The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Zen Filmmaking: Truth Verses Lies

I am so often perplexed by people that go after other people, via whatever method is at their disposal, as a means of attack. Sure, we all like what we like and don’t like what we don’t like, that’s life. But, what I find profoundly troubling is when people state completely wrong ideas, that are complete erroneous about that someone/anyone else. I mean, if you don’t possess a fact-based knowledge about a person or a subject then all you are spilling is conjecture. And, if what you are saying is wrong or flat-out untrue, shouldn’t that make the speaking individual feel bad and shouldn’t they do all that they can to right their wrong? Yet, who does?
As someone who has been in the public eye, (in my small little way), via my writings, my films, my music, and the like for many-many years, I have encountered a lot of falsehoods being stated about my works and myself. So, I guess that has provided me with a bit of insight into the all of this. Personally, I really don’t care what someone is saying, especially if what they are saying is false. This being stated, I have witnessed the impact of how some of these false words have negatively affected my life’s landscape.
I threw Zen Filmmaking into the title of the piece as I was just having an interesting discussion with this one guy, who’s a fan of my films. Thanks! He mentioned that he had read that someone on some site was going on about my movies, stating that all I do is turn on the camera and let people speak. And, that’s why they are all so bad and he hates them. That’s not true. That’s not true at all.
Zen Filmmaking is not about improv. Zen Filmmaking is not about letting people say whatever it is they want to say. Zen Filmmaking is about embracing the perfection of the moment and allowing the magic to happen. In terms of dialogue, I set up the scene and then allow the actors to put the situation into their own words. Thus, allowing them to be natural in their words and their responses. It’s as simple as that.
Every scene, in all of my Zen Films, I know what we’re going to shoot. I simply allow the actors to decipher the dialogue and their actions by their own unique methods of interpretation. I allow for the freedom of the spontaneousness and the natural to guide us through the scene and in new directions if that becomes the inspiration.
The reason I spell this out, (and for those of you who know anything about Zen Filmmaking, you already know about all this chatter), is that here is somebody making a statement, proclaiming it to be true, but what they are saying is just blatantly wrong. He (or she) hasn’t studied the craft of Zen Filmmaking, yet they proclaim all this supposed knowledge about the art form, but they are wrong. What does that say about them?

I haven’t even made a Narrative Zen Film in well over ten years. I’ve been focused on creating the Non-Narrative Zen Film. So, everything that person is speaking about is ancient history.
Over the years, I’ve read some of the reviews of my films, or even watched a few of the video presentations people have done about my movies, but what is so often the case is what they are saying is wrong. What they claim is not true about the inspiration, about the story, about the method, about the technique, about me, and about the everything else—particularly when they are basing their appraisal upon a negative point of view. Yet, they present it as fact, nonetheless.

Do they ever communicate with me to check their facts? Do they ever go back and correct their mistakes? Do they ever say, “Sorry, I was wrong?” Nope. They just leave all of their falsehoods out there for the world to see. What does that say about them as a human being?

You don’t like my Zen Films, that’s fine. Here’s an idea, don't like ’em, don’t watch ’em. But, don’t proclaim factual falsehoods and pretend you know anything about the craft, or about me, when what you are saying is blatantly false.
We each encounter this style of life-dialogue all the time. Look around you: view, listen, read; people talk all the time about all of the things they claim that they know, but how often is what they are saying simply based in their own personal, unrefined, prejudices and not based in truth or fact?
What can we do about all of this? Nothing. It’s just the name of the game. What we can do, however, is not be that person who states false facts. We can choose to only speak the truth. I mean, why talk about anybody else anyway? Don’t you have enough going on in your own life to keep you busy?
Moreover, if you see, hear, or read the falsehoods, call these people out. Because if no one stops their speaking of un-truths, just think about how many lives they will hurt.

Like I state in my number one motto, “Be Positive.” Say good things. Do good things. Help everyone you can and never hurt anyone. Just think how much better the world would become if we all practiced that philosophy.