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From Free Film Movement to Cluetrain: the importance of personal filmmaking

"As filmmakers we believe that no film can be too personal. The image speaks. Sound amplifies and comments. Size is irrelevant. Perfection is not an aim. An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude.”
Lorenza Mazzetti, Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reiz, Tony Richardson
- The Free Film Movement, February 1956

"The word that's going around, the word that's finally getting out… the word that's passing like a spark from keyboard to screen, from heart to mind, is the permission we're giving ourselves and each other: to be human and to speak as humans."
Chris Locke
 - The Cluetrain Manifesto (Chapter 1), March 1999

What's remarkable about the essay is that, with the explosion of blogs, vlogs, and sites like Flickr, MySpace, Digg, DeviantArt and is how true this has proven to be, especially in the creative world. Like Hakim Bay's Pirate Utopias and the Temporary Autonomous Zone, it has been one of those defining texts that in retrospect look almost prophetic…

There are potentially billions of filmmakers now with digi cameras, camcorders and mobile phones who can make films which mimic on some level that which we've already seen in a cinema or on TV, and the web provides a free global platform for all of them. But coming back round, via the ideas of ClueTrain, to the British Free Film Movement - the 1956 no-budget 16mm British movement that predated Dogme and Cinema Vérité, there is some hope for those of us who will never see a big budget and want to express something beyond that which commercial TV and cinema currently offers. For amidst the countless pages of the web, what is left then to stand out, but our own story, our experience and perception of the world?