Interview with Miles Eves
What is the Filmmaker Toolkit App?
The Filmmaker Toolkit app is an app I created after making my short film Somnia, I wanted to create something that could help people with making their films or videos and try and solve production problems by explaining and breaking down aspects of it.
I also wanted to have it come with features that people would actually use like storyboard templates for pre-production and have it all in one place so people could have what they needed in their pocket and not have to carry hundreds of documents around in books and folders. I also wanted to include quotes and excerpts from some of the best Filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick and David Fincher.
Can you tell us about the clip?
The clip is a demo of what the app can do and as you can see it has a number of different menus that you can choose from, like Documents or Filmmakers Advice or Knowledge Base. The video shows what it would look like in a tablet format but it would look slightly different on a smart phone.
As you can see it's like an interactive educational app that displays the relevant text and images. It's for people who aren't Android users that are probably wondering what it is.
What led you to producing the Filmmaker Toolkit App?
Before I had made it I was looking for an app that was similar to it and I searched around and I couldn't really find anything that was close to what I had wanted so I decided to just make it myself and have it there for other people to use. Another reason why is because I wanted to make something convenient and I also wanted people to be more aware of some of the best filmmakers.
I had met film students and they would talk about how much they loved these YouTube “celebrities” that teach filmmaking but they didn't know anything about the real great Directors. I always found that strange, I always felt I would rather look up to someone like Martin Scorsese then a guy filming a video in his home with a webcam talking about how you can make a gadget for $2.
What type of feedback have you received so far about the Filmmaker Toolkit APP?
I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from the filmmaking communities online and several people have been giving it 5-star ratings on the Google Playstore which blows my mind. It's nice to be confirmed about your ideas and know you did something good to help people. It still needs more work and it has some errors with other devices that I want to fix and improve on.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Someone said that they should include me in the credits of the films that are going to be made as a result of this. I kind of chuckled and didn't take it that seriously.
What are you looking to achieve by having the Filmmaker Toolkit App more visible on this platform?
I know that the Android userbase is rising in popularity. I think nearly 80% of smart phones will eventually use Android and I wanted to reach as many people as possible and help as many people as possible.
But I still want it on Apple devices and I'm currently doing a Pozible campaign to get it on iOS: https://pozible.com/project/filmmaker-toolkit-on-ios
What type of impact would you like the Filmmaker Toolkit App to have?
I would want more people around the world to consider taking up Filmmaking and know that is a real tangible goal that they can aspire to and that it is possible and not just a career or opportunity that is held only for an elite few.
As technology evolves we need to do more to advance with its pace and help spread information that should be publicly available and not locked away in Film Schools or Colleges.
And you don't really need traditional education to do Filmmaking to begin with, when you think about the old silent era film stars like Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin they just went out there and did it. They didn't wait for other people or think they didn't have enough knowledge to do it.
It was such an honest and virtuous time that started off with such humble beginnings, there wasn't a film school teacher looking on disapprovingly saying “that's not how you do it!” or an esteemed film critic saying “this is the end of cinema as we know it!” it was complete freedom to do what you want.
It was more of: “let's film a guy climbing onto a moving train!” Or “let's film a guy hanging off a clocktower!” Not that I'm saying you should imitate it now I'm just using it as an example of how cinema used to be this huge playground full of invention and innovation.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about the Filmmaker Toolkit App?
When I first released the app I looked at the statistics of what country the users were from. And pretty much 100% of them were in the United States and there were zero users in Australia.
And I think that it is very telling of what I talked about earlier when I did the interview for Somnia in that people in Australia have such a low cultural self esteem or value of themselves that they assume they're never going to be able to do anything creative like Filmmaking and they probably dismiss themselves completely.
Or they have no idea that it can be available to them and are ignorant of it entirely. Either way it is a pretty bad sign for Australia, it's still in it's early days but I'm concerned in that the Australian film industry is at risk of shrinking even more if people aren't aware of it or care about it. So my question is, is that why are we still hesitant to jump in?
I've heard of stories about Australian films being released overseas first to gain a momentum and hype around them so that when they come back to Australia, audiences are more likely to go see it. It's kind of backwards I wish I had a team of anthropologists who could study this and tell me why this happens. I would really like to know.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I'm doing a Pozible crowdfunding campaign to release The Filmmaker Toolkit on Apple devices so if you enjoyed the app on Android or liked the idea please consider donating. There is also an exclusive reward on there and you can be involved in making the next version of it. So please check it out: https://pozible.com/project/filmmaker-toolkit-on-ios