that when he wants to bring a perceived injustice to the public’s attention, he does so with tireless research and courage. Sometimes people become angry at Moore for exposing their shortcomings and sometimes he wins the Academy Award for his efforts (as he did with Bowling for Columbine).
What are the things that push your buttons? What do you feel are injustices and really make you mad? These feelings are straight from your heart and that’s what Conscious Filmmakers do—they make movies that touch the hearts of others.
So how do you find the courage to demand change? You just do your research, then go and produce your movie with heart. Don’t worry about what others may think—they’re your thoughts and your movie.
We’ve looked at conscious filmmaking in documentaries, but what about the fantasy and dramatic films? Remember Avatar? It’s the fantasy story of the indigenous Na ‘vi of Pandora and their battle against the military who sought to eliminate their peaceful community. Filmmaker James Cameron said he wanted to evoke an emotional reaction to the various themes (like environmental protection, racism, corporate greed and religion) that occur in his award-winning movie.
Be the Solution, Not the Problem
In his Academy Award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, filmmaker Davis Guggenheim presents scientific data to convince viewers that global warming is indeed real. Have we lost respect for Planet Earth? Can we save it?
It is easy to complain about something, but that’s not helpful to anyone if you don’t offer solutions to the problem. Yes, use your filmmaking skills to point out the injustices, but use your conscious energies to show your audience what positive change could look like.