Tampa Film Review. Reviews of local independent films, filmmakers, companies, and support. Tampa Bay, Florida.
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Indie film director Damien Kincannon, pictured,  is another filmmaker who is overrated, but Joe Davison, who is not pictured, is the worst, in our opinion.




This section is for reviews of Tampa filmmakers. We have several reviews pending, but they are not online yet.

Who are the best Tampa filmmakers? In our opinion, some of the best Tampa filmmakers include Andy Lalino (The Film Ranch), Andrew Allan (The Film Ranch), the Guzzo Bros, Shelby Mcintyre, and Chris Woods (Icon Film Studios). Chris Woods, in particular, is a very impressive filmmaker, and just may be the best Tampa filmmaker overall. He can write, direct, DP, and edit with the best of them. Talented filmmakers like Chris Woods make some of the more promotion-happy filmmakers look like the talentless hacks which, in our opinion, they are.

What Tampa Filmmakers need to do to put Tampa indie film on the map.

By Tampa Bay Film Director C. A. Passinault

What makes a good filmmaker? Is it someone who can convince a group of talented people to help them, or is it someone who actually knows what they are doing? A good indicator of a good filmmaker isn't necessarily the one who puts together large feature films that are too much like other feature films to really make a difference. Often, a good filmmaker is a filmmaker who puts together a lot of creative short films, good films which are produced with limited resources. The irony of this, however, is that short films seldom sell on their own, and the filmmaker who does short films has to eventually transition to feature film projects which require resources and people. Those large feature film projects require management, organizational, delegation, and other skills which are often very different than what is required with making short films. There is a difference, and it takes a special kind of filmmaker to be able to work both worlds.
So, what would the ultimate Tampa filmmaker be? What kind of filmmakers do we need to finally put Tampa indie film on the map? Someone who can do a variety of films in different formats and genres. The best kind of filmmaker would be one who is equal parts artist and businessperson, and who can wear a variety of hats competently while knowing what is appropriate to do at the proper time, while allowing the team who works with them to do what they do best without interference. This isn't an easy job. There are very few who can do that, and hopefully, this will change in the coming years. We can only hope, because no single filmmaker will be able to put Tampa indie film on the map and make it a leader in the indie film industry. It's going to take a team of filmmakers consistently producing compelling, creative, unique indie films. We don't need indie filmmakers playing it safe and doing another "me-too" zombie movie, horror movie, or vampire movie. Please, if anyone does do any of these cliched genres, at least make it original and compelling. It's your only hope to stand out from the crowd (although, it must be stated, that one of the best indie films that we have seen, Z3D5, which was shot in Australia, is a Zombie film).
As we have already stated, no single filmmaker will be able to "save" Tampa indie film, put it on the map, and make Tampa indie film a leader in the indie film industry. It's going to take a lot of us working together. Collaborative competition is the key to eventually establishing a Tampa film community, and putting Tampa indie film on the map. Additionally, the Tampa filmmakers will have to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and keep their egos in check while conducting themselves as professionals. Very few of us are good in all areas (Tampa filmmaker Chris Wood is one of the few who is). Most filmmakers are better at some things than others. If a filmmaker is weak in an area, then they must put the needs of their film before their own ego and work with someone who is good at what they are lacking in. This will improve the quality of the films which are done in Tampa Bay. Additionally, Tampa filmmakers need to stop burning bridges and take care of the people who help them make films. Lose the drama at the door, try to eliminate as many interpersonal conflicts as possible, and communicate. Also, credit needs to be given where credit is due. Take care of your team, and those who help you, and they will take care of you. If more filmmakers were to put their crew and their film ahead of their own needs, then better films can be made here. Additionally, a little creativity would help. Tampa filmmakers need to avoid cliches and making the same indie films that everyone else is making. A simple, but effective, way of doing this is to take real life situations, and anecdotes, and then apply them to the story that you want to tell. Apply analogies of subjects that would normally not go with a genre. Better yet, look around for a story to tell, especially if no one else is telling it, and make it your own. Additionally, characters should be the focus. Characters are not limited to actors, either. In something like a documentary, for example, a character could be the story that you are telling.
Making the same kind of indie films that everyone else is doing is usually a waste of time, and it's much harder to stand out in a crowd of indie films that all play out the same way. Filmmaking is an art. Filmmaking is not a copy machine for no-talent hacks who want to be rich and famous. If you are in a filmmaker to make lot of money and to become famous, your attitude is incompatible with what you do. Fame and fortune should never be the goal. Good storytelling is the goal. Fame and fortune are benefits of being a good filmmaker, but should never be the actual goal.
So, what is this collaborative competition? It's where a group of competitors, basically, collaborate for the greater good. By respecting each other and working as a professional team, everyone benefits in the long run. Although many Tampa filmmakers are, in reality, competing against other filmmakers for limited funds and resources, they will find that their capabilities are actually enhanced by collaborating, and communicating, with other professionals. This does not mean trusting every filmmaker who comes along, allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, or giving them your business, either. It's all about balance. Also, trust must be earned, and this can take time. Make sure that you can trust the filmmaker before you collaborate. By helping those who deserve help, you're also helping yourself.

UPDATED 12/06/09




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