How to Make an Artsy Social Commentary Film



Are you artsy? Do you have deep feelings and deep thoughts but are verbally- and creatively-challenged? Are you angry at society’s inability to recognize the banality of its own existence in the face of rampant injustice throughout the world? Do you feel a longing to illustrate the ‘self-portrait of material and digital obsession in a time when it’s becoming more difficult to tell what is and what isn’t real?’ Do you believe you can create pieces that convey ‘surreal methods of self-depiction that explore the ambiguous way we perpetuate and interact with ourselves’? Do you enjoy vague and standard motivational slogans and psudo-intelligent propaganda clichés about the state of the world and the unreliability of our constructed realities? Do you want to do and say all these things but don’t have even an ounce of talent or artistic skill?


Then look no further. Arthouse is the medium for you! Where empty phrases coupled with stock footage equals art and social commentary!


Here is my helpful list of the elements you might want to consider when you are making your very own artsy social-commentary film:


–          Have a monotone voiceover saying stock phrases that vaguely resemble social commentary while playing loud incoherent random music-aspiring noise: it conveys how deep you are.



–          Use a lot of stock footage of war, famine, floods, riots, people being sprayed with pepper-spray at said riots, people running, people being beat up by the police, people living in cardboard boxes – anything that shows the world is screwy and tells your viewers they should feel bad about living comfortably in [insert your first-world country here].



–          Always keep in mind that you are neither a documentary film – you don’t have to provide actual content, information or facts – and you’re not art – you don’t have to convey beauty, thoughts, or ideas. You’re an artsy-social-commentary film; the point is to subvert your constituent parts.



–          Use Courier New font, because that shows that you’re serious about the TRUTH! This font looks like old-style documents from journalists or the FBI, so it looks as though you are into decoding secrets and exposing them. You are a real journalist, or at least want the viewer to think that. [sadly, wordpress won’t let me change the font to convey this]



–          Occasionally have buzzwords in red and bold, because this is the main point! [sigh, same as above]



–          Have people speaking in foreign languages: prove to everyone you are multicultural and they are racists for not understanding this language, and probably for not even being able to tell which language it is.



–          Have interviewees – preferably people from the streets, you know, the ones everyone always ignores (bums and hobos), or anyone from the working poor: they know the TRUTH! They will tell you how the government, and ultimately the viewer, screwed them over.



–          Insert written vapid clichés over the footage like “How secure are you in your reality?”, “When is the when”, “Do you think what you know and know what you think?”, and “Listen to the masses, not the ruling classes”, and any other type of rebellious-sounding hipster-crowd parlance, because, damn it, you are deep!



–          Have people in masks, because everyone hides behinds the masks of their fears, but also everyone judges one another unjustly, and there’s no better way of expressing that than with real masks. The uglier the better because you want people to know they judge and are judged by others and this is wrong, and YOU have to tell them. Remember, your viewers are idiots who need to be told the TRUTH!



–          Have a naked woman, not because you’re sexist, but because that conveys that you’re a feminist. You are above being sexist because you’re artsy.



–          Alternatively, have a naked man, because you’re also pro-gay (it doesn’t matter if the guy’s gay or straight, having a naked guy instantly means you are pro-gay). The only way to demonstrate gender equality, freedom of choice and progressiveness is through nudity. Duh!



–          Inter-cut the bits of the naked person, with disturbing war footage, or abuse footage, or just about any disturbing imagery, and inter-cut that with stills of a vase, or a shoe, or some other common household item: this demonstrates that not only do you know how to use editing software, but that you have a vague understanding of juxtaposition! Your lack of subtlety will not be noted by anyone. Remember, your viewers are idiots and it’s your job to enlighten them with the TRUTH!



–          Be as heavy-handed as possible, as stated above, social commentary is not effective unless performed with a complete lack of subtlety. Beat your audience over the head with it; they need to realize how silly they are about the false constructs they have built in their minds that allow them to cope, because there’s so much crap in the world that has to be acknowledged!



–          Don’t worry about all those other philosophers, thinkers, critics, writers, and better artists who have been saying the same thing for the better part of 100 years. You may not be an artist, but you’re ARTSY! You don’t have to be creative, intelligent, interesting or compelling. In fact, the less you are, the more the message about how everything is crap is conveyed.



–          Don’t worry that it’s all been done and said before. The whole point is to deconstruct art, or better yet, pulverize it until there’s nothing left at all but our misery: that’s raw reality!



–         Finally, make sure that toward the end of the film (though you can do this throughout the whole thing, but it’s particularly effective when done at the end), gather all of your most disturbing footage and speed it up to something like x200! That way your viewers leave feeling utterly nauseated and thinking they feel that way because of the obscene, vulgar, exploitative images and not because the seizure-inducing pace is making the neurons in their brains backfire.



–        For optimum effectiveness, get your film screened in an artsy exhibition, in a dark small room with no chairs. That way, your viewers have to stand packed against each other like steamed sardines: your audience will think you are deep and that you are making them think, when in fact you are not conveying any new or revelatory information – you are just making them physically uncomfortable from standing too long in a hot, cramped space, and subjecting them to ugly but marketable bite-sized social-commentary regurgitation. What is your truth



–       Sit back, and enjoy the praise that bare-minimum-effort offers.



You are welcome,



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