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misc Dogma '22

Dogma ‘22
A Filmmaking Manifesto by Karst & Gourley

Dogma ‘22 aims to emphasize the importance of subtle and restrained storytelling techniques in film with the goal of getting the most out of limited resources. Artists are made more creative when forced to overcome limitations and with the current state of filmmaking technology, it has never been easier to make a movie on a non-existent budget. Minimal use of gear is encouraged and stating that a camera is “not good enough” is a moot point in today's age. Any and all shooting formats are acceptable and experimentation is encouraged with regards to the aspect ratio, framerate, colour, resolution, etc.

Rules
  1. The writer, director and majority of the crew must be Canadian (or have at one point resided in Canada).
  2. Shooting must be done on location.
  3. All sound and music must be diegetic. Spliced-in sound may be used, but it must be recorded at the location in which it appears on screen.
  4. Special lighting is not acceptable (if there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single light may be attached to the camera). Day for night is particularly frowned upon.
  5. Genre movies are not acceptable.
  6. Visual effects achieved in post-production are not acceptable.
  7. Gratuitous action is discouraged.
 
As it seems I am extremely anti Dogma's.
I love gratious stuff in movies. Action, violence, guns, effects... Its what moviemaking is all about. Entertainment!!!!
 
Try to imagine a fleet of 3 billion dollar aircraft carriers. Those are the studios. On board each are dozens of bombers and fighters ranging from 20 to 200 million dollars each. Those are movies. These fleets are trying to control map regions, airspace. That's the financial space, the global movie market. Without that territorial dominance, there is no funding for marketing, meaning that no one sees a film even if it's made extremely well.

Now picture a person trying to fight that with an ideology. Something that seems cool to that person, like kung fu, or veganism. So the aircraft carriers roll up to the beach, and you are standing there, and you turn to your three friends, and say "ok everybody, did you remember not to eat any carbs this morning? Prepare your slingshots and focus your chi into the self confidence necklaces we handed out earlier." We will show them how powerful a person can be without their foolish accoutrements."

What do you think happens next?

I used to play a boxing game with one of my friends. We played round after round, week after week, and I won 100% of the time. During the matches, he would coach me on his philosophy on how to win the fight. "You need to block more, try dodging the jabs" He went on like this for months, explaining his superior strategy for boxing, and loosing every round. The point isn't that I was smarter than my friend. This isn't about me. It's about him. He had built a protective mental shell around his ego, one that would not allow him to see when his strategy wasn't working. His weakness wasn't his jabs or his stance, all that could have been fixed with the right mentality. His weakness was that he had allowed protecting his ego to become a higher priority than winning the fight. By taking a perpetually confident stance that his strategy was correct, he made a tradeoff. He could feel smart, because his view was that he already knew all the answers, but he couldn't learn.

One day I went over to his house to play the boxing game. He looked a bit depressed. He said "I've been thinking about what you said. If my ideas were working, I wouldn't be loosing every fight" I then said "Ok, so since I'm winning, watch what I'm doing and just open your mind and absorb what you see working effectively. It's not about you or me, or ego, or anything like that, just reinforce what's effective, and reduce things that aren't."

He kept loosing every fight that day, but the next day when I came back, he finally beat me. He literally jumped up out of his chair and began yelling "yeah" and doing some bizarre version of an N zone dance. It was annoying. I was however glad that he had finally learned to learn.

The point is that you sound really confident, and I think you might have trouble learning and advancing from that stance. Instead of trying to rewrite the test so that what you think already is the right answer, try looking at people who aced the test, and keeping an open mind towards learning what made their approach effective. Filming narrative stories with ENG lighting is not going to be a success.

Some of your points above are valid, and some aren't. Placing abstract limitations on production in a situation where people are already facing extreme limitations due to finance doesn't make any sense. It seems like you're saying you want to encourage creativity via restrictions, and while I can see where that makes sense from a certain angle, it also belies a disproportionate estimation about the value of creativity within the pie chart of entertainment. Maybe you are quite creative, and you want to tell people about a strategy where creativity is literally the only thing that matters. That's like if I owned a wood shop, and wrote a manifesto about how skyscrapers should all be built using only wood. In example, you have outlawed post work in your manifesto. Post is a very valid, effective, and well respected part of the filmmaking process, and your idea is to discard any people that developed those skillsets. This really shows a lot of disrespect for people that work hard at learning aspects of filmmaking that I suspect are beyond you, not beneath you. I've never seen someone that was competent at production value start evangelizing against it's use. That should tell you something. If Fritz Lang was using more advanced techniques than you are, you may be behind the curve rather than ahead of it, which is what laying down a set of rules for others insinuates.

I'm sure this will be received as negative, maybe even pedantic, but to give it to you straight, I've seen literally thousands of people try variations on "what if we didn't use any lights, or professional actors, or casting, or location scouting, or cinema gear" and every single one has failed, excepting Documentaries, youtube videos, and "Lilya 4 Ever" which is very hard to watch and didn't make much money. The reality is that people have a standard for entertainment that has been set by decades of high production values, and many types of creativity and skill put together in an environment that made every effort to lift restrictions on creators, rather than impose them.

I'm not trying to be mean, or negative, I'm just pointing out that you are outlining a recipe for failure, and doing so in the context that you are providing guidelines for others to follow.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
The OP made a post riffing on the Dogme 95 film movement which resulted in some successful films, like The Celebration.
 
Ok, interesting, I wasn't aware of this movement.

TBH though, I read the wiki, and I knew a lot of these films, and I basically hated all of them. I do understand the urge to find a way to "Take the Power Back" that sounds good when you're saying it. I still stand behind my comments, trying to rewrite the rules of the contest so that you can win just doesn't typically work, and it's generally speaking bad advice. I wish it did work, that would certainly make my life easier. Those Lars von Trier films look like the recordings of stage plays from a high school theater group. Trier and Herzog are overrated clunk directors IMO, but the original guy François Truffaut, did some good work.

At this point in my career, I've now encountered uncountable numbers of people getting everything wrong, and then selling tickets to a lecture tour based on their methods. Three have approached me within the last 2 weeks. So perhaps my response was rude or unnecessary, in the context of your clarification. A kneejerk response to any new and confident ideology from an unknown source. My apologies to the OP if this was just a parody of the prior event.

I'm just getting more and more suspicious of people posing as authorities on X, because of the avalanche of exploitative businesses based on very confident sounding people that haven't put in much work. It's kind of an epidemic at this point. I get constant facebook posts from a guy called "The infinite filmmaker" who sells filmmaking ideology for 3k per "focus retreat" to LA outsiders. If you go to the testimonials section of his webpage, his top success stories are about actors who got an audition once. He literally sells meditation sessions that will "encourage supernatural beings to enhance your film career"

Perhaps you can understand where I'm coming from, it gets old watching this kind of thing happen over and over, to the point where people have no idea who they can trust. I feel like much of the indie film market is guilty of monetizing false hope, and that legitimate concern occasionally causes me to go a bit overboard in my responses. I'm not trying to attack this person, I'm only trying to defend other indie filmmakers from wasting a lot of time trying to make a splash in this heavily entrenched industry with a gopro and a straw wrapper. Trying to make a film without money is like trying to win a formula one race without gas, or a car. If you don't want to compete seriously, and just enjoy driving, it's a different story. People rent go karts and drive around little race tracks for fun, but then no one tries to write a 10 commandments about that.

A lot of my negative reaction comes from a local musician's guild meeting I tried attending a few years back. The all knowing coordinator brought the meeting to order and then explained to everyone playing an upcoming community show that Acoustic guitars were the only "Real" instrument, and that no one would be allowed to compete with the "cheaters tools" such as electronic keyboards, amplification, electric guitars, etc. Apparently only rusty folk music like Neil Young was legitimate, and posers like Hans Zimmer would not be welcome in this guys elite clique. The really sad thing was that there were all these aspiring musicians gathered around, taking notes. He had been put in charge of the only music show in the city, by a relative in city government who didn't play an instrument at all. (In case this sounds hyperbolic, consider that I now live in rural Indiana) I also live pretty close to an Amish settlement, where wise leaders tell people that they are better off with a horse drawn carriage than a car. This causes a lot of accidents on the highway, and they have a very high rate of fatalities, around 87%. I'm sure the Amish leaders mean well, but they are getting a fair number of kids killed by telling them to hop onto an interstate highway in a shaky wooden box that goes 12 mph.

I strongly disagreed with this manifesto because I felt like at it's core it was an anti teamwork mentality. Each job in film is significant, and cherry picking the things one person is good at or capable of, and then creating an ideology that infers "this is what really matters" feels narcissistic and shortsighted to me. Maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. Part of the rules were that people could only compete in Canada, which made me think that this was a funded organization holding some type of contest.

I'm presenting an opposing viewpoint here, but art is subjective, and I'm not saying my way is right. The important thing is that there is more than one viewpoint here for future readers, and they can make their own decisions about how they see film. Personally, I see no need to superimpose the mechanics of a religion onto an artform.

I mean no ill will towards the OP, and I hope that their approach to art works out for them.
 
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Just grab a camera, blow stuff up, shoot guns and have some crazy dialogue.
If people want to see it, you will make money.
Nothing to it.
See. I can make a point without using 3.million words and some selfabsorbed metastory about ego and a (gameconsole?)boxing game.

Grab the camera.... grab it... turn it on. Press rec and say:" Hey John. Grab that revolver and shoot that flowerpot over there ".
And then grab him in close up and say:" John...Now, just after you shoot, can you say: 'Take that, you evil alien plant from planet POKON!' ?".
Also take a picture of John with his revolver.

Then go on facebook and post: Today was the first day of filming our action packed sciencefiction feature: ATACK OF THE PODPLANTSFROM PLANET POKON

Thats how its done...
 
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I also disagree with this Manifesto but I will be short on it....


1. I'm not Canadian...
2.Done on location, where else?
5. Genre movies are not acceptable..... What does this mean?
7. Gratuitous action is discouraged.....What does this mean?
 
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Just grab a camera, blow stuff up, shoot guns and have some crazy dialogue.
If people want to see it, you will make money.
Nothing to it.
See. I can make a point without using 3.million words and some selfabsorbed metastory about ego and a (gameconsole?)boxing game.

Grab the camera.... grab it... turn it on. Press rec and say:" Hey John. Grab that revolver and shoot that flowerpot over there ".
And then grab him in close up and say:" John...Now, just after you shoot, can you say: 'Take that, you evil alien plant from planet POKON!' ?".
Also take a picture of John with his revolver.

Then go on facebook and post: Today was the first day of filming our action packed sciencefiction feature: ATACK OF THE PODPLANTSFROM PLANET POKON

Thats how its done...
That's exactly how it was done in 1954. Really all the way up to about 1982. Die Hard was basically made that way.

Odd that you find storytelling so out of place on this website specifically for creative storytellers. I cushioned that post out a lot so I wouldn't come across as too harsh. I could have definitely made it short and to the point.

Here's the short version -

Don't tell another person how to do anything unless you're already beating them at that thing. It's arrogant.

better?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I also disagree with this Manifesto but I will be short on it....


1. I'm not Canadian...
2.Done on location, where else?
5. Genre movies are not acceptable..... What does this mean?
7. Gratuitous action is discouraged.....What does this mean?
Maybe this will help:
 
I'm fimilair with the Dogme 95. Its an interesting list of limitations to inspire creativity. Some scenes in Mijn Landbouwbelang are inspired by Dogme 95 and the five obstructions . Your list explains it better than the list of ChanceStudios that seeks some kind of collaboration.....in Canada. I dont think you can make a manifesto that is so similar to Dogme 95 and cal it yours....
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Yes, the link explains what locations only means etc. so I linked it.

This is Dogme 95 (pasted from that source for others):
  1. Shooting must be performed on location, without providing props or sets that don't logically exist within that setting
  2. Diegetic sound only. Sounds must never be produced, such as music that does not exist within the scene
  3. All shots must be handheld. Movement, immobility and stability must be attained by hand
  4. The film must be in colour, with no special lighting. If there's not enough exposure, a single lamp may be attached to the camera
  5. There can be no optical work or lens filters
  6. No 'superficial' action (such as staged murders, elaborate stunts etc.)
  7. Geographical alienation is strictly forbidden, meaning the film must take place here and now
  8. No genre movies
  9. Academy 35mm is the only accepted film format
  10. Directors must not be credited
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I dont think you cant make a manifesto that is so similar to Dogme 95 and cal it yours....
Well if you change any of the cannons, like must be shot in 35mm, you can't call it theirs. So yes you can create your own based on it. Why not? It's a movement like the French New Wave, not a trademark. If you want to start the Canadian New Wave, have at it!
 
Its good to make variations on the rules....35mm can be a bit expensive. I believe Dancer in the Dark broke many of the Dogme 95 rules. I think a good manifesto should be a reflection of the artist and its work.... But perhaps I'm wrong on that.
 
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@Nate North's manifesto is longer than the manifesto! 😂

I think that with these 2 examples to work from, I can now write my own manifesto, one of great historical significance that should be revered and discussed for 30 years. I was watching Michael Jordan play basketball, and suddenly overwhelmed with my own genius, I have laid down a new wave of guidelines to purify the game and bring the sport to a new level of competitive integrity.

1. All Basketball players must live in the United States, because I live there
2. Players are not allowed to touch the ball, but must try to blow it towards the hoop using the natural power of wind
3. Inflation of the Ball is Discouraged
4. All games must be played barefoot, as was intended before the tyrannical system ruined the game with corporate "shoes"
5. The score of each game must consist of only prime numbers, and be equal for both teams at all times
6. The goal shall be no more than 5' above the floor, to inspire creativity and not because I can't dunk on a regulation hoop
7. The audience shall consist of only authentic individuals who "get" the sophistication of our design, the only two groups of people in the world that have the piercing perceptive aptitude to understand the true art of sport, baked college kids, and film critics

Did I do it? Did I start a 30 year movement with this pretentious RNG grade text? What if I was from a wealthy family and could afford to stage literally dozens of new wave basketball games with mimes in the audience, to the extent that it created an emperors new clothes effect with art critics, each one trying to sound more intelligent and sophisticated than the last? If people were dumb enough to start playing basketball with deflated balls, would that then retroactively prove the genius of my original construct?

You know what other movement also has a long history, millions of people that know about it, and numerous papers, manifestos, terrible films, and conventions surrounding it? The flat earth movement. A bunch of people getting on board with something doesn't prove that it's smart, or relevant, or even interesting. I wish people would quit pretending to like terrible art to impress each other.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I don't see why it bothers you when you can just look the other way. No one is forcing you to join a movement. The 48 hour film festival also has restrictions and you actually have to pay them to make that film. A movement is free. You should carry on your revolt against the festivals. 😂
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Unlike Nate, I love these kinds of restrictions. For some filmmakers working
within a specific set of guidelines is a great challenge. Having country restrictions
doesn't bump me at all.

According to the link provides that means no comedy films. No thrillers. No noir.
No detective film.

So a filmmaker choosing to make a Dogma '22 can only make a documentary or
a drama. But even then, "Drama" is listed as a genre on that Wiki page.
 
I do get the idea. I used to play chess with people, and we'd change one or two rules just to mix it up. Pawns can move sideways or some such. I was mostly just in a bad mood the day I came across this post, and I basically hate anything pretentious anyway.

In music or games, I would totally get into some interesting structure like this. In indie film, I feel like you'd have to blow through your life savings to make a single episode of something unambitious like "Frasier". I just can't see the point in trying to put a lot of restrictions on an artform so difficult to succeed at already. Anybody can play a game of chess, and then still afford to eat later. 10 hours is a good amount of time to sink into an experiment, 10 months, come on, I'm only going to live so long.

I can see how this could be cool for people that make films recreationally. In my situation where my health insurance depends on whether films succeed, and one hand is already tied behind my back by 0 financing, I'm not super excited about tying the other hand behind by back and trying to build a film studio, learn 8 of the world's most difficult software programs simultaneously, and work 80 hours a week to see if I can retire with 1% of the savings that a DMV worker from the boomer generation typically has. I think it's harder for older people to grasp how incredibly bad the economy has become for 60% of the population. I see 3 people with masters degrees trying to share rent on a 1k a month apartment, and it's owned by a millionaire who "used to drive a truck sometimes 20 years ago"

I'm not saying that I wasn't a bit of jerk here, I'm just trying to put my response in context for you. It's pretty hard for dedicated artists now.
 
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