Why I Love my Job and Other Thoughts on Filmmaking
Every so often people ask me about the things I love and hate most about my job as a filmmaker so I thought I would share some of my answers to these commonly asked questions.
What do you love about your job as filmmaker?
Filmmaking is all about creation. I love creating things, seeing something where there was once nothing. I love being surprised by how things come together, and they always do come together, even though more often than not there have been problems and difficulties that looked unsurmountable. I love stepping back and watching the final product, seeing all that hard work come together in a nice polished way, seeing the story unfold before me as a whole. The outcome is always unexpected. I like wearing jeans to work every day. I love the crazy chaos that goes into productions. I like the changes in scenery, the surprising places that you end up for film shoots. The most fun part though is working with fun creative people. In this line of work you come into contact with some of the most fun, talented, creative people. There is no such thing as lone-wolf filmmaking. It’s about teamwork and using the talents of all the people around you to bring a story to life, and when you get a bunch of people’s grey cells churning on how to tell a great story, amazing things can happen.
What do you dislike about your job as filmmaker?
Details are the worst. I am not a detail oriented person, I am more a big picture person, but in this line of work you have to deal with the millions of details like it or not. Details are everywhere, in the workflow, in the production, in the never-ending paperwork, even in sharing a project with the world there are details. So your only choice as a filmmaker is to get them done, like it or not, because they have to get done and unless you’re J.J. Abrams, no one’s gonna do it for you.
What does a typical day look like for a filmmaker?
No day is the same. That’s one of the things I actually love about this job. It changes every day. Most of the time I am working in either pre or post production. Production weeks are super fun, being in the field, out of the office, working with cameras and people, and getting to say, ‘Action!’ Most of the time though, you are either preparing for a shoot, (locations, props, actors, writing, etc) or polishing a project (editing, coloring, recording, music, rendering, etc). It might not be the most glamorous job on the planet but each step is rewarding in its own way.
Where do I see the filmmaking industry going in five years?
There’s never been a better time for filmmakers. The movie industry is more and more pushing towards individual selection online, meaning people are only viewing/paying for the channels they want. Cable networks are suffering as companies like Netflix and Amazon are growing and producing more and more original programming. The reason that this is good is because programs that people like will get picked up and promoted and more and more work will be created for a filmmaker who finds a supportive audience. Programs that no one likes will get dropped faster and stop taking up space because the viewer demands the content, not the big networks. So as a filmmaker the goal is simply to tell a great story and get it out there. If it’s good, the audience will come.