There is an old saying that goes along the lines of “if you want to learn about films, go and make them”.
That is certainly true, but it’s often only after your film is complete when you have the first chance to reflect back and think about what you could do differently/better next time.
I love listening to podcasts. They’ve now mostly replaced listening to music for me during exercise, driving, housework, when I want a bit of inspiration, or when I’m feeling stressed, worried or a bit down about a project I’m working on.
As an aspiring filmmaker, I love listening to the struggles that other filmmakers are dealing with. It actually reminds me that we’re all human, and that filmmaking is a bloody hard and a tough medium to create great stories in. However, I don’t just listen to podcasts dedicated to filmmaking. I’m essentially trying to create a brand so that with each film or piece of content I make, the audience can learn more about me ‘the filmmaker’, and over time I hope this builds up to enable people to follow the content that I create, rather than segment one separate audience for one project versus the next.
That’s why I also listen to podcasts designed for marketers, for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Some of the best information you can learn is from those with a background in promoting and selling what it is they can do. Imagine how you can transfer this across to your films, and just how much further you can grow your reach.
So I thought I’d share some of the great podcasts that are currently on my ‘listen to’ list. In no particular order:
Hello Film Dudes & Dudettes!
In a previous blog post I wrote that I was turning a short film project into a much bigger ‘universe’, with multiple characters and plot lines, told across multiple films and episodes. I think that if you are looking to become a filmmaker that can tell and sustain stories over a longer period, this is a great approach to hone your skills versus jumping into a feature outright (all though there are advantages to that too!)
It is also a great opportunity to present your audience with ‘more’. With releasing content online, you are competing against just about everyone else releasing content online. This means that to stand out you have to do just more than release that one short film after its festival run. Today’s post is looking at a specific example which I believe does very well at doing that.
This is a series of blog posts designed to give insight into the biggest production I’ve been a part of to date. It will be part exposition, part learning, and offer overall reflection on how to become a better filmmaker for myself, and maybe some others too.
Hello Film Dudes & Dudettes!
Just over a week ago I wrapped production on the latest short film for the IBeAFilmDude YouTube channel. I say ‘wrapped’ but really I mean part-finished. It was 48 hours of blood, sweat and tears, pre-ceded by 6 months of even more blood, sweat and tears. It has been the biggest production and challenge that I’ve been a part of… and we’re not done yet!
I wanted to start to put my thoughts down before they fade away, and hopefully help sort through what went well and what didn’t go so well, since we will also have another two days of filming before I can start getting stuck into the edit. Film school for me has very much been through the films I’ve put together over the last several years, and this production is no different. You get to try new approaches, gain new skills and if you’re like me you try and use every opportunity to grow and become a better filmmaker…. and I certainly have a long way to go!
At the start of the year, I completed short film ‘Version 1.9.84’ in the fastest time that I’d yet completed one in, about 3.5 weeks from concept to completion. A constraint in itself (I actually had to put in over 30 hours work in 3 days over a weekend to get it done!) , I had a tiny turnaround time to meet the deadline for a short film competition for the inaugural Stage One Film Festival, but that’s not the constraint I want to use as the example today.
The constraint I wanted to talk about was actually that the short film had to be a ‘one-shot, one-take’ short film. Essentially, the camera had to start recording and record the entire short film in less than 7 minutes, with the short film ending with the shot itself. I had never tried a short like that, and it presented a few extra challenges than your standard film shoot.