Every day. I’m still learning every day. There’s so much to learn.
I come from a “DIY” (do it yourself) world. So I know a lot about a lot of things. I know enough about cameras and lighting to credibly call myself a DP. I know enough about every department on set to talk with people in their own language so I can get what I want, too.
And in the early days, I did have to do almost everything myself. But in 2018, I find myself not having to do it all. And it’s fun. Way more fun. So I’m learning how to let other creative voices in, too.
Sure, it requires clients who are willing to spend some money. If you’re working with a cheapskate, forget it. So I try not to do that very often.
Having this background in the DIY way of filmmaking helps me when I’m “just” the director/producer. I don’t get frustrated. I know how to optimize the crew and resources so we make our days without going into stupid overtime or charging the client lots more than expected. At the same time, loosening my grip on the tech side of things has helped me really explore the creative side more.
An example: we just completed a brand film for a Fortune 100 company. Not only were we able to make a project that looks like it cost significantly more than it did on our shoot days, we also made a quantum leap for these types of videos, including national TV commercial quality visual effects. We had 8 VFX shots in this short film. And because I know how to do VFX, I was able to convince the client that we could make it happen. And we did. What I’d learned in the past helped me pull this off.
I can’t wait to show this project off.