Marty Keegan Discusses the Ins and Outs of Filmmaking
The Academy of Entertainment and Technology welcomed award-winning writer, director, comedian and host for NowLive.com Hollywood's Babble-On Marty Keegan, after viewing two of Keegan's short films, one of them called Verboten, which means forbidden in German. The audience was eager to learn from him what it takes to make your own movie and succeed in today's wild Hollywood business.
As an accomplished director, he produced numerous short films and shared a few of his experiences regarding the entertainment business with students interested in filmmaking. Many students wanted to know where should an amateur filmmaker start. "I always tell people, do your own films. These days you can do it inexpensively. You put your work out there and who knows what may come of it," said Keegan. Then he went on to explain how hard it was for him when he first started to shoot film.
He lacked permits and serious equipment for filming but his value was always in his characters and their story, which is the most important thing. " The story has to be good. That's all it matters," said Keegan.
Mostly he advised students that if they have to work on low budgets to use all kinds of tricks if professional equipment isn't affordable, such as a boom and a mic.
It might sound funny but it is very practical. From the way he spoke and presented his short films to the audience one could sense his deep thinking when it comes to creativity and imagination. "Use the reality as an inspiration to take it where your imagination is," said Keegan.
He also advised that students create films based on their knowledge, skills and experiences. He encountered many times filmmakers that created movies with themes of which they were very unfamiliar. "You should stick with things that you know and find the humanity in the story," said Keegan. He also advised younger people not to express themselves in excessive detail "When you're younger you feel the need to spell everything out." With all respect not a lot of people are interested in a 22-year-old's philosophy in life. "Go out and live life first!" said Keegan.
As a young boy he grew up close to the MGM studios. His father was a plumber so he came from a fairly poor family. He recalled all the questions that he asked his father whenever they passed by the MGM studios. But he didn't show interest in films until later in life. Before his career got rolling he did stand-up comedy during nights, making a small sum of $300 a week. He described the moment when he told his dad that he wanted to be a stand up comic. "You're not really that funny," his father responded. But that didn't stop Keegan.
Even though he confessed that he could have made much more money if he remained in the banking business, he is really happy to be in the entertainment business because he loves it.
At first as with many directors, actors and producers it was all about fame, perhaps it is the Hollywood syndrome, but with time something more essential started growing roots within him as he was writing and directing. "You have to be happy with that you're doing," said Keegan. He also advises students to work with anyone and never act as if you know everything. "It's the guys which think they know everything that really don't," said Keegan. Most of all it is important to be organized and never leave anything to chance. Hands full of great talents are lost everyday due to lack of discipline and organizational skills. Keegan followed his path to happiness. Most of all he believed in himself." I'm a happy guy. Hopefully I'll have a happy end," said Keegan.