More thoughts on YouTube, Filmmaking and Cameras

A post about filmmaking, YouTube, gear and what on Earth am I doing?

I spent this morning looking at a new camera from Canon. It’s fancy, it has all kinds of great features and it satisfies a number of requirements I have for a camera. Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Kind of. I do not believe that it has been released yet but given how the world of cameras works there are many, many reviews of this camera on YouTube. And I doubt I will watch any of them (but if I did it would most likely be Gerald Undone or Potato Jet).

I have not been writing about cameras as much as I used to and, in part, this is because I’ve stopped paying attention to the new models. I’ve discovered that for all of the interest I may have in new cameras and amazing features I do not need anything more than I have. Which is somewhat disappointing as the most popular posts I have all concern cameras. Only I’m not writing here to be popular. I’ve been vocal about trying to figure out why I am write here and my absolute confusion as to what I should post on this site. I am not certain of the answer still. I am certain that I do not what to be a reviewer or someone who chases after what is popular.

All of this thought about the new camera (The Canon R5C) made me think about how different things are now compared to when I first started learning about cameras online. When I bought bought my first proper camera (the DVX 100B) there were not a lot of websites reviewing these cameras. There certainly were not thousands of people on YouTube putting out weekly reviews. What was truly different then was that the cameras I was concerned with were being reviewed from the perspective of how good they were for making films.

By making films I mean feature films being the purpose of these cameras. It was exciting and interesting and all of these famous filmmakers were extolling the virtues of having less expensive cameras for making movies. Steven Soderbergh was shooting films on a prosumer Canon camera (which I shot my first music video on) and Sidney Pollack accidentally did the same (Sketches of Frank Gehry). A new company called RED was going to make a camera and their goal was to have it be inexpensive enough that anyone could make a movie with it, removing the largest hurdle for making movies (I should point out that Jared Land also created a website/forum that was instrumental in providing me with information regarding filmmaking gear).

Now when I see reviews of new cameras nearly everyone is talking about whether it would be good for YouTube. Or weddings. Or some other thing that is not making feature films. Which makes absolute sense as there are millions of people making YouTube videos now. More people are making a living from creating videos for YouTube and other social media platforms than they are from making feature films. It’s just that these same people absolutely do not need amazing cameras to do what they are doing.

About a year ago I found myself watching video after video from YouTube filmmaker Peter McKinnon. I had heard about him for a while and never really found myself watching what he made. For some reason I watched one of his earliest videos and liked it. So I started from the beginning and watched what he made in chronological order. The videos were interesting, they were fun and it was a good way to pass the time in the middle of a pandemic. Then I came across a video where he visited the YouTube studio of someone who went by MKBHD. I had seen his image before but did not know him. It was a decent video, not overly interesting to me but there were two points where it had my attention fully.

The first was when Marques Brownlee was discussing the “sound traps” in his studio which allowed him to record anywhere in the giant space and still have great audio. That was news to me, I had not heard of those before. The other was when he was trying to convince Mr. McKinnon to invest in getting a Red camera. In case you don’t know until two years ago Red cameras were expensive. That initial dream of making affordable cameras for filmmakers never really happened. The least expensive model now sells for about $6,000. The cameras that these two were discussing were all at least double that amount.

I’m delving deep into this one episode but the reason is the arguments presented – shooting in 8k resolution was “future proofing” and that these cameras were vastly superior – were not really valid to Peter McKinnon at the time. He was using a Canon 1DX mark ii (I believe) a $5,000 camera geared more toward still photography than video. Still, an excellent camera and one he had been using for quite some time to make his successful YouTube channel with. I watched a few more videos of Mr. McKinnon’s and what appears on screen? A Red camera.

I just wrote three paragraphs to say something that should be one sentence – if you are making YouTube videos where 90% of what you film is yourself talking to the camera don’t spend a lot of money. Despite so many of these people promoting their Aputure lights and Sennheiser microphones if it’s just your face talking at the camera you don’t need expensive anything. Good lighting will make a better looking image just as a good microphone will make your voice sound better but at the end of the day it’s just a person talking to a camera. If people are willing to watch you do that then you can certainly save thousands of dollars and have it look and sound a bit worse.

Obviously a good looking image is nice.

I seem to have gone off topic here, I apologize. My frustration regarding the world of YouTube, cameras and making short or long form films/videos/content is that all of the focus on gear seems driven by the companies making and selling it. That so many people have a business that consists of reviewing filmmaking equipment on YouTube speaks volumes as to how weird this has gotten. I find it incredibly difficult to find people making actual films whereas if I want to watch a review about the new Panasonic S5 mark ii there are dozens that will come up with my first search.

There seems to be a disconnect between making films and making content and it’s interesting to see that few people make both. Which is not to say that I have not found people that do (Mark Bone in particular comes to mind as does Brady Bessette) but it certainly is rare. In a previous post I shared a clip from a podcast from Corridor Digital with Freddie Wong who had been part of a YouTube channel (RocketJump) and decided to leave in order to make films. I am happy to report he has done this and below I am sharing a video he made with Aputure and his director of photography Bongani Mlambo. It’s short and it’s interesting take a look:

I feel like I tread and retread this ground often with little positivity to add. I’d like to end this post by saying there’s nothing wrong with using great gear. I found it interesting to see videos from Peter McKinnon last year where he started purging all of his large and expensive gear (The Red camera included) because he doesn’t need it. What I like about the above video is when they speak about gear used on this shoot (the video is on the Aputure channel so…) they aren’t talking about using the biggest and best gear. They are highlighting products from this company and explaining why they chose to use what they used. Somehow the feeling I get from someone saying, “I made this and here is how I did it,” is more palatable than someone saying, “If you are going to make something, use this,”. Perhaps that is just personal preference.

Great Big Story Returns

The return of my favorite YouTube channel.

It is not every day you wake up and see something that fills you with glee. Today is one of those days. I am certain I have shared videos from Great Big Story on this site before but for those of you unfamiliar GBS was a YouTube Channel/website that featured videos about nearly every topic. It is/was fantastic. I watched it alone and with my family and all of us enjoyed it greatly. It closed not long into the pandemic which made me quite sad as I knew I was moving to the New York area and very much wanted to work with them (and it meant I could no longer watch all of their incredible videos).

Flash forward to today and I see an announcement from former employee and current YouTube sensation Beryl Shereshewsky in her Instagram stories (news travels oddly these days) that GBS shall return. So far that is all that I know. But it excites me. Not only because I’d still love to work with them (although they appear to be based in London now) but also because it means that I’ll be able to watch new videos they will make.

The range of topics varies from human interest, food, scientific discoveries and animals to pretty much anything in-between. Whenever I have considered trying to build a YouTube channel I have thought of GBS as the format to follow, simply because they are free to pursue whatever they find interesting. Always entertaining and informative, new videos from GBS tend to make my day.

So despite a number of somewhat negative and gloomy posts of late I thought I would share this – some good news. Perhaps you won’t find it as exciting as I do but I assure you if you look at some of their videos you will change your mind.

From Vimeo To YouTube

A ramble about the ever-changing nature of the Internet and Vimeo.

In this moment I am feeling old. Reviewing something I wrote recently on this site I scrolled to the bottom and saw suggested posts (my own) and clicked on one. It took me to something I wrote a few years ago and included a video. When I reached the part where the video should be I saw an error message telling me that the video is no longer available. This has become somewhat common over the past year. The reason it has become common is due to the impermanent nature of the Internet.

The first site I started uploading my videos to was Google. It was the best/easiest way to get my videos on the Internet in 2006 and although not many people watched them they were seen. It was neat. Around that time I started hearing about YouTube from a friend. I checked it out and it looked awful. Most everything I saw was people posting goofy, ugly videos or talking to the camera. Not at all what I was trying to do. A year or two passed, YouTube was purchased by Google and suddenly that’s where my videos lived. Only it still wasn’t great. Another friend mentioned Vimeo and I checked it out.

If YouTube was where you uploaded that video of the duck slipping on a frozen pond (that you shot from your car using your phone as your mother drove past) Vimeo was where Filmmakers (capital f) were posting their work. The site was sleek, it didn’t have advertisements and the video quality was vastly superior. Once I started uploading to the site and looking at the controls a free plan offered I was amazed anyone bothered with anything else. It was a great place to be on the Internet.

Not long afterwards I upgraded to the lowest tier paid plan which would allow me to upload 5GB of data a week. Which at the time was decent. I shot all kinds of videos (in truth mostly of my children and family and never intended for the public) uploaded them to the site and I was happy.

I was also happy to discover the work of filmmakers on the site. In addition to the Staff Pick’s section which was usually terrific it wasn’t hard to search and find random films to enjoy. In short it was a great site that many people were using to share their work. I discovered many filmmakers and saw wonderful films and the site was free and easy to use.

I’m not sure when it all went wrong. At some point Vimeo shifted and people starting using it less. It became harder to find films. It became harder to access and organize my own films on the site. The customization and controls I had enjoyed became more difficult to use. Simultaneously YouTube improved. People were posting things there that were of excellent quality and interesting. Suddenly there were videos that were instructional or educational and about topics I needed (or wanted) help with.

For the longest time I would watch videos where people would use Final Cut Pro and they would access features (or shortcuts) that I did not know about. I would always wonder how people knew about these things as they are not obvious or intuitive. Part of me wondered if they all read the manual. I certainly didn’t. I didn’t even know there was a manual you could download from Apple until 2021.

Then it became clear that people were posting videos on anything and everything. Entire channels were devoted to tips and tricks for FCPX and editing in general. More importantly people were making money. For the longest time Vimeo offered a “tip jar” on their site. I had never opted to include it because almost no one saw what I posted and the people who did were usually friends or family. I knew from chatty filmmakers like Philip Bloom that the “tip jar” generated little to no income as he was quite vocal about such things. Suddenly people on YouTube seemed to be wealthy.

I am keeping this as it sums up my point so well – go to Vimeo to watch their tip jar video

They seemed to be wealthy and not overly active. Or interesting. Or creating much of substance. It was strange and confusing and self-contained. Again I’m not entirely sure when these things happened. One day Vimeo was the place to be and then suddenly it was YouTube. Much like when I started streaming video content from Amazon it started with downloading third party software (Silverlight? I know Real Player was in the mix for a bit) and then one day you were able to do it directly via the site. One day I was clicking on links that took me from Facebook’s website to another and the next Facebook had a browser built into the site and I never left.

I don’t know when all these changes happened exactly only that when I become aware of them everything had already changed. Over the past few years I’ve uploaded my videos to both Vimeo and YouTube, keeping the personal ones private. Whereas before the quality of the videos on Vimeo was superior somewhere around 2020 I noticed they looked the same. YouTube is free to use with no weekly limitation on how much I can upload. For $60 a year Vimeo permitted me to upload 5GB a week. If I uploaded a video and realized it contained a mistake I would correct the mistake and re-upload. If the file size was too large I would have to wait for a week for the reset.

I am writing about this in great detail because I feel that these changes are representative with how the Internet has changed over the past eighteen years. The number of websites I have been a part of, as a contributor or user, that I can no longer remember the names of is quite large. I accept change on the Internet it’s just odd to reflect on the changes of using Vimeo as it clearly chose to become something else (but didn’t much bother to tell its users). Other writers have speculated on the reasons why this change came about and I don’t think I can add much to that conversation as I was unaware.

What I can speak to is how strange it is ending this paid relationship with Vimeo. I was forewarned, luckily, as to what would happen when I cancelled my plan. Again, Mr. Bloom, tested these waters and shared his experience. He made it known that Vimeo would purge your videos once you downgraded. Part of how I used their site had been as back up storage for videos I did not wish to lose. I’ve had hard drives fail over the years and, most recently, discovered that Backblaze, the service I pay to back up my data, has more than one plan. It turns out if you have the wrong one they can’t recover certain data (strong work fellas!).

Clear as mud – make sure you have forever if your drive won’t be constantly connected.

There must have been significant negative feedback directed to Vimeo as when I cancelled my plan (which was a process as annoying as cancelling with Verizon recently) I was given multiple warnings that my videos would be removed and that I needed to download everything if I wish to save it. Silly me though, I forget I had been linking to these videos from this site since I started posting. Which is why I keep finding I have posts with video links to nowhere.

I don’t pretend to know what the future will hold, if any of these sites offering “free” services will continue to do so. Although I am not a business person I have been alive for a while now and I’ve seen how businesses change and adapt or fail. It makes perfect sense of a company like Vimeo to try something different from their considerably larger competitor but they way they have done this seems self-defeating. I know for most people the days of being loyal to a company are long gone but I’m someone who still looks for that and yearns for it. There is a comfort in familiar, dependable things.

What Netflix Knows That I don’t

A first for me, a post that ends with a question.

Let’s be clear here – I am not talking about their predictive algorithms that tell you what you want to watch next. I’ve been using Netflix since 2004, I’ve rated well over 3,000 films and they either offer me films I’ve already watched and rated (on their platform) or things I have no interest in. Kanopy, a service I’ve used for about a year and ranked nothing on offers me selections that are 99.9% accurate. So to begin, Netflix, hire more people and learn from Kanopy (and Hulu and The Criterion Channel) and stop using math for people like me who want to watch Tenet, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan and The Philadelphia Story – you don’t stand a chance. What I am writing about today is YouTube and how Netflix understood long before me that it makes sense to post exclusive content on the site.

Let’s go back in time briefly. They year is 2012 and if you are a filmmaker looking to share your work online where do you post it? I said filmmaker so chances are you post it on Vimeo, the only site I knew of, where filmmakers of all levels of experience posted and shared their work. I’m not sure if YouTube was for anyone over the age of twenty at the time (to be fair I only used it to find music videos so maybe it was great and I was ignorant but I didn’t know anyone who used the site much) but I do know that if you wanted to find short films you went to Vimeo.

Now a quick search tells me that season one of House of Cards released in February 2013, which means at this point Netflix is still relying mainly on its DVD business and getting the rights to films and television shows made by other companies. In short, they aren’t doing much that is unique and wonderful to them. Did they have a YouTube channel? Did YouTube Channels exist then? I don’t really know. I had a YouTube account because I had a Google Video account that turned into a YouTube account at some point after the acquisition in 2006 and from that point on I’ve kind of/sort of used the site. My terrible point being I wasn’t paying attention and I don’t think many people were until…well that’s the point of this post.

This comes via –

When did YouTube start making sense? When did it stop being full of nonsense and America’s Funniest Home Videos content and become a smart choice for individuals and businesses to use as a platform for hosting video content? I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question. It had to be after Facebook became a closed system (by which I mean when you could search the Internet and access everything from within the Facebook browser) because before that it certainly made sense to have a website for everything. Do we remember this? When each movie had its own website with as much (or as little) content as they wished to put on the site? When did this change?

I am rambling more than usual and I am sure little of it is interesting so let me try and say something of value. At some point it started to make sense to have a central hub for content rather than hundreds or thousands of individual sites that users had to find on their own. Netflix chose not to be a hub, I am assuming, because they are behind a paywall. It makes little sense for them to put their promotional material on their own site – you will only have access to people who have an account. You cannot tempt in new users from within the site. YouTube is free and available to anyone, therefore posting advertising clips and trailers on the site makes the most sense.

So, back to the title of this (what did Netflix know?) and this simple answer – that YouTube is better than other social media sites for promoting things, because they aren’t behind a paywall or require a membership to view content. Presumably their search engine is better because they are owned by Google but I don’t know this for sure. I do know trying to find things on Twitter is agonizing and Instagram is changed with such frequency that I never know how to do anything.

As someone who stopped using Facebook once the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke I can attest to how annoying not being able to access the site can be. A number of products that I use only post their tutorials or help forums on that site. Many companies use Facebook as the entry point for customer support and use groups to share tips and tricks for their products. Without an account I can’t access this content and every once in a while I find myself wondering if I shouldn’t just go back.

But this is the problem and it extends to all social media now, save YouTube, that everyone requires a membership and they track and sell your data (to the best of my knowledge YouTube can be used without a membership, I imagine while still tracking and selling your data). So, as always, the question remains: what should I be doing? When it comes to the Internet and social media I have no clue. I continue to post things on this site despite it being a poor way to share what I have written. Without a larger presence online I have little hope of reaching a larger audience.

So what is the solution?

YouTube and Me

A new plan for making short videos.

In an effort to be more productive and stop skulking around the house I’ve decided to start making short films and upload them on YouTube. As a result I will be posting here about that process and linking the videos. What. A. Treat.

This past week the company Moment uploaded a review of the new Sony A1 camera. The review was made by the filmmaker Joshua Martin . He’s made a number of videos for Moment this past year and I’ve enjoyed his laid-back style. He started this review with a cinematic short film to demonstrate what the A1 is capable of. I enjoyed that greatly as most reviews are just a person sitting and talking at the camera.

I enjoyed the short so much that I stopped the video when that ended and found myself thinking about how I would like to make a similar video and the proceeded to daydream about what I would do for quite some time. The following day I had time to myself so I went out and shot two hours worth of footage and make my own version.

Once I had everything ingested into my computer I went through the footage and saw all the mistakes I had made. I shot near noon, which is never a good idea, but it was a sunny day. For portions of the video I was shooting handheld and moving the camera in front of my face and body. Shadows of the camera and mic kept playing on my face and chest, ruining the shots. There were a number of other mistakes I had made, forgotten shots, things being out of focus and it became obvious that I would have to reshoot most of the footage.

I spent the night brooding on this and thinking of how to improve the story I was telling while also adding new elements and not making mistakes. A number of firsts came out of this process, like making a shot list and mounting my gimbal onto a tripod for shots in my car and I am pleased with the results.

Did I get it all right? Not even close. I still forgot shots, misunderstood the placement of my camera and shot at a terrible time of day in unflattering light. As tempted as I was to redo everything again I didn’t, I worked with the footage and came up with what I think is a decent video. It’s not perfect but it’s done.

So this is part of my new plan, I hope to write more here that isn’t just about cameras or plugging my videos – in addition to making videos on a regular basis for YouTube. There is more certainly a stigma attached to doing such things and interestingly I am finding freedom in this particular act of self-publishing. There is an audience, not cost to the creator and absolute unchecked creativity in what is possible. It’s kind of amazing.

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

The Rabbit Hole That Is YouTube

A few thoughts about filmmaking gear, knowing what you want to do and buying a Segway.

As many of my recent posts have made clear I’ve been experimenting with new gear for filmmaking. Part of how I get started and learn about new gear is by watching videos on YouTube.

In these posts I often reference specific videos by people like Philip Bloom, who makes excellent, long-form reviews that seem targeted at people like myself. When I say people like myself I mean people who are interested in using the cameras/tools more for narrative or documentary filmmaking, rather than vlogging, wedding videos, real estate or corporate videos (and of course he makes reviews of products for those things also because… it’s the Internet).

I’m taking a moment to explain this in detail because I’ve widened my range when using YouTube and I am watching work by many different creators. Many of these people make their living from the videos they post on YouTube and it’s a very different approach and mindset.

It is this mindset that has interested me over the past day or so, in particular because of several videos I’ve watched. Today I watched the following video by Neumann Films

And this from Corridor Cast (which I think is the podcast for Corridor Crew) –

I watched the Neumann Films’ video because I am considering buying a new camera. Since the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6k was recently released I looked at reviews of the camera.

The video is less a review and more a commentary about why people keep chasing new camera gear. The message being about evaluating what you really need and why you should reconsider buying anything. At one point Luke Neumann says, “Are you really thinking about buying this camera to make cinema? Are you making cinema? I’m not making cinema. I’m making short films and videos and tutorials for the web. I’m making things people are watching on their phone.”

Which I think is an important point to make. It isn’t that these videos don’t have value, it’s that there is this ongoing idea (for myself and many other people I imagine) that when we buy our next camera it needs to be capable of making a feature film. That the purchase needs to satisfy our current needs and the pipe-dream needs as well. Despite the fact that most people buying these cameras have nothing in the works to make these dreams a reality (in an immediate and actionable sense).

The Corridor Cast’s video is specifically about how having a successful YouTube channel doesn’t matter all that much if you goal is to make cinema (movies that are shown in movie theaters or on a major streaming platform is how I am defining this). I think many people will watch these videos and feel disheartened. I know that looking at the comments of both people seem either depressed or annoyed that having a successful YouTube channel does not directly lead to Hollywood access and success.

Which, prior to watching this video, isn’t something I had thought much about. Many people who create content for YouTube don’t strike me as people aspiring to make big budget feature films. Perhaps that is my bias.

A few weeks ago I watched an interview between Ryan Connelly (FilmRiot) and David F. Sandberg. It is interesting to think about this interview now because David Sandberg made the leap from web content to Hollywood films with what I think was a moderately successful YouTube channel (it certainly is moderate for YouTube now, so I have to guess back then it was much less so).

So in this context (and reading the terrible comments of the FilmRiot video) it provides an interesting example of how people do utilize the web to get noticed and go on to have a film career (which is not news, several high profile “discoveries” have been made via the Internet and lauded as a reason to put content on the web). I really thought the difference of approach between Mr. Sandberg and Mr. Connelly regarding the web (YouTube in particular) was worth noting. As far as I can tell Mr. Sandberg was not relying on web content as his primary source of income. Therefore he didn’t have to create weekly content in the way that a channel like FilmRiot does in order to amass subscribers and generate revenue.

What I find interesting, relating to my situation (and the point of this post), is that David Sandberg did not use the DIY gear and equipment that made his short films when went to Hollywood. In this interview he speaks at length at how different the process was and how he had to figure out how to make a film in a Hollywood way (while also confessing that he snuck off with the actors at one point and shot footage with his BMPCC – but that this was frowned upon).

If there is a takeaway from my YouTube dalliances it comes from the channel Make.Art.Now. The creator of that channel, Josh Yeo, makes excellent videos that are different from what I usually see on YouTube. He’s not posting short films, much of what he shares are reviews/tutorials or in-depth looks at projects he’s worked on. His channel isn’t monetized so I suppose what feels different with his content is that each video he posts stands on its own. He’s making content when he wants to and how he wants to, rather than within a set time limit to keep subscribers and keep making money.

Interestingly because of this approach I keep getting seduced by gear he shows in his videos despite it making absolutely no sense for me to purchase any of it. In particular he uses a Segway miniPRO smart, a self-balancing transporter. It’s a rather ridiculous looking thing that he himself confesses he would never use outside of filmmaking. But he does use it because when used in conjunction with a gimbal it allows him to get incredibly smooth shots – without using large, more expensive equipment. The Segway also is able to do precise, controlled movements that other devices, like the Onewheel, cannot do.

Jesse Driftwood with a Onewheel. He just looks so happy!

What I’ve learned watching these videos it’s how important it is to know what you want to do – before you start buying gear. A smart person (not me) would have a plan in place to make money before they buy anything. Forgoing that step it is also incredibly important to know what you want to do and buy accordingly. If you are primarily going to be posting videos on YouTube and you have a recent smartphone should you buy a camera? You could download an app like FilmicPro, purchase an inexpensive microphone for the phone and be up and running (I’m not saying this is the best option, but it might not be a bad one).

These questions lead to more questions and ultimately end in the world of ease of use and what works for you. For me, I have found a shift in my thinking regarding what is available to me and what is possible. In particular I’ve been looking at how YouTube is used versus what I thought people were doing – and it’s interesting.

A number of my subscriptions are for sites or people who used to share short form content (fiction or non-fiction) and how many of them have moved away from doing so. Even Philip Bloom, who I originally was watching for his mini-documentaries, posts very few now. It’s certainly worth thinking about.

I want to close with a video from my favorite YouTube channel which is structured in a clever manner. Great Big Story has genres or subdivisions on its channel which allows it to cover pretty much any topic. They also aren’t always short videos. They make excellent content and if you haven’t seen what they do you should check them out.

The Trap of Perfection and Being Ready

The number of projects I have not begun, have begun but not completed or have nearly finished but essentially abandoned is large. When my defenses are working properly there are many wonderful reasons for all of this unfinished work. None of them are terribly original or interesting. In nearly every case the actual reason is the same: what is/was in my head did not/will not be as good when I make it. Perfection is a trap.

Today I was looking through the folders on my computer, for what I no longer remember, and I stumbled down a rabbit hole of past projects and memories that lead me, much like Alice, on a strange and mysterious journey. The journey concluded when I went to my YouTube page and saw that the last video I uploaded was two years ago.

Now, to be fair, YouTube for me is an afterthought. If I make something and want to share it I use Vimeo. The lack of commercials and the overall straightforward nature of the site is why it has become the place where I publish video content. Yet I do try and publish on YouTube because I can use all the views I can get. I am unknown and would like to change that.

Now before you start following links or Googling me the sad truth is I have made very little content to share with the world. Largely it is because I am a stay-at-home dad who mostly shoots videos of his children. I share these videos with family members who say they watch them.

So why am I writing all of this? Where is the bit about perfection?

I came across a video I made in 2007 today. It is called Marty. I am embedding it below. It is less than two minutes long and it would make me happy if you watched it now.

I’ve shared it on this site before but since I had forgotten about it, I am sure you did, too. Now, this is a very short film with almost no story that I made when I knew much less about how to make short films. Yet, it is one of a handful of short films I have made. And I think it is okay. Not amazing but not terrible either.

This past year I have gone to a number of film screenings in Vermont and I’ve connected with numerous filmmakers and watched their work online. What I have taken away from these experiences is fairly simple – it is better to make something and have it be “okay” than to make nothing. Pretty standard stuff, I know. Yet, how many of us are not making things, not sharing things because we feel it isn’t good enough? How many times have you sat down to write but stared at the wall, picked up your guitar only to put it down again, or closed your NLE because you felt your project wasn’t good enough.

I’m not a self help guy and I certainly spend more time feeling like a failure than a success. But, if I have learned one thing in the past year it’s this – people are winning awards making things I would be embarrassed to share. Don’t take this as me being snobbish or looking down my nose at others. Take this for what it is – these people are getting recognition and awards for doing – while I am forgetting videos I’ve made and staring at the wall.

“Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.”
Joss Whedon