Grab an instrument and bash out a message
Born of a time of growing divide between the rich and the poor, the upwardly and downwardly mobile, and fueled by hopelessness and rage, punk rock gave music back to everybody. Also known as D.I.Y. for "do it yourself," punk was less of an organized movement and more of a coincidence of individual free spirits rebelling against the status quo. By picking up the nearest instrument and bashing away at it, whether it was tuned or not, whether you could even play it or not and shouting messages over the roar, punk music provided the perfect antidote to disco and corporate rock. All of a sudden, anyone could and should be in a band, and a new and accessible sense of artistic freedom was launched.
Of course, there was nothing totally new about this phenomenon. We could look at many other times when the old wave was disrupted by a new one throughout history. Gustave Courbet and the avant-garde school of realism in painting, Dada, surrealism, and many other art and social movements were reactions to times of social change and upheaval.
So are micro short filmmakers the new punks? Let's consider the similarities.
In this and other blog posts, we have considered things like punk, animism, outsider art, folk art, graffiti, swipescaping and other possible inputs to a micro short filmmaking aesthetic. In the end, it is for each micro short filmmaker to determine their own original definition and practice of the art form. We live in artistically fluid times for filmmaking, and that is a beautiful thing. You don't need to go to film school (not that there's anything wrong with that) or copy from the old masters. Originate, follow your own instincts and have fun defining your own micro short filmmaking style!
Robert David Duncan, award-winning director, actor, writer and producer with a passionate interest in art, storytelling and the whole amazing journey called life. Founder of Fat Punk Productions and Festival Director of the Miniature Film Festival.