Film Education

Filmmaker playing God

Film is a very powerful medium and in turn empowering. In film the potential lies latent for a new reality to exist which is parallel with our ordinary daily existence. A reality that is so close to what we live yet so far beyond.

No other artform in the history of mankind is as complete to replicate the experience of life in flesh and blood and involve us completely in its flow.

The language of film can play subtle notes of your soul, pleasure your senses, stimulate your grey cells and above all make you part of a reality unknown before its creation.

We the filmmaker have a magic wand to create this new world, this experience for individuals to live another life. A life which can – help understand our existing reality – take us beyond our limited self.

So a filmmaker plays God but let’s not have the God complex!

Oorvazi Irani


4 Comments so far
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True …. Filmmakers do have a magic wand ….. they create make believe world’s ….they inspire people…. entertain them…. Just hope more Filmmakers realize this and act responsible while making films ….. we will get some really good cinema if that happens …I actually understood the concept of playing God when I saw Avatar

Comment by Gaurav

Thanks Gaurav for your feedback yes film is a very powerful medium and glad you agree with me 🙂

Comment by oorvazi

I think this idea of ‘playing god’ has always been a big downfall within film-makers. As god’s we can create and do as we please without any reproductions. As god’s we know best; we are the true rulers of ‘the film’. To play god is a dangerous thing.

A film-maker (in my opinion) must always be aware that she (or he) is never right. We are never making a world, but always trying to make sense of our own. If we are creating outside of our realm then nothing we create will matter. This is because we won’t be telling a story that is true to ourselves and true to our world. If we are playing god then we have nothing left to discover, the magic is gone because we already know everything.

It’s funny that “Avatar” was mentioned because I feel that it is a shining example of what not to do as a film-maker. Aside from a terrible script (with terrible exposition), and boring visuals, Cameron was playing ‘god’. He created this world to awe. Any substance was lost from the film when Cameron discovered nothing from it. The detail, depth, and back-story that he created for this world made it static. He thought too much and felt too little. It eventually made everything into spectacle. It’s a shame because the story is such a beautiful story when told well.

Again, this is all my opinion, but I feel that there is no magic wand in film. There is only a drive to discover something new. It’s a very human experience and far from anything godly.

Thanks for the post! I look forward to reading more.


Comment by J.S. Johnson

Hi JS,
Thanks for your feedback and you make an important point and needs to be said out loud.

But for me the reason to call a filmmaker god is to make the individual feel empowered but more importantly feel responsible. ‘So a filmmaker plays God but let’s not have the God complex!’

Ofcourse I am assuming here that the god filmaker is sensitive, has depth and is dedicated to his art beyond his limited ego.

As a filmmaker you are creating another world of experience for the duration of the film and if effective will become part of your life like any other experience so its a parallel reality and you are playing god to that extent of making something real that did not exist.

Comment by oorvazifilmeducation

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