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Poor But No Less Cinematic – A Tale From Van Phuc Village

I want to start this post with this wonderful film that compliments the talking points. Shot on a DSLR. A simple yet creative story, single location, few actors. Lots of soul.

I love reading the monthly column Through The Lens of Thanh Nien News by Do Thi Linh. This month she criticizes Vietnamese filmmakers' reliance on technology to make/or not to make films.  No doubt this tendency is influenced by Hollywood. You can't apply the Hollywood model of filmmaking to third world cinema, just like you can't force democracy down the throats of people who just want to have a meal for the day.

Read Do Thi Linh's full article following the link:

http://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20140103-good-films-do-not-require-subservience-to-technology.aspx

Linh also mentions the role of the audience in making the film industry grow in Vietnam. Specifically, audience in Vietnam should be more serious about voicing their opinions on the films they see. That way both filmmaker and viewers can have a fruitful relationship. Ideally yes this should be the case. However, we don't live in a perfect world. In Vietnam, people are even more consumeristic than say in Western countries. The voicing/concern for art is virtually non existence. It's a lot more complicated than just changing the attitude toward film. People in Vietnam has to change their attitude toward arts in general.

Filmmakers shouldn't let expensive technology (which they can't afford, and when they can, it becomes the center stage instead of the story) hold them back. The good thing is that technology can be cheap. Vietnam is a poor country and its film industry is very young and fragile. So it can be influenced easily. With newly affordable UltraHD cameras coming out and the Internet, VIetnamese filmmakers should be more experimental in exploring with different filmmaking techniques and with various technologies instead with sticking to old standard film productions coda.

If you have a great idea, make that a reality. Don't wait for technology. Use a cell phone, a camcorder, a flip book, or whatever means available, Don't sit around waiting for funding to come in so you can rent a RED. After you shoot it, show it online. The bottom line is creativity is free. You are poor but no less cinematic.

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