Independent moviemaking mustn’t be a very easy process. If you take the most infamously monumental catastrophes The Room and Birdemic in to consideration, you can see that making a movie can, with the best of intentions, be a flaming hot mess. We Make Movies is Matt Tory’s Semi-Autobiographical tale of how these kind of films become a reality, as well as what effects this abject obsession can have on the people around it.
Round 1 – Story
In the summer of 2015, cameras were allowed on the set of a local independent film. What they captured was a hilarious and heartfelt look “behind the scenes” as a group of college kids spend their summer making a movie for their town’s Film Festival. Cameras chronicle the tumultuous ups and downs (mostly downs) as egotistical student Director Stevphen Bixby rounds up his friends (and some bystanders) to help make his masterpiece: a movie that blends together all the greatest films ever made.
We Make Movies captures the narcissistic obsession felt by so many would-be filmmakers in the world today so well, that it’s transformation from farce to fable is a delight to behold throughout. It’s humour is both endearing and sensational, with jokes hitting so hard that you’ll probably find your cheeks hurting from smiling that much.
At no point does the story sag or suffer through poor pacing or direction. It’s somewhat unconventional style enables the plot to simply progress without ever feeling as through this might actually be a work of fiction.
By the time the film felt as though it was reaching a conclusion, the arch in which the characters had achieved allowed me the feel a sense of achievement for these characters in the same way I did at the end of Tropic Thunder. Sure the majority of the characters were dicks, but their reasons for being so only made me want to see more movies like Schindler’s Lisp and Dreidel to the Grave.
Round 1 Score: 9/10
Round 2 – Characters
The characters of We Make Movies vary from person to person in their significance towards the movie’s overall success or lack their of. After doing a little bit of research, and by watching the beautiful stinger playing the credits, the cast of main characters seem to have been friends for a very long time, and for the most part, this long time bond is evident on screen. The chemistry between characters such as Stevphen and Curtis is cringeworthy at best, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t entertaining.
Supporting characters Donny, Leonard (pronounced Leo-nard), Garth and Jessica are a mix of bombastic Amateur actors, loveable morons and disenfranchised associates of Stevphens. But like all good recipes, they combine to make one hell of a sweet tasting meal. A meal that only seems to get better the longer to you ingest it.
By the way, look out for the scene where Donny learns to ride a bike. I don’t know why but it had me chuckling for hours afterwards.
Round 2 Score: 9/10
Round 3 – Overall Enjoyment
We Make Movies is a warm, heartfelt movie that masquerades itself as a silly fly on the wall comedy. The way it grabs your attention within the opening 10 minutes leaves you craving more from this group of characters trying to do something I’m sure all of us have considered on at least one occasion in our lives. With a humour both shocking and sweet, its jokes range from obvious to the more subtle in nature.
For the majority of the film I can say without any hyperbole that my anticipation for the conclusion of this story only seemed to grow from scene to scene. With well thought out characters, a story with such heart that it’s almost impossible not to appreciate, and a final product worthy of any independent film festival.
Round 3 Score: 9/10
FINAL SCORE: WE MAKE MOVIES WINS BY DECISION 27/30
We Make Movies is the kind of film more and more people should be watching. Unlike the frankly laughable films that will unfortunately come within its category, Matt Tory’s ability to produce a coherent story with such heart only makes the movie he’s made that but more enjoyable.