If you are a filmmaker (or any other type of artist) then you must be connected to your work. In other words; there should be some personal connection between you and the film you are making. Even if it is something very small like an emotion you’ve felt recently or a small slice of your life. Anything really. I say this because if you are connected to your film on a personal level, however small that connection may be, you will make a better product as a result. It also adds to the idea that art is cathartic.
Art in any form can help us when we need it most. It can help us through the difficult times in our lives. It can make us forget, at least temporarily, about hardships we are facing in our life. It can also be a beautiful outlet for our own inner struggles. Some people keep journals and they write their feelings and what’s happening in their lives to get it out of their system. Filmmakers do the same thing. The more personal your film the better it will be.
Now I’m not saying to hit your audience over the head with your autobiography. Besides, after a film or two you’d just be telling the same story again anyway. You could make a fantasy film and still have a personal connection to it. Even if that connection is just the relationship one character has with another. Or maybe you hide your personal connection to the film even deeper by having visual symbolism take hold. If you lose all personal connection with whatever you are making then the film becomes empty, even just a little bit.
This is not to say you can’t make a great film if you have no personal connection but just think how great it would be if you did have that connection. Even when you adapt a novel or short story into a film you can still add elements of your own life to the story. One simple way to add a personal connection is a location or a name that is close to you. You’ve added part of yourself to the film. You will then have that connection with your work.
This is true of any art form. Many paintings are the artist’s view on the world around them. Sometimes they paint a picture that reminds them of something in their life. Writers do it all the time when they write novels that have semi-autobiographical content hidden within the text. It’ll bring your piece of art to the next level. Just make sure there is some personal connection with your work and others will surely see the love and hard work you put into making it your own.
I’m sure others may have different opinions regarding the importance of a personal connection with your artwork. I know for me that I always add something that I can connect with. Sometimes it’s just some idea or theory I believe and sometimes something that relates back to things happening in my life. Of course this is my opinion but I also believe we should always keep our minds open and try to see the possibilities of doing something new. Otherwise we’d be doing the same thing over and over again. Where’s the fun in that?