One thing that struck me was a note in Vladimir Nizhny's Lessons With Eisenstein. He reports Eisenstein's comment that:
"The director is simultaneously an architect, a poet, a painter, and a composer, but above all a film artist. No one aspiring to be a film director has any right to neglect anything that makes him a better man and a better film director."Nizhny wryly says that this may seem excessive breadth of knowledge in these days where "a director is reduced to a craftsman giving orders for filming a ready-made scenario on already-built sets with the resulting footage being passed to the mercies of his editor."
As machinima directors, we're fortunate that we're still in the auteur position that Eisenstein held so dear. In my experience, machinima directors tend to be some of the most knowledgeable about the whole film-making process, because they have to be. We can - and usually do - have control over every aspect of our films. We often work alone, and we almost all make films purely for the love of it, to satisfy our own desires. We're not cogs in a giant production machine. We have more artistic and creative freedom than any other film-makers. We don't need to care whether our films are commercially successful. We get to be not just the director, but also the writer, the actor, the casting director, the production designer, the cinematographer, the composer, the set designer, the costume designer, the lighting designer, the sound designer, the editor, and ultimately we alone have final say as to when the film is finished. We are indeed "poets, architects, painters, and composers". We truly make our own films, from beginning to end. How many professional film-makers can say that?