Review and reflection are a practical step to grow. The end of the year it is an appropriate time to do so. I have had the opportunity to review my projects that I have created over the past year. They have been rather diverse...from weddings, music videos, corporate videos, music parodies and a large amount of church videos. I see much growth in this last year. Now with that being said, I am definitely my biggest critic. I do feel that if I am only content with the results of my work from a year ago, I am simply not growing. I have become static. This brings me to my golden rule as a filmmaker and creative. Each piece I create needs to be better than the last. This is really how I measure myself and my work, to determine if there is growth. I ask myself, Am I too comfortable? Am I taking risks? Am I growing as a filmmaker? If I am not improving then something needs to change. I need to pick up a book on editing or directing, or find an online resource regarding lighting, or connect with someone who is in the similar field to bounce ideas around with. This doesn’t mean saving up to purchase the next top-of-the-line camera or piece of gear that will automatically make me a better filmmaker. Trust me, his piece of gear simply does not exist.
So how am I doing as a filmmaker? Am I growing? I would like to say yes. After reviewing a few pieces I created almost a year ago I immediately made a list of things that I could improve. Simple things like lighting choice, audio selection, overuse of slow motion and the big one for me, client work vs. personal work. I realized that 90% of what I created has been for clients. There is nothing wrong with this. This shows I am doing what I love as a career. Sometimes, the passion of why you got into filmmaking gets lost...when it becomes a ‘job’. This brings me to one of my two initiatives for this 2016.
1. Two Short Films
The first is to do two short films (of my choosing) for this coming year. I hope to direct for myself and share a story I am passionate about. I am excited to create a piece, take a risk and push me further as a filmmaker.
2. It's Not About The Gear
I feel GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) is a huge issue with filmmakers and photographers. It’s easy to get caught up on the gear spec’s and lose track of a great story. Over the last year I feel I have also been sucked into this trap and need to spend more time working on story than being able to shoot on the latest and greatest camera.
These are just two of the larger two aspects of what I picked up on after reviewing my current work and steps I intend to use to initiate change. I encourage you to review and reflect on your own work. Figure out what you like and what you would like to change and set goals/steps to start that growth and become better at what you do.