Film Advice

Being a filmmaker can be very expensive. There are a lot of hidden costs that most people do not understand.  Even some producers that do YouTube videos don't truly grasp the expenditures that are behind production work. 95% of YouTube videos out there are much more simplistic and the bottom line is less. You could argue that videos on YouTube are quick and should cost less anyways.

Photographers and filmmakers have to dish out a lot of money to stay current. Of course there are filmmakers that strictly rely on other’s skills and equipment in order to make videos. That is one reason why film is so great. It is a collaborative effort among many different peoples and many different talents.  A lot of tit-for-tat go into this business. It doesn’t hurt whom you know either. The real question is can you rely on and trust that person? Trust can make or break a production. It also matters if they are fun on set too. If you are not having fun, why are you making films to begin with?

I’m a jack-of-all-trades filmmaker. Meaning I do a little bit of everything but there's definitely skills that I'm better at. On the flip side, there are production positions I'm much weaker in. Lighting is sometimes more of a challenge for me than let's say editing. I can do sound work but I don't excel at sound. I've only done one feature where I was a boom operator. It was only for one day, a very long day, and I did other positions besides boom op while I worked for that production company. I have my own field recorder and I do audio but I don't have the years of experience as other sound mixers. Sound makes 50% of film and sound can ruin a good movie. Most audience members are much more forgiving for short projects like YouTube videos when it comes to sound. So there is a trade off if audio is a little off for the web.   

When it comes to camera work I have worked on several paying gigs where I've done camera operations because that's one skill I'm very good at. Don't get me wrong, I can light, but I prefer to have someone whose expertise is at lighting. You can never go wrong if you have a decent Lighting Technician with a kick ass attitude. Throughout the years I've collaborated with many talented people who are gaffers, grips, lighting techs, or Best Boys.

Probably what I do most as a professional is producing & directing. These days it seems that I do a lot more producing than directing.  As a producer I am always thinking about time, budget, and paperwork. Directing has its stresses but I always enjoy myself more as a director.  I enjoy myself in any position on film really. I find the fun. That is why I choose to be in debt for the rest of my life because I got a degree in filmmaking. I decided to chase my dreams and I do everyday. Even though my degree only landed me two gigs, one was very important to my 2nd start in my career.

Filmmaking is not an easy task. So beware if you contemplating jumping into this mighty ocean of movie making. There are no lifeguards on duty. Even short YouTube videos can have hours of time and effort put into them. Nowadays I mostly make gaming videos for fun. I am hoping for that niche audience but I’ll continue to make them because I enjoy working on them. For my retro game collecting show, it serves as a historical document of my time as a collector. Most importantly it keeps my skills sharpen for bigger projects down the line. Especially, that feature film that is in the works.